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Santa’s Relevance Search

The gifts just keep on coming this holiday season and the searching options keep on getting better! Yep, that’s right, I said search options! Santa and the gang have done it again giving us a pretty cool new way to search in Microsoft Dynamics 365 that we are very excited about called Relevance Search.

Once of my favorite things about Relevance Search is where the Microsoft Product Team elves put it: right where the global search is of course, you simply toggle between the two search options…How easy is that to explain to your users? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and spend some time going over the basics including how it works, and how to set it up (which is really easy).

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What exactly is Relevance Search?

I’m glad you asked because it’s a super slick new searching tool that you can use right from your Dynamics 365 system that actually leverages a dedicated search service provided by Microsoft Azure… the kicker here is that it is NOT available with on-premises deployments because the search is actually done outside of Dynamics. Since it’s leveraging the search capabilities from Azure, the search performance itself is drastically improved and you can do some more intuitive semantic searching that displays the results by relevance, of course. The Search returns results matching the search term in any words and in any field in the entity and displays them most relevant to least, not in entity groups like the existing global search does. Much like a search in OneNote, in the results the matching words are highlighted with bold text.  

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You can also use syntax to tell Dynamics 365 what combination of words you want it to search for. For example, type “product technology 3d-printer” to include matches for any word in the search term in the search results. Type “product+technolody+3d-printer” to find only matches that include all three words. There are other syntax options which you can review here: Simple-query-syntax-in-Azure-Search

Also, you can filter your results to only include certain entities just like you can with global search. When you filter on a specific record type, you can include activities and notes related to the selected record in your search results…Pretty cool huh?

And what are facets you might ask? Well it’s just another way to further filter the entity results in your search. There are 4 global facets including Record Type, Owner, Created On and Modified On because these 4 attributes exist on all records. However, if you select an entity filter, then you can see the additional facets available for that entity and the date and time facets can be used to set a date range filter on the search results by using a sliding bar rather than having to specify dates by entering them in specifically like when using advanced find.

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Now, how do we set it up?

It’s pretty easy! A System customizer can find the Enable Relevance Search check box by going to Settings > Administration > System Settings area and checking the box. This will set Relevance Search as the default search and individual users can change their own personal default search setting as they see fit. To enable specific entities for search you need to go to the customizations area, click on the entities list, then click on the new “Configure Relevance Search” option. Each entity also needs to have the “Can enable sync to external search index” managed property set to = TRUE. The Relevance Search will use the same Quick Find views that Global Search does so it’s easy to select the fields you want to search on. Data changes are synchronized continuously between Dynamics 365 (online) and Azure Search through a secure connection, and there is no limit on how many entities you can select for the search!

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Overall, this is an incredibly flexible, intuitive, and easy to use search that enables users to find exactly what they are looking for, or maybe even what they didn’t know was there. Santa and the Microsoft Product Team Elves have really chosen a great way to bring the holiday season to a close and we couldn’t be more excited to share in the glorious new world of searching with you!

Ready to make the move to Dynamics 365 so you can take advantage of this great feature? Contact us today!