Kentico CMS 8 Smart Search: Latest technologies, more built-in functions, more extensibility

Are you looking for a way how to extend your search indexes with a synonym search, stemming support or you want to set up a typo-tolerant search with just one click? Or maybe you want to index the content of your documents' attachments without the need of setting up the SQL attachment search?

Maybe just stop googling for a while and read what's new in Smart Search module in version 8! :-)
Latest Lucene .NET library support
Smart Search is running now on the top of the latest Lucene .NET library (version 3.0.3) which makes you possible to use it's new features for your own customization. Moreover, the new architecture of Smart Search module allow much easier way of upgrading to new versions of Lucene .NET library or integration with other external indexing or search services without the need to wait for next CMS version.

Predictive search functionality
Predictive search displays results immediately while users type search expressions. The predictive search functionality is implemented into the Smart search box web part. When a user stops typing in the search box for 0.5 seconds, the web part runs a search request for the current text.

Built-in indexing of documents attachment content
Document indexes can now be configured to index also the content of the document attachments. All the most common documents extractors are already built-in the system and ready to be used out-of-the-box (txt, csv, pdf, docx, xlsx, pptx, xml, html, htm). Of course, you can add your own custom text extractors for documents which are not yet supported very easily and extend the indexing capabilities even further!

Typo-tolerant (fuzzy) search
In version 8, you can configure the smart search to return results for words that are only approximate matches. Typo-tolerant searching allows users to get correct results even if there are misspelled words in the search expression.

Support of stemming
Stemming is the removal of suffixes from words. If you create your search indexes using stemming analyzers (all the basic analyzers have their stemming variants in v8), the search matches words that have the same basic meaning, but different inflection. For example, when user is searching for word "conditional", the search will also hit the documents containing word "conditions" as the two terms share the same stem.

Synonym search
Along with already supported "Any word", "All words" and "Exact phrase", version 8 smart search web parts allow your users to search also for synonyms of the words defined in the search query. Search requests that use the "Any word or synonyms" search mode allow users to find a wider set of results based on synonyms. The synonym search works by expanding all words in the search expression into a list of synonyms. For example, when searching for the words "search assistance", the synonym search expands the expression to: "search explore hunt hunting look lookup research seek assistance aid assist help"

Search tasks administration tab
Rebuilding the index is a resource demanding and therefore time consuming process. If something goes wrong during task processing, your administrators want to know what so they can fix it. In previous versions, you had to go to the DB manually and check the search tasks raw data which was not a very comfortable way.

We fixed that in version 8 and built UI where you can manage search tasks created in your instance. You can also see the progress of index rebuilding and see what's happening, how much data was already processed and how much remains.

Built-in on-line form data indexes
Although it was already possible to build a search index over on-line form data using general index and few customizations, in version 8, we introduced new built-in "On-line form data" index type which makes the searching over your custom forms data extremely easy and within just few mouse clicks.

New document crawler settings
Now it is possible to easily set the user and the domain for which the crawler index get the data.

That would be all for now. What do you think about these features? Tell me in the comments! We always appreciate your feedback.
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Harald Scheper commented on

Nice features, but I would like to know if it is possible to boost the ranking of the Document Name (or another field like Menu Title) to make sure that pages with the search words in the title get listed first?

Christian Wingeier commented on

This looks really nice! But I'm missing one feature: Will it be possible to do a search like "*search" with the wildcard character at the beginning? IMHO that would be an improvement which makes the smart search whole.

Ilesh Mistry commented on

This is really exciting stuff and I can't wait to use it! Our clients also ask about the predictive text search and also searching in documents. This is a really handy feature in Kentico :)

Shannon Dunn commented on

Nice features and abilities. One thing we desperately need is the ability to promote certain articles and content based on keywords or ranking. Any way in the new engine to do that?

Bryan Soltis commented on

Awesome stuff, Stepan! We are always asked by customers for predictive search and more functionality than SmartSearch previously had. These changes will definitely be useful in every project!

stepank-kentico commented on

Hi! All the features will work for any language - the system is prepared for that. However, the stemming and synonym expansion include only English dictionaries by default (you need to download your language dictionaries for the features to work correctly for your language).

d.jachnik-supremo commented on

Features are very nice and useful, but how with other languages like polish ? Does it will work ?