I’m a member of a search project team in SAP IT. We are working on integrations of search into web systems, internally into the intranet portal as well as externally, e.g. for help.sap.com, Business Center and for SCN. We implemented some special enhancements and adaptations of the search functionality for SCN and we are constantly working on improvements and adding more searchable content.

Alon Aizenberg provided an excellent overview in his SCN search enhancements blog and Vasco Miranda introduced the OpenSearch API in his great blog about OpenSearch on SCN. In this blog I’d like to add some hints on how to make best use of SCN search and it’s features.

Header Search Box – Select the search scope!

SCN header search box.jpg

You can start your search by using the search box in the SCN header or by calling the SAP search URL http://search.sap.com/. In the SCN header you can decide if you want to restrict the search on content from SCN or if you are interested in all available SAP content. Submitting your search query opens the search results page.

Search Results Page – Dive into the results and features!

The search results page displays the search results from all the connected repositories. At the time of this writing the following content is integrated into the SAP search:

We are constantly looking for relevant content and adding new repositories to the search, so please check regularly!

SCN search results page - commented - small.jpg

Within the search results page you will find:

  1. SCN page header to navigate within SCN
  2. Filter search results to narrow down the search results based on pre-defined categories
  3. Search box to enter search terms and start new searches
  4. Results count showing the number of results and the displayed results range
  5. Sort options to sort the search results
  6. Best Bets showing suggested search results based on your search query
  7. Search results listing relevant results from the connected repositories based on your search query
  8. Sponsored Content showing promoted search results based on your search query

SCN page header – Log in to find more!

The header shows the logged in user. If you are not logged in, you will see login and registration links. The search checks your permissions and only returns results that you are allowed to see based on your SCN role and the groups you are a member of. So it’s recommended to log on to see all possible results. If you are not registered yet, you should consider to register now to make best use of SCN and the search.

Filter search results – Narrow down the results!

The filter section lists facet filter results based on predefined categories. The most important filters are:

  • Source – lists the different repositories that are providing search results. If you selected “Search the community” in the SCN header, the source “SAP Community Network (SCN)” will be selected, restricting the search to results from the SCN community. To show results from all connected repositories you can deselect the filter.
  • Asset Type – lists the different search result types, like e.g. Blogs, Discussions, Support Notes, People, …
  • Language – lists the languages of content in the search results
  • Date – allows filtering based on the last modification date of the search results

But there are a lot more filters. Once you select a filter value you may see context-sensitive filters. E.g. if you select the source value “SAP Community Network (SCN)” you will find additional filters, e.g. the “Space” filter which allows you to restrict your search to a specific SCN space.

The filters are collapsible and most of them are closed by default. You can open collapsed filters by clicking the small arrow in front of the filter name.

If the filter doesn’t show the value you are looking for, you can click the “more” link to open a popup dialog showing an expanded list of results. Here you can search for a specific value or sort the filter results alphabetically and page through the results.

For more information about the SCN filters please read the SCN search enhancements blog.

Search Box – Use quotes for exact search!

The search application performs a full text search on the title, the description and the content of the documents and tries to find results that contain all of the entered search terms in the document. The search is fuzzy and might bring back results with minor variations to what you entered. To perform an exact search for a given word or phrase, enclose the query term in quotes, like .e.g. “software logistics”. This will turn off the fuzziness and stop returning variations of the query term and for terms it will only return results that contain the exact term with it’s words in the exact order.

Sort Options – Sort and understand the ranking!

The sort options dropdown menu lists the available sort options. By default the results are sorted by relevance but you can choose to sort the results by date or rating.

For the relevance sort order you should know that the relevance is calculated based on the number of hits of the search query words in the search results. Hits in the title are rated highest, followed by hits in the description and finally hits in the content. More hits usually result in a higher ranking and a number of hits in a short document are more relevant that the same number of hits in a long document.

Best Bets – Check the most relevant results!

If you search the SCN community you might see Best Bets results listed above the regular results list. These are important results picked by the SCN content team for some of the most common search terms.

Search Results – Use the information!

The search result list displays the results matching your search query and filter settings. You can restrict the list using the filters and sort the results with the sort options. The list presents 10 results per page and you can page through the results using the paging controls at the bottom of the search page.

The search results are presented with the title which is a link to the result, a list of properties and a list of content snippets with the searched words highlighted. The properties can be different based on the result type, but it always starts with the result type in bold. For most SCN results this is usually followed by the author and the last modification date.

search result.jpg

Sponsored Content – Promoted content for you!

In the right column you may find a list of sponsored content results. These are promoted results that might be interesting for you based on the given search term.

OpenSearch – Another way of using the search!

An additional way to use the SAP search is the OpenSearch API that allows you to integrated the search into your browser search box or to consume search results with an RSS reader. Please refer to the great blog provided by Vasco Miranda to learn more about this topic.

Bookmarkable URL – Save and share your search settings!

Please note that all your search settings, the search query, the selected filters, the sort order and the paging status are reflected in the URL. You can bookmark the URL to come back later and open the search with exactly the same settings. And you can send or post the URL to allow someone else to open the same search. But please note two important things:

  1. If someone else opens the URL and logs on to SCN the list of results might be different due to different permissions.
  2. Opening the URL at a later point in time might bring up different results because of content changes.

I hope that the information provided in this blog will help you to get a deeper understanding of the SCN search and it’s features. Try it out and make best use of it. It’s created to help you find what you are looking for and we are constantly working on improvements based on your feedback.

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    1. Martin Stockwald Post author

      Hi Kristian,

      currently this is not possible. The value of a search result depends on the intention of the search. It could be related to the search query, but even when using the same query term different users might be looking for different results. But it’s definitely a good idea and we think about ways how to use the community input to improve the search results and their ranking.

      Thanks, Martin

  1. Oliver Keim

    good to know that at least some parts of the SAP web environment allows to provide permanent links, so they are worth to get bookmarked. Still wonder why the portal cannot support this.

  2. Akshay Gupta

    Thanks for the informational post.

    SCN search works like charm, almost every time I seek out for an information.



  3. Sagar Mukherjee

    Hi Martin,

    Your blog is quite enlightening. I had been moving around SCN like a bull in china shop…
    the SCN community is so vast that I am quite sure the amount of effort you guys put is commendable.

    an ardent follower,


  4. Simon Rotherham

    A good blog on how to use the search.  But, why is it needed?  SCN should be changed to make searching more instinctive.  I’m, afraid my first port of call is still google

    1. Jรผrgen L

      No doubt that Google is great search engine, but this SCN search has actually put Google on the second place for. the initial search is almost like Google, but then I really enjoy to restrict the selection by spaces, or/and by asset type . I would love to have the same at Google, so I could get rit of all hits from the shops and price portals when I am actually searching for details of a certain product.

      1. Keith Elliott

        I completely agree Juergen.

        SCN search has become better and better and has lots of nice ways to filter the results. Also positive is that you can use the same engine to search over other areas of SAP content: SAP.com, Service Marketplace, help.SAP.com, or Business Center.

  5. Martin Stockwald Post author

    Thank you very much for all your nice comments. Unfortunately i have to close my blog for further comments because of the load of comments that just contain thanks and praise for my blog but don’t add any value or new information. I encourage you to continue to like or rate my blog but comments will be disabled from now on to reduce the unnecessary load and noise in the system.

    Please adhere to the information given in the blog The Rules of Engagement, especially the section “How to Contribute to an Existing Post”.

    Thanks and best regards,



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