Can we limit the search function to key words and phrases without selecting a product and category?
Service Products and Categories with Answers
It is not necessary to define products and categories for your application. If you do not specify products or categories, the keyword search functionality is still available. However, we generally recommend using products and/or categories as a way to allow your customers and staff to better filter their search results.
Configuring products and categories also allows you to better route your incoming incidents to different staff when using workflow or escalation rules. You might decide to use only one of these fields, Products OR Categories.
Though it is frequently quite beneficial to configure products and/or categories for your application, if you decide to not have products and categories, you will not interfere with the basic functionality of Oracle Service Cloud.
Note: In order for an answer to show up (in the search/answer list page) the answer must have at least one product and one category selected with end-user visibility at the lowest level. There is an exception to this, which is if products or categories are not required, it needs to be made sure that they do not have end-user visibility enabled. i.e. If 'categories' are not required, end-user visibility for every category will need to be disabled in order for answers with no category to appear within search results.
Keep in mind, if you currently have products and categories configured and you delete them from the database, all incidents will be disassociated from the product and category values -- you will not be able to simply restore them by typing them back in.
Multiple interfaces: If you use products or categories with published answers for one interface, you must use the feature with all interfaces in your site. However, you can enable a single product or category that is visible to the interface and assign all of the answers to that value. Then, on the end-user pages, configure your site so that the product or category menu does not display.