Global Search Guidelines Print this Page

Return to Top

The Global Search guidelines describes the search facility located in the global area of each Oracle Fusion application page. A global search is suite-scoped by default, but enables users to limit the scope of a search to one or more categories defined by searchable object owners. Secure Enterprise Search (SES) drives the Oracle Fusion global search through the Enterprise Crawl and Search Framework (ECSF), which provides a variety of ease-of-use features, including synonym matching, word stem matching, dictionary matching, and progressive relaxation of search criteria.

Note: Images used in this guideline are provided as general references. They are not exact representations of Applications Development Framework (ADF) pages.

Return to Top

Global Search
Return to Top


Global search is an SES-driven search facility that appears in the global area of every Oracle Fusion Applications page. If you want to hide the global search UI on any page that has a global area , you must receive an exception from Apps UX.

The default appearance of global search area:
Global Search UI
Figure 1. Global search UI in the global area
Global Search UI
Figure 2. Global search UI with categories choice list and list of saved searches shown

The scope of global search is the entire suite. Users can narrow the scope of their searches using a variety of features. Global search UI components and features are described in detail in the following sections:

  • Data sources: Data sources are referred to as subcategories in the UI. Data sources, in most Oracle Fusion Applications cases, correspond to searchable VOs that represent business objects. Data sources may also correspond to web services as is the case of WebCenter searchable objects.
  • Categories: Categories, data source groups in SES, are logical groupings of data sources that are exposed to users in the category choice list and filter tree.
  • Searchable attributes: Searchable attributes are data source attributes that are exposed to the crawler. They can be exposed to end users as part of the result item text.
  • Searchable attribute priorities: These priorities are ranks assigned to attributes that influence search result rankings based on which stored attribute users' keyword matched (for example, a match on Name outranks a match on Address).
  • Keywords: Keywords are terms that are similar to terms that users are likely to use in searches. You should provide keywords for the names of business object names, attribute names, and for any terms that have changed from earlier application versions. You should also supply keywords for common abbreviations and acronyms that users may search on.
  • Facets: Facets are orthogonal dimensions used to filter the search results.
  • Link target URLs for the main link (default action) and optional other action links included in each result item.
  • Result items: Result items are specifications about how individual items that match users' queries appear in the results display.

Searchable Objects
Return to Top

Selecting Objects

These searchable objects should include all of the important, frequently used objects that users will want to ask questions about or otherwise work with.

Some examples include service requests, purchase orders, expense reports, and suppliers.

Grouping Objects

Categories (data source groups in SES) are logical groupings of data sources that are exposed to users in the category choice list and filters. To avoid presenting users with large numbers of categories, you should organize data sources into categories that:

  • Are logical to users
  • Contain objects that users consider related
  • Contain objects that users are likely to search concurrently

Category names must be concise, descriptive, and, if they include object names, plural.

Category Choice List

The category choice list enables users to narrow or broaden search scope by selecting and deselecting data source groups to search. It is a multiselect choice list that contains a flat list of data source groups plus an All [Data Source Groups] option. Selecting All selects all groups. Deselecting any group deselects All:

All categories are selected by default. Deselecting one category automatically deselects the All option.
All Categories Selected Some Categories Selected
Figure 3. Category choice list
Searchable Fields
Return to Top

This section discusses the logical business object or document attributes that are made searchable to the crawler. Selecting attributes that appear in result items is discussed in the Result Items section of this guideline.

Selecting Fields

These business object and document attributes must be searchable:

  • ID, Short Name, or equivalent
  • Attributes providing a descriptive name, such as Name, Long Name, Title, or Description

Additional attributes should be selected based on user needs. All attributes about which users are likely to ask questions or on which users want to filter must be searchable.

Prioritizing Fields

Prioritizing or ranking fields enables keyword matches in key attributes, such as Name, to outrank matches to less central attributes, such as Address.

Select the five or six (approximately) most representative and important attributes of your business object or document to which to assign priorities. You must include object identifiers, such as Name and ID. Including Description and Label fields is strongly recommended. Select additional fields for ranking based on business questions that users are likely to ask.

Assign priority values from 1 to 10 (10 is most important) to selected fields based on how likely they are to identify a particular result item to users. Place high priorities (for example, 10) on identifier attributes, such as Name. Fields, such as Long Name and Description, should also receive high priority (for example, a value of 8 or 9). Place lower priorities on fields with values that can include strings that could be associated with different business objects, such as Address. The lowest priority values (1 to 3) should be assigned to attributes that are the least important to users.


Searchable object definitions include keywords. The list of keywords for each searchable object should include:

  • Synonyms for the object name
  • Synonyms for key object attributes
  • Common abbreviations of the object name and attributes
  • Synonyms for common domain-specific terms likely to appear as attribute values
  • Synonyms for field labels corresponding to the object name or names of its attributes

Results Display

Result Items

Global search result items are displayed in a one-column ADF table with horizontal scrolling disabled. Each item is made up of four sections:

Here is an example of the four sections of a result item:

Sample Result Item
Main Link Time Card : 123456
Fixed Content TJOHNSON; Submission Date: 01-Apr-2008; Type: Vacation; Amount: 32 hours
Variable Content   Tags: timecard vacation; Category: Full Time - Regular; Submission Date: 01-Apr-2008; Type: Vacation; Amount: 32 hours; Reason: Not Applicable; Vacation Remaining: 300 hours; Manager: John Smith; Status: Submitted
Other Actions Approve; Reject; Return
Figure 4. Global search results

Main Link

The main link (default action) is required and is the first (top-leftmost) component of each result item. This is the link to the Oracle Fusion Applications task flow that displays details for the object (for example, purchase order or expense report) represented by the result item. This is the least secure task flow that displays details of the item. Typically, this is a read-only details display. For objects that do not have read-only details, link to an editable object details task flow.

The main link takes this form: <Object Name>: <Object Instance Identifier>

Example: Expense Report: W0020056

The main link can comprise only the object instance identifier if that value provides sufficient information about the result item for users scanning the list of results. Additional attribute values, including additional object instance identifiers (for example, Number plus Name) may be appended to the object instance identifier if they are needed to provide sufficient information about the result item. Examples of object instance identifiers include Number, ID, Person Name, Subject, and Title.

Fixed Content

The fixed content (title) starts on the same line as and to the right of the main link, separated from it by white space. The fixed content is made up of a set of attribute-value pairs that appear for every result item that represents the same object type (every result item from the same data source).

Select attributes to include in the fixed content based on these user needs:

  • Importance to users: Attributes that users most want to see the values of
  • Decisions to act: Attribute values that users use to decide whether to act on the object, such as status, age, amounts, and important dates

Although the fixed content will wrap if its length exceeds the width of the table, it is recommended that you limit the fixed content to five or fewer attributes, all of which should fit on one line in US English.

Variable Content

Developers enter Groovy expressions representing the attribute names and values of all searchable attributes in the form of a single, semicolon-delimited string. The OSES Keyword in Context feature formats the keyword (in bold style) and retrieves 200 bytes of surrounding text to present in the results display. This text, generated by OSES Keyword in Context, forms the variable content of each result item. For example, a search on the keyword vacation would return a string similar to the following:

Employee: Susan Jones; Employee Category: Full Time - Regular; Submission Date: 01-Apr-2008; Type: Vacation; Amount: 32 hours; Reason: Not Applicable; Vacation Remaining: 300 hours; Manager: Philip Smith; Status: Submitted

Tags are searchable and appear at the beginning of the variable content before conventional searchable object attributes. Individual tags are delimited by spaces. Tags appear in boldface if they match a keyword and are included in the 200 bytes retrieved by OSES Keyword in Context. Even though tags are appended to the beginning of a searchable document, it is possible for a tag to match a keyword, but not appear in the result item due to variations in the output of the algorithm that generates the text.

Attributes and Values

Here are the display rules for attributes and values in the Fixed Content and Variable Content sections:

  • Use headline capitalization for attribute names and values.
  • Include values alone only if their meaning is obvious to users. This is often the case for titles, which are long and descriptive. When the values of multiple attributes have the same data type or are otherwise confusing, their attributes must appear as labels (for example, Created: 01-JAN-00 - Last Updated: 02-FEB-02). If the meaning of the value is vague (that is, not instantly recognizable by users), use the attribute name as a label.
  • Separate attributes and values by a colon and a space.
  • Separate attribute-value pairs by a semicolon and a space.

Other Actions

The default action for any given result item is what happens when users click the main link. Other actions are optional and appear as links in a row below the variable content. The link text should use the same command name or text that is used on transactional pages that support that action. Add links only for actions that users can decide to take (or not) based on the information available in the global search results UI. Examples of actions include Edit, Submit, Approve, and Forward.


Facets are orthogonal categories or attributes used to filter a body of data. For example, shoes have heel height, color, and size attributes. Most shoppers are interested only in shoes of a certain size or color. A vendor may create a Color facet with values such as black, brown, and red, and then enable users to filter the list of shoes to show only those having the desired value of Color, say black.

Oracle Fusion Search supports two types of facets:

  • An attribute of a document or logical business object can be used as a facet. In this case, the facet is an alternate representation of a list of values. Selecting a facet value for one data source removes all other data sources from the results set and displays only results from the selected data source that have the selected value of the selected attribute. For example, selecting the value Escalated on the Service Request Status facet removes all data sources except service requests from the results. Selecting this value also filters the list of matching service requests to show only those with the status of escalated.
  • A facet can be a metadata object that is mapped to one or more attributes of a data source. For example, you can map a hierarchical Time facet with the levels Year, Month, and Day to a Due Date attribute. You can map a hierarchical Geography facet to Country, State or Province, and City attributes.

For each searchable object that you own, nominate at least two attributes to use as facets. Users' needs should determine which attributes are mapped to facets. These attributes must be categorical and should have a small number of values (fewer than 20 values is recommended).

To use Date or Number attributes having continuous values as facets, you must create discrete groups of values to expose as facet values. For example, you can group dates into months, quarters, and years. You can group values of numeric attributes, such as annual revenue, into ranges of values, such as Amount less than 100 - 500, 500 - 1000, as so on. Provide names for the ranges, such as Small, Medium, Large, if doing so is beneficial to users.

Facet Names

Subcategory (searchable object) names appear as facet parents in the filter tree. You should express the names in plural form.

Facet (searchable attribute) names should be concise and descriptive and should not repeat the subcategory name (for more information, see the Labeling Common Attributes Guidelines). Similarly, facet values should be concise and descriptive, but not overly long.

User Interface

The global search results page includes a faceted browsing UI. Facets are organized hierarchically in a tree by category and subcategory. A subcategory corresponds to a data source in SES. Each facet is owned by a data source or subcategory. Facets are referred to as filters in the UI.

When the global search results UI is displayed, the first category is expanded one level by default. The remaining categories appear collapsed:

Figure 5. Global search UI with no facet filters applied

No facets are selected by default. That is, only the keywords entered and categories selected by the user filter the search results by default.

Users click a value to filter the search results. Clicking another value of the same facet edits the filter. Selecting the All facet value or clicking the Remove icon in the Applied Filters list removes the filter:

Figure 6. Global search UI with hierarchical facet filters applied
Saved Searches

Saved searches are named, saved queries that users create in the Global Search dialog box and can then select from a list in the dialog box and the global area search UI. Selecting a global saved search runs the query and re-creates all entries in the Filters region of the Global Search dialog box.

UI Components

The UI for accessing global saved searches appears when you click the Show Saved Searches icon in the global area global search UI. The UI appears below the keyword field right-aligned with the Show Saved Searches icon. The Global Saved Searches list disappears when users click away from the global search UI or when they enter characters in the keyword field. That is, the saved searches list persists until users click away or begin typing in the keyword field.

Global saved searches
Figure 7. Global search UI with saved searches list open
Global saved searches - Empty
Figure 8. Empty saved searches list

Clicking the Save button in the Filters region opens the Saved Search dialog box. The user must enter a unique name for each saved search. An in-field help note informs users of this. An error message appears when a user enters a nonunique name. .

Clicking the Personalize link in the Saved Searches dialog box opens the Personalize Saved Searches dialog box, which enables users to rename and delete saved searches. Editing a saved search is achieved by running the saved search, editing its filters using the tools available in the global search UI (that is, a keyword field, category selector, and facet tree), and then saving it under another name.

Save Search dialog box Personalize Saved Searches dialog box
Global saved searches Global saved searches - Empty
Nonunique saved search name error message
Global saved searches
Figure 9. Personalized saved searches dialog boxes


The user defines the scope of a global saved search. The global saved search is scoped to the set of data sources that users selected when the search was saved. If users select the All option, the search is scoped to all data sources, including those added after the search was saved. That is, All is a variable, not a fixed list of data sources.

Filter sources are included in the saved search definition so that the state of the global search UI can be re-created when a saved search is selected. That is, saved searches distinguish between keywords and facets so that all filters are reapplied in the same form as they were originally defined by users.

All user-defined saved searches are accessible only to that end user. That is, user-defined searches are private, not public or shared. Users can save searches only for themselves and personalize only the saved searches that they created themselves.

About Oracle | Legal Notices | Terms of Use | Your Privacy Rights