Very powerful, very easy!

Custom Fields and what to use them for

Custom fieldmap overview
Even though you are well of for a good start with the 20+ build-in fields in Forward Search, real customization starts with Custom Fields.

The extended Custom Fields is a feature allowing developers to set up Forward Search with up as many custom fields as they desire. The Custom Fields are organized in “fieldmaps” and you can also create as many maps as you desire, and apply different maps to different indexes and sources.  

Custom Fields contain a number of properties that determine how the field is extracted from contents, indexed into the Forward Search index and subsequently extracted and displayed in the result.

Field extraction

Each custom field can be populated in various ways: As of the current version of Forward Search, they can be generated in 10 ways, from extraction of http-equiv and meta-data fields, over HTML5 tags, special div-tags with special classes or tag ids, to constants.

Field indexing

The indexing process contains several steps – tokenizing, storing, indexing and boosting, all parameters that can be set individually for each Custom Field, depending on the specific purpose of the field.

Field extraction / displaying

When fields are accessed as part of a search, they can be utilized for filtering and sorting in several ways – numbers can be binary-sorted yielding very fast range-searches, and special fields like date-time fields can be processed for custom sorting scenarios. When returned as part of the search result, search words can be automatically highlighted using span tags, to improve the usefulness of the result, and likewise, the result can be reduced to fin the result-window, returning the text around the found and highlighted search word.   

Usages of Custom Fields

The extended Custom Fields are used for a plethora of important features signifying a feature rich, well implemented search solution. They can be used for categorizing and grouping similar documents in multi dimensions, for Faceted Search and result refinement, as part of a search driven navigation solution and most obviously as structured information added to, and thus viewable for each indexed document, like street-address, brand-name, department-name, price tag or whichever extra data you would like to expose to the visitor in a special manner, separate from the body text summary of the document.

Field Management

Managing the Custom Fields and fieldmaps is made very easy through our Administration client that provides a simple to use GUI interface with extended tooltips and property validation. Adding a new Custom Field is done in a matter of minutes!