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Search Operators

You can improve the relevance of the records returned by your search requests by using search operators. Operators allow you to specify how the data you specify in the search field should match the data in the records retrieved. There are two types of test operators you can specify:

  • Relational, which allow you to search numeric or short text fields
  • Inclusive, which allow you to search long text (or document) fields

The following table shows the types of test operators that can be used on the various kinds of fields.

Field Type Operator Type Test Operator Sample Search Values
Numeric Relational = 1957, Green
Short Text Relational or Inclusive
Long Text (document) Inclusive Has, Phrase Is  Watermelon; Content management

Relational Operators

The relational operators search numeric or short text fields, comparing numeric or alphabetic values. Relational operators are most often used to compare values to the entire contents of the field. The following table shows the relational operators and their meanings.

Operator Searches For
= An exact match of your search value
<= Less than or equal to your search value
< Less than your search value
> Greater than your search value
>= Greater than or equal to your search value
^= Not equal your search value

Inclusive Operators

The inclusive operators are designed to let you search for word(s) that occur anywhere in a text field. To fully understand the functions of the inclusive operators, you must know the definitions of stopwords, keywords and context units. Stopwords are small, common words that have little or no retrieval value, such as the, a, of, and for. Keywords are any valid search terms; they are words or numbers that have not been designated as stopwords. Stopwords are generally not indexed and cannot be retrieved. Context units are meaningful groupings of words (for example, a common context unit is a sentence or paragraph).

Operator Searches For
has A special operator that adjusts to represent any other search operator based on the most appropriate test for the field and index type. Your System Administrator can configure this operator. By default, the has search operator represents the default search operator for the field type. For example, the default search operator for a text field is includes, so the has operator performs an inclusive search on a text field.
any keywords Any keywords in any order
all keywords All keywords in any order within a context unit (for example, 'term1'&'term2')
exact phrase All keywords and stopwords in exact order and position

Using Mixed Operators in Search Values

You can combine OR (,) and AND (&) operators in search field values to specify a relationship between multiple terms. For example, valid field values with mixed operators include the following

  • 1 & 3 & 5 , 7
  • 'sand', 'sun' & 'sea'
  • ((10,20)&30&40),50,60

Also, you can use parentheses to delineate groups or establish an order in which search values are processed. Parentheses are processed from the left to the right, and nested parentheses are processed starting with the first pair.

Mixed operator searches must conform to the following rules:

  • The search values must all be numeric or character values; you cannot mix both in the same field.
  • If you specify a list of character strings, none of the character strings can be stopwords.