Sitecore Experience Accelerator

Extend search

Abstract

Extend the search solution by adding sites, facets, and scope.

SXA comes with a flexible search solution. To help users locate exactly the item they are looking for, you can add advanced search functionality, such as search scopes and facets. For example, you can define one search page to search the general content of your site, another one that searches the product database, and another one to search the blogs archive.

By default, search results are narrowed to the home item of the site. You can extend the scope of the search and include other sites. For example, if you have one global site and multiple sites for different countries, you can extend the search to include all the sites, when you are on the global site.

To extend search to include other sites:

  • Go to /sitecore/content/Tenant/Site/Settings and in the Search Criteria section, in the Associated Content field, click the sites that you want to include in the search. If you leave this field empty, only the current site will be searched.

    Add the sites that you want to include in the search.

The content on your pages is automatically made available for searching. On extensive websites, you can make it easier to navigate through the search results, filter, and apply ordering, so visitors can find exactly what they need, with minimum effort. SXA includes various search renderings to handle the search criteria input and to present results in a flexible and customizable manner.

You can also create a scope for your visitors. For example, if you have a travel website and you expect visitors to want to search for weekend trips, one week trips, two week trips, or long stays, you can create scopes that appear as filters on your site.

To add search scopes:

  1. Navigate to the Settings of your site, right-click Scopes , and click Insert, Scope.

  2. Enter a name and click OK.

  3. To define a scope query:

    • If you have a query ready, click Paste query.

      Navigate to site/settings and in the Scope section in the ScopeQuery field click Paste Query.
    • To build the query, click Build query and in the Build Search Query dialog box, in the search field, enter the search keywords and the search filters that you want to use.

      In the Build Search Query dialog box, use keywords and search filters to build the search.
    • To use one of the predefined SXA tokens, in the Build Search Query dialog box, in the search field, enter SXA and click Enter to see the available search tokens:

      TaggedTheSameAsCurrentPage|SxaTags – limits search results to items that have the same tags as the current page.

      TaggedWithAtLeastOneTagFromCurrentPage|SxaTags – limits search results to items that have at least one of the page tags assigned.

      UnderCurrentPage – limits search results to the current page.

      ExcludeCurrentPage – limits search results to exclude the current page.

      ItemsOfTheSameTemplateAsTheCurrentPage – limits search results to items using the same template as the current page.

      ItemsWithTheSameValueInField|FieldName – limits search results to item using the same value in a specific field.

  4. Navigate to the Settings of your site, and in the Search Criteria section, in the Default search scope field select the scope.

    Select the search scope.

    In the Datasource search scope field you can define additional locations. For example, add <site>/Data/Texts if you would like to search for Text items.

All search renderings have configuration items. These items are used to store the rendering texts but sometimes they also contain more configurations, for example, facets. A facet is a way of refining search results by categorizing the items returned by the search, for example, by author, language, or created date.

Facets are special items used by facet filters. They are used to inform search engines of the field that you want to filter results on. For example, if your site lists different kinds of cars, you can have a search based on type, color, and price.

You can add facets to your site settings. Facets are stored in site/Settings/Facets:

Go to site/Settings/Facets to add facets.

By default, SXA uses the facets defined by the platform in the /sitecore/system/Settings/Buckets/Facets item.

To create a new search facet and add it to your site:

  1. Navigate to site/Settings/Facets and click the facet that you want to add. For example, if you want the visitors of your site to be able to narrow their search by selecting dates, click Date Facet and fill in the following fields:

    • Name and Display Name: Enter a name.

    • Facet Filter: This field enables you to limit the facet values that the search uses. You can enter a reference to a class that implements the ISimpleFacet interface. You must create this class yourself, and it has to return a string. You can implement logic in this class that determines the filters that the facet should search for. The intention is that this class reduces the number of filters. This is how some of the Sitecore search facets are implemented, for example, Date Range or File Size.

    • Field Name: Specify the fields that you want users to be able to search on in a comma-separated list.

    • Enabled: By default, this checkbox is selected. It must be selected for the facet to work.

    • Minimum number of items: The minimum number of items that the facet must appear in before it is shown in the search results.

    • Global Facet: Set to true if you want the site facet available for back-end search on every site item.

  2. Navigate to site/Data/Search and create a new facet filter. For example, click Date Filter Folder, enter a name – for example, MyOwnFilter – and click OK.

  3. In the Facet field, select the facet you created earlier.

    Navigate to the facet filter and select the facet.
  4. To see how the new facet filter works on your site, open a page in the Experience Editor and add the Search Box and the Search Results rendering to the page. After adding the Search Results rendering, in the Select the Associated Content dialog box, select the filter that you created and click OK.

    Select the search filter.
  5. Save the page. When you now view your page in Preview mode, you can see that you are able to filter the search results.

    Note

    If you have two filters on the same page, after applying facet from the first filter, facets in the second filter are updated accordingly.

Facets are special items used by facet filters. They are used to inform search engines of the field that you want to filter results on. With SXA, you can also use link fields as facets, for example, if your site includes link references and you want them to appear in a search.

By default, a link type facet uses the target item ID. Because item IDs are not very useful for front-end use, you can add a definition to your search configuration file to replace the GUID value with the field value of the referenced item.

To facet a link type field:

  • Add the following definition to your search configuration file:

    <field fieldName="mytopics"
    returnType=”stringCollection” type="Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Search.ComputedFields.ResolvedLinks,
    Sitecore.XA.Foundation.Search" referenceField="topics"
    contentField="title"/>

    where:

    fieldName – defines the index field name where the value will be stored. Make sure this name differs from the reference field name.

    returntype – defines the return type for your computed field.

    referenceField – defines the field name on the indexed item.

    contentField – defines the field on the referenced item from which the value will be retrieved during the indexing.

You can extend your search to include Media Library folders. This may be convenient when you expect your visitors to look for images or videos. For example, if you have a website that contains instruction videos, it may be convenient for visitors to be able to search on videos specifically.

To extend search to include Media Library items:

  • Navigate to the Settings of your site and in the Search Criteria section, in the AssociatedMedia field, add the media items you want your visitors to be able to search on.

    In the Associated Media field, add the media items that people can search on.