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Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman

SAP Solution Manager 7.2: Free Text Search in ITSM and ChaRM without TREX

Introduction

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.

Prerequisites

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.

Further Information

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      28 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Anton Malaiko
      Anton Malaiko

      Hello, thanks for helpfull blog.

      could you tell me how can i copy “Full text” search field to my custom navigation role zsolmanpro?

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Anton,

      You should be able to do this by using the UI configuration which I showed in the above section. It makes no difference if you are using your own zsolmanpro or the SAP SOLMANPRO business role: just make sure you select the correct role key for the configuration. If you do the configuration from your zsolmanpro role, the system will automatically select the correct key for you.

      Author's profile photo Anton Malaiko
      Anton Malaiko

      I thought soo too, but unfortunatly "Full text” search not available in custom role.

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Are you using the UI configuration (not personalization) in the search screen? Your screenshot is of the central search menu - that is not where you do the configuration. See the last screenshot above.

      And by the way, are you using SAP Solution Manager 7.2? Do you want to use the "Free Text" search instead of the "Full Text" search as described in this blog?

      Author's profile photo Anton Malaiko
      Anton Malaiko

      I'm didn't do any configuration for search, in standart role solmanpro Central Search available at home page at top right coner of window as in scren shot above. In custom role search variant in central search is not available as at my screen shot above. Try to copy solmanpro to Z and check is free text available?

      Yes, we a using SM 7.2 SP6, and we want to use free text search for knowledge articles.

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Then there are two (or three) things which you will have to do:

      1. Make sure Embedded/Enterprise Search is set up - check the SAP Solution Manager Setup steps for this
      2. Perform UI configuration for your search pages. You will notice that there is a checkbox in the UI configuration to include specific search criteria in the central search.
      3. Also - possibly - check your copied business role in the IMG configuration: there is also customizing there for object types to be included in the central search. Copy the objects - especially the Knowledge Article object types - from the SOLMANPRO role to your role.
      Author's profile photo Anton Malaiko
      Anton Malaiko

      Thanks for you reply.

      Can you show this checkbox in UI configuration? please attach screenshot.

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      If you have an up-to-date Solution Manager system, you should be able to see something like this in the UI configuration:

      If you need further help, please consider asking in one of the CRM UI forums or consulting the documentation, as this conversation is going beyond the scope of this blog article. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Isabella Bojdol
      Isabella Bojdol

      Hello, [missing results in result list] - [solved]

       

      while writing my problem, I solved it myself rightnow. Nevertheless I will post it beacause perhaps somebody else will help it.

      My oroginal question was:

      "Does anybody have an idea why I can't see the results for Change requests and changes in the search result?"

      My problem:

      The solution was, that one connector was missing. You have to create the connector [SYSIDCLNT~AI_CM_BUS20000116~]

      Now I can see the missing results:

       

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Isabella,

      I'm glad to see you were able to solve your problem for yourself. 🙂 Always remember that SAP Support is standing by to process your incidents.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Ravi Ankem
      Ravi Ankem

      Hi Gorodon,

       

      Can this also be applicable for SAP CRM using HANA DB .. Like how outlook search works, if we integrate outlook to SAP CRM.

       

      Thanks..

      Ravi

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Ravi,

      Perhaps you should look at the integration in the Fiori Launchpad. There's a central search function there - which looks kind of like the search in Outlook - which searches across all Enterprise Search models - including CRM and other SAP Solution Manager objects. This of course works with HANA DB and uses the features of HANA.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Ravi Ankem
      Ravi Ankem

      Thank you for quick response Gordon Leslie McDorman.

      I would like to know without Fiori launch pad, just with traditional SAP CRM Web user Interface, does free text search works with HANA DB, I know we can achieve this functionality by using  TREX.

      Does enterprise search works  with HANA DB,

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Ravi,

      Yes, the Enterprise Search works with HANA DB. See the Enterprise Search (also known as the "Embedded Search") documentation for this.

      Regards,

      Gordon

       

      Author's profile photo Ravi Ankem
      Ravi Ankem

      Thank you Gordon,

      Could you please send me any documentation/link  related to Embedded search?

      Thanks in advance.

      Regards,

      Ravi

       

       

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Ravi,

      There is a link to the Enterprise/Embedded Search documentation page in the first paragraph of this blog. This should provide you with everything you need.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Ravi Ankem
      Ravi Ankem

      Thank you Gordon.

      Appreciated!!

      Regards,

      Ravi Ankem

       

       

      Author's profile photo Axel Börke
      Axel Börke

      Hi Gordon,

      thanks a lot for this article, It's very helpful!

      From what I understand is that when using the Enterprise Search, the Search Criterial "Full Text" is not available in the default Web UI Search (AIC_INCIDENT_S) anymore, but in the Central Search on the upper right.

      This means that if we want to use the Full Text Search criteria in the Web UI standard Search we require a TREX even if we are on HANA.

      Could you confirm this assumption is correct?

      Thanks a lot and best wishes from Germany,

      Axel

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Axel,

      Let me get back to you on this. There have been some changes in recent SPs which I have to check on.

      I'll update this reply/the blog when I have confirmed my information.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Syed Sulthan Ahamed
      Syed Sulthan Ahamed

      Hi,

      Thanks for the article. Its very helpfull.

      We are facing issue with full text search. We are getting this message when we try to use full text search "No reply from the TREX Server or index missing. See Note 1466273'.

      We are using solman7.2 sp3 and TREX server is configured for search.

      Please help.

      Regards,

      Syed

       

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Syed,

      It looks like a configuration problem - your best approach would be to create a support ticket for this.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Lukasz Krupa
      Lukasz Krupa

      Dear Gordon,
      Great blog, thank You

      However one detail, You wrote
      "CRM Knowledge Articles have been enhanced to work fully on HANA systems without an external TREX system. The following notes provide the relevant instructions:
      2397249, 2400327"

      Not working fully in note 2400327 You can see
      Attachment search functionality is only available when CRM Embedded Search (= CRM Enterprise Search or CRM ESH) is running on TREX.
      Currently, with ESH running on HANA, the attachment search for CRM ESH models based on CRM BOL models, is not supported.

      So we switch back to trex

       

      BR

      Lukasz Krupa

       

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Lukasz,

      Thanks for noting this. I'll have to update the blog.

      Regards,

      Gordon

      Author's profile photo Sven Schneider
      Sven Schneider

      Hello Gordon,

      if you configure CRM Knowledge Articles via Enterprise Search and you want search via CRM Web UI for "All Objects" you should also consider note 2478800.
      Otherwise you get a Dump.

      Best Regards
      Sven

       

      Author's profile photo Axel Börke
      Axel Börke

      Hi Gordon,

      you wrote this:

      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.

      I have doubts if this is still correct.

      In SP07, a "Free Text" search criteria was introduced as can be read in this note

      https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2724078

      I saw a screenshot of this functionality working in the standard CRM UI Search.

      Could you clarify this?

      Author's profile photo Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Gordon Leslie McDorman
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Axel,

      At the time I wrote the blog, the information was correct. As always we are attempting to improve functions - and sometimes conditions change too.

      I believe my colleagues are looking at rolling out information regarding the integration of the Enterprise Search into the standard search UIs. Once we've done that, we'll either update this blog, or link to another information source with further details.

      Author's profile photo Axel Börke
      Axel Börke

      Hi Gordon, thanks for clearing that up! Looking forward for further improvements to the search. Have a great day and best wishes from Germany

      Author's profile photo Axel Börke
      Axel Börke

      Hi Gordon,

      we've integrated the Free Text search with SP08 and it's running great on out Test System. Performance is great so far and it's a huge simplifaction of our landscape since no TREX is required.

      As mentioned in SAP Note 1977197 https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/1977197/E however, Attachment search is not supported anymore for all CRM transaction types (in your article, only KAs are mentioned).

      Are there any plans to support attachments with this feature?

      Thanks!

      Axel