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Customizing the content of search indexes

The system provides a way to customize the content that smart search indexes store for pages or objects. You can add external data into the index, or parse and otherwise modify the text that the smart search adds to the index by default. Such customizations allow you to extend and change how the search finds matching results.

To customize the content of indexes, implement event handlers for the following events:

  • DocumentsEvents.GetContent.Execute - occurs before the system writes a page's data into smart search indexes.
  • ObjectEvents.GetContent.Execute - occurs before the system writes the data of objects into search indexes. You can also use <name>Info.TYPEINFO.Events instead of ObjectEvents to handle the GetContent events for specific object types.

The system triggers GetContent events when a page or object is updated and when rebuilding search indexes.

Inside the GetContent event handler methods, you can access the search index content via the Content property of the handler's DocumentSearchEventArgs or ObjectEventArgs parameter (string type).

You need to assign handlers for the events at the beginning of the application's life cycle. Choose one of the following options:

  • During the initialization process of the application itself — use the CMSModuleLoader partial class in the App_Code folder.
  • When initializing custom modules — override the OnInit method of the module class.

Index rebuilding requirements

If you modify the external data that your GetContent event handlers add to the index, the system does not automatically update the content of the corresponding indexes. To ensure that your indexes are up to date after making changes to the external data, you need to manually rebuild the indexes (or set up automatic updating of the search indexes via additional custom code).

For example, if you use GetContent handlers to add user data into page indexes:

  • Saving a page covered by the index updates the content of the index, including the external user data.
  • Saving user objects directly does NOT update the index — a rebuild is required.

 

 

Example - Adding data from a user field to page indexes (DocumentEvents)

Pages in Kentico can have a user assigned as the owner. The following example shows how to add the Description value from the user settings of a page's owner into the search index content of each page.

  1. Open your web project in Visual Studio.
  2. Create a new class in the App_Code folder (or CMSApp_AppCode -> Old_App_Code in the on web application projects). For example, name the class SmartSearchContentLoader.cs.

    using CMS.Base;
    using CMS.DocumentEngine;
    using CMS.Membership;
    
    [SmartSearchContentLoader]
    public partial class CMSModuleLoader
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Attribute class for assigning event handlers.
        /// </summary>
        private class SmartSearchContentLoaderAttribute : CMSLoaderAttribute
        {
            /// <summary>
            /// Called automatically when the application starts.
            /// </summary>
            public override void Init()
            {
                // Assigns a handler to the GetContent event for pages
                DocumentEvents.GetContent.Execute += OnGetPageContent;
            }
    
            private void OnGetPageContent(object sender, DocumentSearchEventArgs e)
            {
                // Gets an object representing the page that is being indexed
                TreeNode indexedPage = e.Node;
    
                // Checks that the page exists
                if (indexedPage != null)
                {
                    // Gets the user object of the page owner
                    UserInfo pageOwner = UserInfoProvider.GetUserInfo(indexedPage.NodeOwner);
    
                    if (pageOwner != null)
                    {
                        // Adds the value of the "Description" field from the owner's user settings into the indexed content
    					// Spaces added as separators to ensure that typical search index analyzers can correctly tokenize the index content
    					e.Content += " " + pageOwner.UserDescription + " ";
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
  3. Save the SmartSearchContentLoader.cs file.
  4. Log in to the Kentico administration interface.
  5. Open the Smart search application and Rebuild your page search indexes.

The search now returns results for pages if the owner's description field matches the search text.

Example - Indexing personal category names for users (ObjectEvents)

Users in Kentico can create personal categories for organizing pages. The following example demonstrates how to customize the search so that the display names of personal categories are included in the content of user indexes.

  1. Open your web project in Visual Studio.
  2. Create a new class in the App_Code folder (or CMSApp_AppCode -> Old_App_Code on web application projects). For example, name the class SmartSearchContentLoader.cs.

    using CMS.Base;
    using CMS.DataEngine;
    using CMS.Membership;
    using CMS.Taxonomy;
    
    [SmartSearchContentLoader]
    public partial class CMSModuleLoader
    {
    	/// <summary>
    	/// Attribute class for assigning event handlers.
    	/// </summary>
    	private class SmartSearchContentLoaderAttribute : CMSLoaderAttribute
    	{
    		/// <summary>
    		/// Called automatically when the application starts.
    		/// </summary>
    		public override void Init()
    		{
    			// Assigns a handler to the GetContent event for user objects			
    			UserInfo.TYPEINFO.Events.GetContent.Execute += OnGetUserContent;
    		}
    
    		private void OnGetUserContent(object sender, ObjectEventArgs e)
    		{
    			// Gets the indexed user object
    			UserInfo indexedUser = (UserInfo)e.Object;
    
    			// Checks that the object exists
    			if (indexedUser != null)
    			{
    				// Gets the personal page categories of the indexed user
    				ObjectQuery<CategoryInfo> personalCategories = CategoryInfoProvider.GetCategories().WhereEquals("CategoryUserID", indexedUser.UserID);
    
    				// Loops through the categories
    				foreach (CategoryInfo category in personalCategories)
    				{
    					// Adds the display name of the category to the user search index
    					// Spaces added as separators to ensure that typical search index analyzers can correctly tokenize the index content
    					e.Content += " " + category.CategoryDisplayName + " ";
    				}
    			}
    		}
    
    	}
    }
  3. Save the SmartSearchContentLoader.cs file.

  4. Log in to the Kentico administration interface.

  5. Open the Smart search application and Rebuild your user indexes.

The search results now include users if the name of at least one of the user's personal page categories matches the search text.

Example - Indexing the names of assigned product options for product pages (DocumentEvents)

The following example shows how to add the names of e-commerce product options into the indexed content for the relevant product pages. Only affects product options in categories of the Products type.

  1. Open your web project in Visual Studio.
  2. Create a new class in the App_Code folder (or CMSApp_AppCode -> Old_App_Code on web application projects). For example, name the class SmartSearchContentLoader.cs.

    using CMS.Base;
    using CMS.DocumentEngine;
    using CMS.DataEngine;
    using CMS.Ecommerce;
    
    [SmartSearchContentLoader]
    public partial class CMSModuleLoader
    {
    	/// <summary>
    	/// Attribute class for assigning event handlers.
    	/// </summary>
    	private class SmartSearchContentLoaderAttribute : CMSLoaderAttribute
    	{
    		/// <summary>
    		/// Called automatically when the application starts.
    		/// </summary>
    		public override void Init()
    		{
    			// Assigns a handler to the GetContent event for pages
    			DocumentEvents.GetContent.Execute += OnGetProductPageContent;
    		}
    
    		private void OnGetProductPageContent(object sender, DocumentSearchEventArgs e)
    		{
    			// Gets an object representing the page that is being indexed
    			TreeNode indexedPage = e.Node;
    
    			// Checks that the page exists and represents a product (SKU)
    			if (indexedPage != null && indexedPage.HasSKU)
    			{
    				// Gets the ID of the SKU
    				int skuId = indexedPage.NodeSKUID;
    
    				// Checks that the SKU has at least one enabled product option
    				if (SKUInfoProvider.HasSKUEnabledOptions(skuId))
    				{
    					// Gets a collection of the SKU's enabled product option categories of the "Products" type
    					InfoDataSet<OptionCategoryInfo> categories = OptionCategoryInfoProvider.GetProductOptionCategories(skuId, true, OptionCategoryTypeEnum.Products);
    
    					// Loops through the product option categories
    					foreach (OptionCategoryInfo category in categories)
    					{
    						// Gets a list of enabled options in the product option category
    						ObjectQuery<SKUInfo> options = SKUInfoProvider.GetSKUOptionsForProduct(skuId, category.CategoryID, true);
    
    						// Loops through the product options
    						foreach (SKUInfo option in options)
    						{
    							// Adds the name of the product option into the indexed content for the product page
    							// Spaces added as separators to ensure that typical search index analyzers can correctly tokenize the index content
    							e.Content += " " + option.SKUName + " ";
    						}
    					}
    				}
    			}
    		}
    
    	}
    }
  3. Save the SmartSearchContentLoader.cs file.
  4. Log in to the Kentico administration interface.
  5. Open the Smart search application and Rebuild your page search indexes.

The search now returns product pages if the search text matches the name of one of the page's product options.