SAP Solution Manager 7.2: Free Text Search in ITSM and ChaRM without TREX
SAP Solution Manager 7.2 makes extensive use of the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Search (ESH, also known as Embedded Search). The Enterprise Search allows you to perform cross-scenario free text searches through unstructured long texts, office documents, and other object attributes. A highlight, if you are using the Solution Manager on a HANA database, is that you do not require an external TREX server in order to use the Enterprise Search.
In this article, I will briefly describe how you can use the Enterprise Search in the IT Service Management (ITSM) and Change Control Management (ChaRM) scenarios. I will also differentiate between the legacy TREX search and the new Enterprise Search infrastructures, showing you how to replace use of the legacy TREX search with the Enterprise Search. If you do this, and are on HANA, you won’t need to set up an external TREX server.
I will assume that you have gone through SAP Solution Manager Setup and appropriately configured the Enterprise Search. If you are running on a HANA DB, you’ll have had the option to setup ESH without an external TREX server. If you are running on any other DB, you can still use the ESH but will need to attach a TREX server to your Solution Manager system.
In my explanations below, it will make no difference if you have set up ESH with or without an external TREX server: for end users the result is exactly the same.
What Uses Legacy TREX Infrastructure
The “full text” indexing based on the CRM Software Agent Framework relies on an external TREX server. This is the same full text search which was available in Solution Manager 7.1. You can find it in the following places in the CRM WebClient UI:
- The “Full text” search field in the central search menu
- The “Full text” search field in search pages
What Uses Enterprise Search Infrastructure
The new “free text” search facilities use the Enterprise Search infrastructure. You can access this search in the following areas, among others:
- The search bar in the Fiori Launchpad. You can search all Solution Manager scenarios which have been indexed with the ESH here:
- The “All Objects” Search in CRM WebClient UI central search menu. This searches all indexed CRM transactions, including Requests for Change, Change Documents, Incidents, Problems, and even Knowledge Articles if you have configured this:
- “Free Text” Search in CRM WebClient UI central search menu. This searches just for a specific transaction type, such as Incidents, or Change Documents:
- The Enterprise Search Web Dynpro UI. This is more of a technical user interface. You can access it through transaction ESH_SEARCH (Enterprise Search):
How to Only Use Enterprise Search
Once you have configured the Enterprise Search, the system will automatically add the following to the CRM UI:
- The “Search for All Objects” entry in the central search menu
- The “Free Text” entries for each transaction type in the central search menu
You will now probably find that you have redundant “Free Text” and “Full Text” full text search options in your CRM UI.
If you do not use or wish to decommission your external TREX server, you only need to perform a quick UI configuration in the relevant search pages, and remove “Full Text” from the selected search criteria. This will remove the “Full Text” search criterion from both the central search menu as well as the search page:
You will note that there is no longer an option to perform a full/free text search combined with other search criteria in the search pages. This is because we believe you can do such searches more quickly and intuitively with the Enterprise Search fields “Search for All Objects” or “Free Text”, or in the Fiori Launchpad – the Enterprise Search indexes attributes such as creation dates, priorities, and status values and lets you search for these attributes along with full text simultaneously from the single search field, just as is common with most Internet search engines.
Here are some example queries:
- “very high” HANA – The system will return all priority “very high” incidents which mention the term HANA.
- “very high” HANA “IRT Exceeded” – The system will return all priority “very high” incidents which mention the term HANA, and which have exceeded the initial response time (IRT).
A Special Note on Knowledge Articles
CRM Knowledge Articles have been enhanced to work on HANA systems without an external TREX system. The following notes provide the relevant instructions:
Before these notes were available, you could still use Knowledge Articles without a TREX installation, but not all features, such as the full text search, were available.
Edit: we have noted some restrictions for Knowledge Articles, in particular the indexing of attachments. See the above two notes for further information.
- Wiki for setting up ESH on the SAP Solution Manager for ITSM and ChaRM