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Configuring full-text search

Updated on April 5, 2022

Depending on how your system is configured, developers can search for rules, data instances, and work items, and application users can search for work items. By default, full-text search is enabled for rules.

Full-text search uses an external service hosted by Pega that continuously propagates changes to your application with the queue processor.

The external service requires a Data Model before the indexing starts. The Data Model consists of the application Relevant Records and the Custom Search Properties.

For more information, see Relevant records for rule reuse and Custom search properties.

The Data Model changes are propagated automatically with a delay of a few seconds.

From the Search landing page, you can publish the data model manually, access Custom Search Property configuration, control class reindexing process, and manage fuzzy search configuration. Enabling search requires a configuration of dynamic system settings.

For more information, see Configuring dynamic system settings for search.

Search partially supports role-based access control (RBAC). The search returns objects restricted by RBAC, but they are inaccessible for users.

Indexed classes for Embedded Elasticsearch

Actions that you can perform on indexes depends on the their class type. The following indexed class types are available:

Default indexes
Typeless indexes for Rules-, Data-, and Work- classes.
Dedicated indexes
Per class indexes that return the data type of each returned property.
Custom indexes
Special purpose indexes that are created and managed outside of Dev Studio.

Search index types

Several types of search indexes are available. What you can do on the search landing page for an index is determined by its type.

Default indexes
typeless indexes for Rules-, Data-, and Work-.
Dedicated indexes
per class indexes that return the data type of each returned property.
Custom indexes
special purpose indexes that are created and managed outside of Dev Studio.

Search API

Old versions of search API do not provide the option to use the CONTAINS search method. For example, use the *123 search string to find assignments whose last digits are 123. If you do not use the asterisk, the system retrieves results whose IDs are 123 or that begin with 123, instead of results that include 123.

Work item search considerations

Allowing application users to find work items or work item attachments by using full-text search (in addition to structured searches based on owner, party, or status) has both advantages and costs. Full-text searches:

  • Can reduce the chances that an application user enters a duplicate work item.
  • Do not depend on exposed columns; all of the text is searched.
  • Might increase operator productivity by providing faster access than structured searches.

At the same time, full-text searches might:

  • Produce many results that require further review and qualification.
  • Disclose sensitive work item or work item attachment details to users who otherwise are not authorized to open or review such work.
  • Affect system performance during indexing and searching.

The standard sections @baseclass.FindWork and @baseclass.SearchField support full-text search. If your application uses a composite portal, include one of these sections (or a similar custom section) in your portal.

  • Learning about search indexes

    The Pega-RULES agent rebuilds indexes for Rules-, Data-, and Work- objects continuously. You can disable or enable indexing for these classes based on your system performance. For example, building and maintaining search indexes for work objects typically has a larger effect on performance than building and maintaining search indexes for rules or data instances.

  • Checking search index status

    You can check the status of your index files to see whether they are complete, ready to be used, and enabled for search. This information is useful for troubleshooting and can help you determine whether to reindex the file.

  • Enabling the indexing of classes

    Decide what data you want to make searchable in your application by permitting the system to index specific class types. For example, on the Search landing page, you can index all Work- classes to make work items searchable.

  • Configuring index host nodes

    In a multi-node clustered system, the index files required for search can be hosted on one or more nodes. To ensure high reliability and minimize search query downtime, configure at least two, and preferably three nodes as search host nodes.

  • Viewing the status of an external search service

    If you are using an external Elasticsearch service, you can view the status of the Elasticsearch service endpoint to determine whether it is online or offline. For information about configuring an external Elasticsearch service, see Configuring client-server mode for Elasticsearch on Pega Platform on Pega Community.

  • Rebuilding search indexes

    You can rebuild default or dedicated search indexes if they become corrupted or if they were accidentally deleted. Custom search indexes cannot be deleted from Dev Studio.

  • Integrating with Apache UIMA

    This feature requires advanced integration and Java skills. Visit the Apache UIMA site and contact Pegasystems for additional documentation.

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