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I’m part of a team in SAP specializing in search applications. The team is working on various integrations of search with different web systems, for both SAP internal network systems and SAP internet sites.

We are working to improve the SCN experience. One of the biggest challenges of any social site is finding what you are looking for. A good search application improves drastically the way users consume content and improves productivity. The SCN search is powered by the global SAP search application available at http://search.sap.com. This application is used on other SAP sites, such as http://help.sap.com. In addition, we have integrations with other SAP web applications such as EcoHub, SAP Support Notes and other areas such as sap.com. The goal is to have familiar search experience and one place to find content across the SAP EcoSystem.

We are currently focused on customizing the site search application to better accomodate the needs of SCN users. In this post I will summarize the immediate enhancements we are rolling out, in addition to the longer term initiatives to bring a better search experience.

Recent improvements

The first pain point we identified was the fact that not all content was indexed, and in some cases content which was indexed could not be found by the users. We fixed problems in the content visibility and added new data types such as people (Currently ‘SCN Member’).

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 12.37.51 PM.png

In the picture above you can see a new value under the Asset Type filter: “SCN Member”. By selecting it you are searching only the list of SCN users.

The second pain point we addressed is the ability to search for content in a specific space – until today there was no way to filter out content from other spaces we are not interested in. This caused non relevant search results to appear at the top of the list (in some cases) because the only option was to search over all SCN content base, which is, as you know – HUGE.

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 12.39.51 PM.png

To search in a specific space, just select one of the spaces under the space filter. When you click more, you will see more values and the advanced features, where you can:

  1. Search within the values by text.
  2. Sort values either by number of documents associated with each value or alphabetically.
  3. Navigate to the next 50 values.

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 11.58.54 AM.png

For example i want to search for the term “api” in the “SAP netweaver application server” space. So i will open the advanced filter features window on the space filter, and type “sap netweaver” in the text box, then out of the results found select the “SAP NetWeaver Application Server”. Then we can search for any term within the contents of this space and all the discussions, blogs, documents contained in this space.

                                                                                Try it out by clicking this link!

Screen Shot 2012-05-31 at 12.41.58 PM.png

Next step will be to put additional search box on the SCN space page, which will take you to search application with the space preselected based on where you are.

Enhancements we are working on*

Other features which will be rolled out in the future are:

1. Easier ways to find spaces.

2. Real time autocomplete to enable faster content browsing.

3. More metadata indexed for better search results.

4. Enhancements to the results UI.

5. Faster availability of new content in the search application.

..and this is just the start. We will continue to listen to our community for ideas and proposals for improving the whole platform including the SCN search experience. You can use the Idea Place – SAP Community Network Improvements to post any idea or proposal.

* All new features are dependant on the priorities given by the SCN Community Ops

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38 Comments

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  1. Jason Lax

    These are some really nice enhancements, especially the ability to search a single space. SCN members can use this to determine if their query has already been asked and answered before 🙂 .

    Keep up the great work.

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  2. Ludek Uher

    Very cool I’ve actually been using the Space search already and it is of tremendous help.

    One thing I wonder about (I asked, never got an answer, other than; mutter, mutter, too much data…). Why do we have to select “search all of SAP” if we want to search for a KB (e.g.; 1681116)?

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    1. Jason Lax

      Hi Ludek,

      There’s a known issue about the KB (aka SAPNOTES) not appearing in SCN results.  They’ll hopefully be back soon.

      Jason

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  3. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Alon, thanks for the blog. Is there a way to have “multiple selection” filter (not sure what’s the proper term)? E.g. to search ABAP and SD forum at the same time, but not others? Such filter is now frequently used on the large shopping web sites (e.g. Amazon).

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    1. Alon Aizenberg Post author

      Hi Jelena

      Currently we don’t have this feature, as this a relatevly for advanced users 🙂 , we concentrated and more common features.

      We have it on our list, but i don’t know when and if it will be implemented.

      thanks for you feedback

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      1. Tobias Hofmann

        “Advanced users”? “more common features”?

        How come that searching a term over related spaces is not a common feature? If I have to search for, lets say user management, I expect from a faceted search that it allows me to narrow through the search results, specially that with SCN there are a lot of spaces where the answer may be hidden (java, abap, sso, idm, and other space where user management is a topic). If not I have to execute the search 5 or 10 times, including de-selecting and selecting a new space.

        Please put this feature on the urgent list, please!

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        1. Elad Rosenheim

          Hi Tobias,

          Sorry for this late remark – I didn’t want to write till I was sure, but this is well on track now.

          I’ll also drop a note here when the features go-live soon.

          Elad

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  4. Faraz Siddiqui

    Just the thing I was looking for and kind of frustrated over. Ability to search based on a space. Thanks for adding it. Keeps the life simple.

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  5. Paul Gray

    Could I suggest removing the “feature” where search returns results for words not in my search

    For example, if I search for “hana” and  “crash” i get results with “hand” and “cash”,”hang” and “cash”, “clash”,…

    These results are not useful and make it hard to find the results that are.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    1. Alon Aizenberg Post author

      Hi Paul

      This happens due to fuzzy search algorithm we use while searching. Today we use a relatively low fuzzy factor, which will find documents even if they are a bit differ then the original search term. We will increase the fuzzy factor in our next iteration of the application, so you should see less irrelevant results, But we will continue to use the fuzzy algorithm, so information is found even when term is misspelled or has typos in it.

      Thanks for your feedback

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  6. Gopalan Vasudevan

    When i can expect to search by text in content section under particular place / space? . As of now i see filter by tag option available.

    Regards

    Vasu

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    1. Elad Rosenheim

      Hi Vasudeven,
      We had a few rounds of trying to fix this, and now we’re testing the (hopefully) final patch for enabling “filter by text” with good performance.
      If that’s actually the ultimate fix, I’d be glad to announce it here…

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  7. Abdel Serna

    Gotta love the option to narrow the search.  I was looking for “Warehousing”, and all the “Data Warehousing” hits were a bit of a problem to sort through/out.  I’ve clicked on the Logistics space only and it was done!

    Thanks

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  8. Zameer Ahamad

    Space specific search is very useful.Following note

    (2081285 – How to get best results from an SAP search) is also very useful to cover some of the searching technic in service market place.


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