Add suggesters to an Azure Search index

A Suggester is an Azure Search construct supporting the "search-as-you-type" Suggestions feature and the autocomplete (preview) feature. Before you can call the Suggestions API, you must define a suggester in an index to enable suggestions on specific fields.

Although a suggester has several properties, it is primarily a collection of fields for which you are enabling the Suggestions API. For example, a travel app might want to enable typeahead search on destinations, cities, and attractions. As such, all three fields would go in the field collection.

You can have only one suggester resource for each index (specifically, one suggester in the suggesters collection).

Creating a suggester

You can create a suggester at any time, but the impact on your index varies based on the fields.

  • New fields added to a suggester as part of the same update are the least impactful in that no index rebuild is required.
  • Existing fields added to a suggester, however, changes the field definition, necessitating a full rebuild of the index.

    Suggesters work best when used to suggest specific documents rather than loose terms or phrases. The best candidate fields are titles, names, and other relatively short phrases that can identify an item. Less effective are repetitive fields, such as categories and tags, or very long fields such as descriptions or comments fields.

After a suggester is created, add the Suggestions API in your query logic to invoke the feature.

Properties that define a suggester include the following:

Property Description
name The name of the suggester. You use the name of the suggester when calling the Suggestions (Azure Search Service REST API).
searchMode The strategy used to search for candidate phrases. The only mode currently supported is analyzingInfixMatching, which performs flexible matching of phrases at the beginning or in the middle of sentences.
sourceFields A list of one or more fields that are the source of the content for suggestions. Only fields of type Edm.String and Collection(Edm.String) may be sources for suggestions. Only fields that don't have a custom language analyzer set can be used.

Suggester example

A suggester is part of the index definition. Only one suggester can exist in the suggesters collection in the current version, alongside the fields collection and scoringProfiles.

  "name": "hotels",  
  "fields": [  
     . . .   
  "suggesters": [  
    "name": "sg",  
    "searchMode": "analyzingInfixMatching",  
    "sourceFields": ["hotelName", "category"]  
  "scoringProfiles": [  
     . . .   

See also

Create Index (Azure Search Service REST API)
Update Index (Azure Search Service REST API)
Suggestions (Azure Search Service REST API)
Index operations (Azure Search Service REST API)
Azure Search Service REST
Azure Search .NET SDK