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With the Business Suite Release of CRM 7.0, this enabled a large number of its objects for the Enterprise Search. NetWeaver’s Enterprise Search (ES) product provides a unified search platform for all connected sources, such as R/3 systems, document repositories and reports (e.g. Business Warehouse). In other words, ES provides searching through both structured (e.g. sales order) and unstructured data (e.g. PDF document). The infrastructure for enabling CRM business objects to be searched via ES is provided by the UI Framework group, of which I am a member.

Enterprise Search is of relevance for customers with very large data volumes whose access must occur extremely fast and in a very efficient manner. The backbone of Enterprise Search is TREX, NetWeaver’s search and classification engine which stores the CRM objects on its index. TREX has its own client/server architecture running on a specialized hardware such as Intel’s Xeon quad core 64 bit processors. To ensure high availability and scalability the hardware architecture is a blade server landscape. Individual blades can be added or removed to adapt to increased data volumes with each blade typically containing 2 quad core processors.

What type of search is suported by CRM? Well, it is the type of search you are accustomed to in Google or similar search engines. You simply enter a keyword and you get a list of results matching the searched term you entered. This is called free text search.

CRM has integrated free text search into its Web Client UI which means that you do not have to use NetWeaver’s ES UI. This is a small thing but has the large effect of saving end-users’ time and keeping them as effective as possible in their day-to-day task. Studies have shown that prior to the Enterprise Search capability, approximately 40% of time was spent searching for information. The following screenshot illustrates a free text search.

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CRM has integrated free text search into its Web Client UI which means that you do not have to use NetWeaver’s ES UI. This is a small thing but has the large effect of saving end-users’ time and keeping them as effective as possible in their day-to-day task. Studies have shown that prior to the Enterprise Search capability, approximately 40% of time was spent searching for information.

This is how it would be done:

  1. You sign onto the CRM Web Client UI,
  2. Open the dropdown list (with the downward pointing arrow next to the Saved Searches field,
  3. Select  the menu option Accounts followed by Free Text. The field changes now to Search for Accounts. There you specify your search term, ‘Müller’, and start your search with go. Should the menu option Free Text not be available then it can be either because Accounts has not been connected to Enterprise Search, or there is a temporary breakdown of the connection. Part of the CRM Enterprise Search operations is to ensure that all business objects are searchable.

And this is what your structured results will look like:

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Note that in this example it appears that only persons named ‘Müller’ were searched. In fact all ES relevant attributes were matched against it. ES relevant means indexed on TREX, so this could include name of employer, name of spouse, street name and so on.

If you have kept up with me so far you might be wondering when I am coming to the point at last. Let me assure you that we are just a tick away and it has been absolutely necessary for me to digress a bit in order to put you into the larger picture. Colleagues often complain that developer speak is too cryptic, so there you are, but it comes at the price of baring up…

The Enterprise Search Operations Guide has its origins in the summer of 2008 when the CRM and UI Framework teams tried to make the ES project get a green traffic light, by conducting daily tests, making changes, transporting them and at the same time causing as little distraction as possible. What started as personal notes subsequently amalgamated to this little document: https://wiki.wdf.sap.corp/wiki/display/WEBCUIF/CRM+Enterprise+Search+Operations+Guide

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