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Indexing Service Query Language.

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The syntax you use to query Indexing Service depends entirely on how you are doing it. Basically, all queries submitted to Indexing Service with the ixsso interface take the form of a string (queries with the ado providers for VB.Net and C#.Net or C++.Net use SQL syntax, but its still a string). It can be as simple as :-

Dog and Cat
(finds all documents with the words Dog and Cat in them)

All the way to…..

(@write > 2000/01/01) and (@ filename animals) and (@contents {weight value=1.0} Dog {near dist = 200, unit = word} {weight value=0.5} Cat not Hot)

(finds all documents on the system that contain the words ‘Cat’ and ‘Dog’ but not the word ‘Hot’, and that have the word ‘animals’ in the filename, and that have been modified since the 1st Jan 2000. Also treat the word ‘Dog’ as twice as important as ‘Cat’)

The last sample is far to complicated for most end users to work with, so it is the developers job to come up with a way of getting the functionality of the second example by having a user type in the words in the first example and possibly choose a couple of items from a menu.

Ensure Indexing Service is running, right click on you’re my computer icon, then click on ‘Manage’. Expand out ‘Services and Applications’ then expand out ‘Indexing Service’. Expand out one of your catalog's, then click on “Query the Catalog. The Indexing Service Query Form will now load. You can use this to try some queries of your own.

If you are using Windows 2000 or later then your installation of Indexing Service should operate in free text mode by default (e.g. dialect 2). That means that if you entered the words “Dog Cat” as a query indexing service would just give you back all documents that contained the words Dog and/or Cat, rating them by how many times the words appeared in each document.

(Dialect 1 is now obsolete, it is the syntax that was used pre windows 2000 Indexing Service. Under Dialect 1 a search for “Cat Dog” would of only given you documents with that exact phrase in. E.G. it operated in phrase mode by default, not free text mode like Dialect 2)

To submit a query programmatically to Indexing Service a developer has to build up a string within their application, submit the query, and then process the results. As already seen the string can just be a couple of key words or an awful lot more.

If you just want to type in keywords then you can just type away and hit 'Search'. However, if you want to build a query string by hand that will involve querying a documents properties as well as its contents then I recommend you put each section into a block encased by brackets and joined by an AND, OR or NOT .

E.G. (@contents dog cat ) and (@write -1m)

A good front end application like CI Search will do this for you, so all you have to do is type in your keywords / query text and choose some options from a few drop down box's.

If the application is particularly clever like CISearch then it will even optimize the query for you ensuring you always receive the results you want.

Some examples of operators you can use include ( ‘---‘ indicates variable content)


(@contents -------- ) = contents of the document must comply with this section

keywords only e.g. = (@contents dog cat )

keywords joined by operators ( and , or , not , near), e.g. = (@contents dog and cat )

An exact phrase encased in quotes e.g. (@contents "dog cat” )

Keywords joined by the ‘near’ operator with extended criteria = (@contents dog {near dist = 200, unit = word} cat )

(@ filename ------ ) = filename must contain these characters

similar to @contents

(@write ------ ) = modified date must match this criteria

Dates must either be in the form of YY/MM/DD, or YYYY/MM/DD.

Documents modified in the last 7 days = (@write -7d)

Documents modified in the last week = (@write -1w)

Documents modified in the last month = (@write -1m)

Documents modified in the last year = (@write -1y)

Documents modified since 2001/01/01 = (@write > 2001/01/01)

Documents modified before 2001/01/01 = (@write < 2001/01/01)

Documents modified between 2001/01/01 and the 2002/01/01 = (@write > 2001/01/01 & < 2002/01/01)

(@size ------ ) = file size must match this criteria

Size greater than 1000000 bytes = (@size > 1000000)

Size less than 2000000 bytes = (@size < 2000000)

Size between 1000000 bytes and 2000000 bytes = (@size > 1000000 and < 2000000 )

(@docauthor ------) = document author must match this criteria

Document author must match 'Fred Smith' = (@docauthor Fred Smith)

AND, NOT, OR, NEAR :-

While you won't find these words in an Indexing Service catalog as they are noise words, they are so much more than that. They can radically alter a query and the entire way it executes.. take the following for example.

Dog and Cat
(finds all documents with the words Dog and Cat in them)

Dog or Cat
(finds all documents with the words Dog and/or Cat in them)

Dog not Cat
(finds all documents with the word 'Dog' in as long as they do not have 'Cat' in them)

Now that is fairly simple, but it is about to get interesting.

Dog near Cat

That would return all documents where both Dog and Cat were present AND were within 150 words of each other. Ranking is then not only done on how many times the words appear, but how close they are to each other is also taken into account.

Dog {near dist = 200, unit = word} Cat

This would override the defaults for 'near' and instead of 150 words being the max distance between the keywords, 200 would be.

AND, OR and NOT can all be used to both join keywords, exact phrases, and date criteria etc together inside blocks , as well as to join together different blocks.

NEAR should only ever be used to join together Keywords and exact phrases inside a contents block.