InstantForum Search Options


InstantForum Question
I'm trying to figure out what each Search Option means, so I can get the best results of my search.

1) Search using "All Keywords"

2) Search using "Any Keyword"

3) Search using "Exact Match"

Also would like to know the difference between Search Type Options

1) ContainsTable (Free-Text)

2) FreeTextTable (Free-Text)
InstantForum Question

Hi There,

Thank you for your post. Hopefully the following answers will help...

1) Search using "All Keywords"

Only articles containing ALL keywords and search strings will be returned.

2) Search using "Any Keyword"

Articles that contain any of the keywords you specified will be returned.

3) Search using "Exact Match"

Only articles containing the exact string you enter in the box, will be returned.

Also would like to know the difference between Search Type Options

1) ContainsTable (Free-Text)

Performs a database Contains-Table search, where the database engine is used to search for the terms you entered and combinations thereof, much like an ALL keywords search above, but faster, only if the DB is configured for this option.

2) FreeTextTable (Free-Text)

Performs a database FreeText search, where the database engine is used to search for the terms you entered and combinations thereof, much like an ANY keywords search above, but faster, only if the DB is configured for this option.

I hope these clarifications help!

Kindest Regards,

James Trott

Thank You.  That clarifies a lot.

FYI, I just ran a test of FreetextTable versus ContainsTable for four related search terms in our KB instance.  FreeText looked to be the clear winner on # of results and generally better on # ranked 100% relevant, but I wonder why.  Here are the results:

                              Freetext:                                       ContainsTable
Search term            # hits     # 100% relevant            # hits   # 100% relevant

mail merge              89             5                                   40             4
mailmerge               27             1                                   27             4
e-mail merge          89              5                                   34             1
email merge           146            1                                   12             3

Has anyone else seen a pattern like this?  Can anyone say why it would turn out this way based on how these functions work?  I'm curious!

You're welcome.  By the way and as a follow up:  after the first of the year I noticed that Advanced Search results for ANY, ALL and EXACT MATCH with FREETEXT were all returning the same results.  When I changed over to CONTAINS I got different results in the order expected:  most returns for ANY, fewer for ALL, fewer still for EXACT MATCH.  The results for ANY with CONTAINS essentially matched those I got with FREETEXT for all the advanced search options.  

From reading through SQL books I learned that the FREETEXT function does not take the parameters used for all terms or for exact matches, instead it is essentially a wildcard search for any of the terms, with ranking based on how many terms are matched.  CONTAINS on the other hand does take these parameters.  I've alerted InstantASP to these differences and suggested a tool tip or other guidance to let users know that choosing FREETEXT as a search method means the advanced search options for ALL and EXACT are not available.

I have since changed over to CONTAINS, both for the KB and the forum which we also use. 

 The other thing I noticed is that with CONTAINS the quick search options search on ALL terms.  If you want to search on ANY or EXACT MATCH you have to specify them in the advanced search. 

You're welcome!  Any time we can share useful ideas it's a good thing.

When I do a search for "End of Month" without the quotes I get results that contain any combination of the words or line.  I don't get results that contain only the line as it is stated.  If I put quote marks on the line, I get zero results.

What is the correct way to search?

Hi TheoThomas,

Hope your very well. Our search odes not work quite like Google. That's a great suggestion of course and we will be in future updates modifying this to allow for quotes to search for the exact term.

For now you would need to use the Advanced Search and use the ALL, ANY or Exact match drop down list to determine how search terms are broken up. If you use the ALL option this will only return results that contain all the keywords you entered. 

I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to respond I can assist further,

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Kindest Regards,

Ryan Healey



ryan@instantasp.co.uk
www.instantasp.co.uk
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Thanks for the reply and its great you are considering the quote option.

I have tried the Advanced Search and this is the situation - we have only a few hundred articles and searching for the exact words like "end of year" without quote marks gives, 15 results

This was my standard setting to get 15 results:

Search Options:
using: al keywords, within: all, type: , 
Comments:
at least: 0
Refine user search:
begins with: all member groups, from...
Sort results
by: last modified, in: DESC order, with: 10 per page

These results will all have the words "end of year" in it but only a few will have them as part of a sentence.  A lot of "end of month" articles end up in this result group, as it only needs the word "year" in the document as well.

Change to "using: any keywords" and of course you get 145 results - which is not surprising but

Change to "using: exact match" I expected this be the solution but it gives 0 results!

If I go back to "using: al keywords" and change "within: all" to "only: tags" I get 2 results which is probably the correct answer.

I realise I can use the only: tags to solve my issue but not everyone who writes articles will remember to add useful tags.  Mostly I am surprised at the "using: exact match" result - or am I reading it incorrectly?

Thanks for you help

GO

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