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Searching differences between answers and incidents
Answer ID 1222   |   Last Review Date 12/19/2018

Why are the searching options different when searching for answers than when searching for incidents in the administrative console? 


Phrase Searching


Answer searching: By default, the end-user pages include the four search techniques listed below, which provide for a range of knowledge and skill levels among users:

  • Phrases: basic word-stemmed searching 

  • Exact Phrases: searching for a set of exact words (does not support logical operators) 

  • Similar Phrases: searching using approximate phrases, such as misspelled words 

  • Complex Expression: word-stemmed searching for partial phrases using logical operators and wildcards

All four of these methods are available for use on the administrative pages when searching for answers -- primarily because they are available to your site visitors as well. This allows your knowledge engineers the same search functionality that is available to your end-users.

Phrases, exact phrases, and similar phrases searching are generally less powerful than complex expression searching, and are geared more toward end-users. Having these search options available on the administration pages helps a knowledge engineer determine how well end-users will be able to find certain answers, by testing for seeded keywords, for example.

Incident searching: With incidents, the Summary/Thread (search_thread) search option uses the complex expression search method. This is is the same technique available as a selection when searching for answers.

The complex expression method is the only technique that supports wildcard searching. Word-stemming and logical operators are also supported. This makes complex expression searching the most complete and versatile of the searching options. It is due to this versatility that it is used as the default search technique for searching the Summary fields and discussion thread of incidents.

By restricting the search options available with incidents, the phrases table is significantly reduced in size which allows for quicker search functionality.

If you would like to approximate multi-word phrase searching (exact phrase searching) with incidents, use a plus sign prior to each word in the phrase, for example, +firstword +nextword +lastword. This search will result in all incidents that include all three of the words listed.

If you choose a different operator such as "Not Equals" the report will still run as if "complex expression" was chosen, also if you want to negate a search word that you can do so by adding a negative symbol "-" to the word.  For instance if you search on:


The search will only return incidents that do not include "thisword"

Note: A description of the search techniques can be found on the Advanced Search window by clicking the 'Search Tips' link.