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Discovery Accelerator search terms & syntax

Created: 18 Apr 2006 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 6 comments

Using the default Discovery Accelerator 5.0 SP4 web console, with no customization:
I am not able to find a definitive list of permissible Boolean terms and search operators for D.A., so here are the specific items I have been waiting on a support call to answer...

In a training manual, the minus sign - has been indentified as being a sign for NOT operator. There was no example given for its use and I am getting conflicting results in my testing. To use - as NOT what is the correct syntax?

-baseball (sign and term run together)
- baseball (space in between sign and term)
-"baseball" (sign with term in quotes)
- "baseball" (sign, space, term in quotes)
football -baseball (term A, not term B)

etc?

Is it possible to extend the search using the NOT operation? For example, my users want to be able to search for (any of A, B, or C) NOT (any ofD, E, or F). Hits should consist of anything with terms A B or C but no hits should contain any of D E or F.

The users may also want to search along the lines of (A B or C) OR (D, E, or F) NOT (X, Y, Z).

How much can be done outside of customizing the search tool or using scripts to customize the searches? There doesn't seem to be any user-oriented documentation other than the training manual, and that manual only has specific examples for wild card searches using *

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Jason Szeto's picture

I've never used the Not operator before, I do know that each search term you have should be on their own line in the DA search boxes. Also I would think the Not operator would be minus no space search term.

So if searching for football and not baseball it should look like this.

football
-baseball

Skee Leonard's picture

I've asked the question to support multiple times, about boolean searches, and have always been told that they can't be done. You can do as indicated, put different terms in a list, but using NOT and OR operators don't work. I would love to be wrong on this one or for them to be wrong.

Jason Sylvester 2's picture

Using minus sign does indeed seem to work as a NOT operator, I ran a better test:

All of:
football
points
-touchdown

and got a number of hits that did indeed have the word football and points, but not the word touchdown (its amazing how many people in our org run/play in fantasy football leagues and dont use hotmail for it)

Testing a second search with
All of:
football
-points
-touchdown

did correctly exclude emails that the first search found.

The reason I couldn't verify that - as NOT works is because a previous search using only NOT critera came up with so many hits that D.A. could not display the search results. So I would say that using NOT has to be limited by including positive criteria also to avoid too much signal/noise...

Jason Szeto's picture

Cool. That's definitely good to know. Thanks for posting your results.

Skee Leonard's picture

That is cool, I'm glad to know that support didn't have this one correct.

Jason Sylvester 2's picture

From my support incident, I learned that this feature is not officially supported in version 5 of DA, it is in the code but it's definitely in the category of "use at your own risk" which might explain why it sometimes worked and sometimes seemed a little flakey when I was trying to test it....