Search for records in an app

You can search for records across multiple entities by using Relevance search or Categorized search in Common Data Service.

  • Relevance search delivers fast and comprehensive results across multiple entities, in a single list, sorted by relevance. It uses a dedicated search service external to Common Data Service (powered by Azure) to boost search performance.
  • Categorized search returns search results grouped by entity types, such as accounts, contacts or leads.

Normally, Categorized search is the default search option. However, if Relevance search is enabled by your organization, it becomes the default search experience.

To find records of one type only, you can use the Quick Find View in the entity's grid.

With Categorized Search (also called multi-entity quick find), you can search records that begin with a specific word or use a wildcard.

  • Begins with: Results include records that begin with a specific word. For example, if you want to search for “Alpine Ski House,” type alp in the search box; if you type ski, the record won’t show up.

  • Wildcard: For example, *ski or *ski*.

    Note

    Using a wildcard at the beginning of your Quick Find (single or multi-entity) search query may result in slower performance.

Relevance Search is available in addition to other Common Data Service searches you are already familiar with. You can continue using single-entity Quick Find on the entity grid or Multi-Entity Quick Find (called Categorized Search, if you have Relevance Search enabled). For more comprehensive and faster results, we recommend using Relevance Search.

Relevance Search brings the following enhancements and benefits:

  • Improves performance with external indexing and Azure search technology.

  • Finds matches to any word in the search term in any field in the entity. Matches can include inflectional words like stream, streaming, or streamed.

  • Returns results from all searchable entities in a single list sorted by relevance, based on factors like number of words matched or their proximity to each other in the text.

  • Highlights matches in the result list.

  • You'll find search results for text in a document that is stored in Common Data Service, 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.

  • You can search for records that are shared with you and records that you own.

    Note

    Hierarchical security models aren't supported. Even if you see a row in Common Data Service because you have access to it through hierarchical security, you won't see the result in Relevance Search.

  • You can also search for option sets 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 field, which is a searchable option set.

    Because your results might include a mix of entities, you can narrow your search results to a specific entity by selecting an entity in the Filter with drop-down list. When you filter on a specific record type, you can include activities and notes related to the selected record in your search results. To do that, select the Search activities and notes for selected records check box to the right of the Filter with drop-down list. The check box is selected after you select a record in the Filter with drop-down list; it is cleared if you didn't select an entity in the Filter with list. The activities and notes are returned as top-level results.

    Note

    • Relevance Search is disabled by default. Your administrator needs to enable it for the organization. After Relevance Search is enabled, you might have to wait up to an hour or more, depending on the size of your organization, before you start seeing Relevance Search results for your apps. Smaller changes in indexed data can take up to 15 minutes to show up in your system.
    • Enabling Relevance Search allows all users in the organization to use it.
    • Relevance search is text-based, and can search only on fields of type Single Line of Text, Multiple Lines of Text, Option Sets, or Lookups. It doesn't support searching in fields of Numeric or Date data type.

Although Relevance Search finds matches to any word in the search term in any field in an entity, in Quick Find—even with full-text search enabled—all words from the search term must be found in one field.

In Relevance Search, the better the match, the higher it appears in the results. 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 the same words found in a large article, far apart from each other. Because the results are returned in a single list, you can see a mix of records displayed one after another, such as accounts, opportunities, leads, and so on. The matched words in the list are highlighted.

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. More information about syntax you can use in your search queries: Simple query syntax in Azure Search

Note

You'll see hit highlights when your search term matches a term in your app. The hit highlights appear as bold and italicized text in your search results. These are often returned as a portion of the full value in a field because only the matched terms are highlighted.

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

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

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

    Switch between Relevance and Categorized search

Set a default experience

If your organization has turned on both search options then 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.

    Select default search experience

  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

  1. From the top nav bar, select the Search button.

  2. Type your search words in the search box and then select Search button.

    Search option

Filter Categorized Search results

  • To filter results by one record type, on the search screen, choose a record type from the Filter with: drop-down box.

  • To search against all record types, choose None in the Filter with: drop-down box.

    Filter Search

With Common Data Service, you can now refine your search results by using facets and filters. Facets are available in the left pane. Immediately after you perform a search, the following global facets are available for four common fields:

  • Record Type

  • Owner

  • Created On

  • Modified On

Record Type facets

To narrow your search results to a specific entity, select the entity under the Record Type section.

Record Type facet to narrow the search results

When you filter on a specific record type, you can include activities and notes that are related to the selected record 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 record type in the search results

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

When you refine by record type, the facet scope switches to the selected entity, and up to four facets that are specific to the entity are shown. For example, if you select the Account entity, 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 or customer 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, option sets, and record types are text-based facets. For example, the text-based facet Owner consists of a list of field 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 15 top facet values. Select each value to filter the search results to show only records where the field has the value you've selected. For example, if you select Kim Abercrombie, the search results will show all records where the owner is Kim Abercrombie. When you select a Lookup or Option Set facet value, search results are filtered to only include records 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

Facets and filters let you drill into and explore the results of your current search without having to repeatedly refine your search term. Configure the facets and filters you want in the Set Personal Options dialog box.

Note

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

To configure facets for yourself

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

    Select default search experience

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

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

    • In the Select Entity drop-down list, select an entity you want to configure facets for. This drop-down list contains only the entities that are enabled for Relevance Search.

    • For the selected entity, select up to four facet fields. By default, the first four facetable fields in the Quick Find view for the selected entity are selected in the list. At any time, you can only have four fields selected as facets.

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

    Note

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