Using relevance search to search for rows


Effective November 2020:

  • Common Data Service has been renamed to Microsoft Dataverse. Learn more
  • Some terminology in Microsoft Dataverse has been updated. For example, entity is now table and field is now column. Learn more

This article will be updated soon to reflect the latest terminology.

Relevance search delivers fast and comprehensive results across multiple tables, in a single list, sorted by relevance.

Relevance search brings the following enhancements and benefits:

  • Improved performance compared to Categorized search.

  • Finds matches to any word in the search term in any column in the table, compared to quick find where all words from the search term must be found in one column.

  • Finds matches that include inflectional words like stream, streaming, or streamed.

  • Returns results from all searchable tables in a single list sorted by relevance, so the better the match, the higher the result appears in the list. A match has a higher relevancy if more words from the search term are found in close proximity to each other. The smaller the amount of text where the search words are found, the higher the relevancy. For example, if you find the search words in a company name and address, it might be a better match than finding the same words in a long article, far apart from each other.

  • Highlights matches in the results list. When a search term matches a term in a row, the term appears as bold and italicized text in your search results.

  • Relevance Search can comb through the text in a document that's stored in Microsoft Dataverse, including text in notes, email attachments, or appointments. The following file formats are supported for search: PDF, Microsoft Office documents, HTML, XML, ZIP, EML, plain text, and JSON.

  • Relevance Search enables you to search for rows that are shared with you and rows that you own.


    • Certain words that are very commonly used in a language (like the or a) are ignored during search, because they don't help uniquely identify rows. Because they're ignored during search, these words are also not highlighted in results.
    • Highlighted terms are often returned as a portion of the full value in a column because only the matched terms are highlighted.
    • Highlighted results are shown in context of the sentence that it is a part of. This may result in unexpected behavior, when a column has a period (.) because the period is considered as the end of sentence. Due this behavior, you may get results where part of the matched column is truncated.
  • Includes search results for text in a document that's stored in Dataverse, including text in notes, email attachments, or appointments. The following file formats are supported for search: PDF, Microsoft Office documents, HTML, XML, ZIP, EML, plain text, and JSON.

  • Enables you to search for rows that are shared with you and rows that you own.


    Hierarchical security models aren't supported. Even if you see a row in Dataverse because you have access to it through hierarchical security, you won't see the result in relevance search.

  • Lets you also search for choices and lookups. For example, let's say you want to find a retail store account that has Pharmaceuticals in the name. When you search for Pharmaceutical Retail, you'll find the result because there's a match to the Industry column, which is a searchable option set.


    • Relevance search is text-based, and can search only on columns of type Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, Option Sets, or Lookups. It doesn't support searching in columns of Numeric or Date data type.
  • Allows you to use syntax in your search term to get the results you want. For example, type car silver 2-door to include matches for any word in the search term in the search results. Type car+silver+2-door to find only matches that include all three words. Type car|silver|2-door to get results that contain car or silver or 2-door, or all three words. For more information about syntax you can use in your search queries, see Search across table data using relevance search.


    Relevance search is configured to require matches to any (instead of all) of the criteria in a query, which might bring about results that are different from your expectations. This is especially true when Boolean operators are included in the query.

Relevance Search needs to be enabled on by the administrator for your organization, thus allowing all users in the organization to use it. After Relevance Search is enabled, you might have to wait up to an hour or more, depending on the size of your organization before it is available in your apps. Smaller changes in indexed data can take up to 15 minutes to show up in your system. For more information, see Configure Relevance Search to improve search results and performance.

Turn on the new Relevance Search experience

The new Relevance Search experience combines the strength of Relevance Search as a service, with a user interface that is intuitive, familiar, and easy to use. The new experience needs to be enabled by the administrator for your organization. For more information, see Enable the new Relevance Search experience

Turn on new search experience

Use the new Relevance Search experience

The new search experience compliments the performance and intelligence of Relevance Search service and is intuitive and easy to use.

The search bar in the top is easy to find from any page in your app. It is always available to start a new search and quickly find the information that you're looking for.

Search box on header

No search required to see recent rows

Immediately see the rows that you accessed recently when you click inside the search box.

Suggested search results on first click

See recent rows and searches

Before you even start typing in the search box, you will see any recent searches and recently accessed rows in combined view to help with your search. Recently accessed rows are also grouped by table type, allowing you to quickly scan and understand the list of results.

Legend for new search experience


  1. Recent searches: Shows your recent searches.
  2. Recently accessed rows: Shows recently accessed rows that are grouped by table type.

View quick suggestions

View suggested search results inline as you type, minimizing keystrokes and simplifying page navigation. The suggested results are based on the primary column of an table row, and support misspellings off by one character. For more information, see Search across entity data using relevance search.

Suggested search results when you enter search queary

Search results page

Search results are ranked and grouped by table, with more columns that are displayed to help distinguish rows and filter to take further action.

The full result set is grouped by table, with the table type displayed as a horizontal list of tabs along the top of the screen.

The Top results tab displays the top 20 results for the search term, with rows grouped by table type. Tables that contain the top 20 results are shown on the first few tabs from left to right based on relevance. The next few tabs have the matched table types in descending ordered by number of matched rows.

Each of the tabs lets you drill into a specific table type, with the filter panel updating to show the set of facets and filters configured for that table.

Legend the search results page


  1. Top results: Show rows that best matches the search query.
  2. Row type: To narrow your search results to a specific table, select the table tab.
  3. Name: Shows the name of the row.
  4. Created on: Shows when the row was created.
  5. Show more: Select to show more results.
  6. Filters: Refine the search results by using filters. Filters let you drill into and explore the results of your current search without having to repeatedly refine your search terms. Immediately after you perform a search you can filter by row type, owner, created on, and modified on.
  7. Clear all: Select to clear all the filters.
  8. Owner: Select your user name to find rows that you are the owner of.
  9. Clear: Only clears the Owner filter. Note, you only see this filter when the Owner filter is selected.
  10. Modified on: Filter the search results by when the row was last modified.
  11. Created on: Select a time range to find rows created in the selected time range.

On the search results page, the Did you find what you were looking for? Yes No feedback is collected in our product telemetry. Search parameters like the query text that user enters into the search box is not collected irrespective of the response to the question. We only Yes or No response statistics to help us understand the usefulness of the new search experience. Currently there isn't an option to disable the feedback question prompt.

Feedback link

Set default search experience

If your organization has turned on both Relevance Search and categorized search, you can select a default search experience in your personal settings.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the page, select Settings, and then select Personalization Settings.

    Personalization Settings

  2. On the General tab, in the Select the default search experience section, for the Default Search Experience, select your default experience.

    Select default search experience


If you have the new Relevance Search experience available but you set your default search experience to Categorized Search, then the old Relevance Searchh experience and categorized is available. To use the new Relevance Search experience, you must set your default search experience to, Relevance Search.

Use the old Relevance Search experience

If you're organization has Relevance Search enabled but your administrator has not turned on the new relevance search experience then you will see the old search experience.

If your organization has turned on both search options (relevance search and categorized search), you can switch between the two.

  1. To switch between search types, on the navigation bar, select Search.

    Search button on the commmandbar

  2. On the left, select the drop-down menu to switch between Relevance Search or Categorized Search.

    Switch between Relevance and Categorized search

Start a search using the old Relevance Search experience

  1. From the top nav bar, select Search.

    Global Search Button

  2. Enter your search words in the search box, and then select Search.

    Relevance Search Box

Filter rows with facets

With Dataverse, you can now refine your search results by using facets and filters. Facets and filters let you drill into and explore the results of your current search without having to repeatedly refine your search terms.

Facets are available in the leftmost pane. Immediately after you perform a search, the following global facets are available for four common columns:

  • Row Type

  • Owner

  • Created On

  • Modified On

Row Type facets

To narrow your search results to a specific table, select the table under the Row Type section.

Row Type facet to narrow the search results

When you filter on a specific row type, you can include activities and notes that are related to the selected row in your search results. To do that, select the Related Notes & Activities check box. The activities and notes will appear in top-level results.

Include notes and activities related to a row type in the search results

Search results that are found in email attachments or appointment tables are shown in the search results under their parent row, either Email or Appointment.

When you refine by row type, the facet scope switches to the selected table, and up to four facets that are specific to the table are shown. For example, if you select the Account table, you'll see the Primary Contact facet in addition to the global facets.

In the Set Personal Options dialog box, you can also choose other facets from the ones that your system administrator has made available to you. The user setting overrides the default setting. More information: Configure facets and filters for the search

Text-based facets

All lookups, choices, and row types are text-based facets. For example, the text-based facet Owner consists of a list of column values and their corresponding counts.

Text-based facet in Relevance Search

Filters in these facets are sorted in descending order by count. The top four facet values are displayed by default. When there are more than four facet values, you'll see a SHOW MORE link that you can select to expand the list and see up to fifteen top facet values. Select each value to filter the search results to show only rows where the column has the value you've selected. For example, if you select Jim Glynn, the search results will show all rows where the owner is Jim Glynn. When you select a lookup or option set facet value, search results are filtered to only include rows with the value that you specified.

Date and Time facets

Like other facets, you can use date and time facets to filter and see search results for a specific time. To select a range of values, drag the slider or select one of the vertical columns.

Date and time facets for Relevance Search

Configure facets and filters


A system customizer can set the default experience for all tables, but you can configure your own facets and filters.

  1. In the upper-right corner, select Settings, and then select Personalization Settings.

    Personalization Settings

  2. On the General tab, in the Select the default search experience section, for the Facets and Filters column, select Configure.

    Configure Facets and Filters

  3. In the Configure Facets and Filters dialog box, specify the facets you'd like to see for a table. Your system administrator or customizer can set a default experience for all tables, but you can set your own here.

    • In the Select Table drop-down list, select a table you want to configure facets for. This drop-down list contains only the tables that are enabled for relevance search.

    • For the selected table, select up to four facet columns. By default, the first four "facet-able" columns in the Quick Find view for the selected table are selected in the list. At any time, you can only have four columns selected as facets.

    You can update multiple tables at one time. When you select OK, the changes for all tables that you've configured are saved. To revert to the default behavior for a table that you previously configured, select Default.


    • If a system customizer deletes a column or makes it no longer searchable, and you've saved a facet for that column, it will no longer show up as a facet.
      • You'll only see the columns that exist in the default solution and that are configured as searchable by your system customizer.