Discussion: SmarterTrack's Search Functionality
Question asked by Andrea Rogers - August 4, 2015 at 9:52 AM
Employee Post
Calling all SmarterTrack users! We need your feedback!
We’re beginning developmental planning for the next major version of SmarterTrack. Part of that planning includes taking a look at the search functionality for tickets, live chats, call logs, KBs, etc., and that’s where you come in! 
When it comes to using the search function in SmarterTrack, customers have different expectations on the results they'd like to see. While some would like to search for exact search strings, others prefer more broad results. How would YOU like the search functionality to work in SmarterTrack? As it is currently, SmarterTrack’s search is based off of token weights.
For example, if a user enters a ticket keyword search of "KEY6584", SmarterTrack's indexer will store and search for the multiple tokens of "KEY6584", "KEY", and "6584". Tickets containing all 3 tokens will appear first in the list, followed by tickets containing two tokens, followed by tickets containing only 1 token. Each of those sets will be sub-sorted based on weight, i.e., how often the tokens appeared in the content. So, you would see the ticket with "KEY6584" at the top of the list, with other relevant tickets below.
The changes we’re currently discussing are:
  • Removing the sorting restriction to allow Search String results to be sorted by Idle time. 
  • Making the Advanced Search more interactive, where additional options appear based on the initial search criteria.
  • When a search is performed with multiple terms, only items that include all search terms will be displayed.
  • Allow searches to include quotation marks. Searches with terms enclosed in quotes will only return results containing ALL terms in their order. Searches without quotation marks will return results based on their token weights.
What are your thoughts and ideas?
Andrea Rogers 
Communications Specialist 
SmarterTools Inc. 
(877) 357-6278 

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Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
I'm surprised at the lack of activity on this thread. Improvements to SmarterTrack's search functionality is something that had been heavily requested here. While we have a few threads to check out from the past, we'd love to hear more thoughts.
Andrea Rogers 
Communications Specialist 
SmarterTools Inc. 
(877) 357-6278 
I'm a large believer of having a very active community before you can solicit feedback on improvement like this. I'd like to say you likely haven't received much feedback because this community isn't super active. Might I suggest having a focus group of customers to approach directly? Plus, the time frame from when the concerns about search are mentioned, the feedback solicited is month's later.
Regardless, one thing I'd like to see improved: the ability to cross search, meaning I can utilize any advance search in any function (chat, email, call log), and it can pull data from all three. They're unique ID's, so I imagine the system should be able to just discern which contact is attached to it. 
Right now, we have to be in that specific area to find something. It may be something as simple as adding a field in the "Advanced Search" area that says "Search In:" with options such as "Call Logs, Chat, Tickets, All". That would eliminate the need to be in that specific area to find a contact. 
Hi Andrea
There isn't a lack of activity on the topic "Search Function in SmarterTrack" at all:
Example 1: 7 replies, 13 votes
Example 2: 11 replies, 10 votes
Example 3: 6 replies, 6 votes
Every wish concerning the search functionality has already been discussed. At this point, we are all just desperately waiting for an improvement!
Andrea... most our concerns are here:
We generally use the forum when there is a problem (that doesn't happen frequently which is nice) which explains the lack of activity I guess.
For the "search functionality "Wish I could have simply told: "like Gmail does" as that is how the search needs to work.
Whatever you search for, it founds the most relevant result by ordering them with the "last message date".
I'm all-in with your "current roadmap/thoughts mentioned" with a suggestion:
  • if the searched term does not exist, "very similar" results can be returned.
    • For ex: If I searched for the keyword "discussion" but it exists in a ticket with a typo like "dicussion", that can be returned too to help on locating a ticket with typos on some cases.
I thought of another Search Feature. It would be nice to "save" a search's criteria with a label that can be saved per Agent. Maybe in a "My Searches" folder? Then the Agent can find a previous defined search and run it whenever needed.
Ben Santiardo, Programmer Analyst
Eastern Suffolk BOCES
Please take a look at our detailed posts on the other threads.
The main takeaway points are:
- SmarterTrack shouldn't try to split items: it should search for the whole item unless you tell it not to.
e.g. searching for joe.blogs@yahoo.com should NOT return all messages mentioning yahoo.com, joe or blogs.
- More options for phrase search.  We'd like to be able to search exact phrases such as "login problem with xyz" and not have it return all results that include the word login, problem, xyz etc.  It would be fine to allow quotes around phrases to distinguish them as search engines do
- Being able to exclude keywords from results (using a minus sign) would be a bonus.
e.g a search for login -password would be great to be able to do to find tickets with login problems that don't involve the password.
Thanks. Glad to see this is finally on the development team's agenda.  Like others, I didn't realise this new thread had been started - I have other things to do with my time than monitor new threads on the SmaterTrack forums!  Search is still our biggest frustration with SmarterTrack so we appreciate this being bumped up to important.
We have found the Search String field is very useful searching for our tickets because it searches in the body, subject and notes, however the aggravating and unorganized part of that feature is not being able to organize the results at least by date(started - that’s the main one we need to organize with)... it would be nice if we could organize by columns up top such as by date (started column), status, and idle time, the others up top would be nice too but the ones we would search by for sure would be date (started column), status, and idle time. I want to see the oldest to newest tickets a customer may have. Yes the advanced search with specific custom fields lets you organize by date, but our issue is if the variable wasn't added to the custom field in the ticket in the first place, or if it’s a ticket that does not use that custom field the ticket will not show in our search results so we do not see all tickets associated with cx name "x" for example. To ensure a ticket is not missed in the lineup being able to organize the search string results by date(started)  is imperative for us. 
I would strongly consider supporting an option to use a separate search database such as ElasticSearch. MySQL is just not very good for search. ElasticSearch can easily index millions of records and search them lighting fast while adding very little system load and it returns much better results with very little work. It can be installed on the same server or easily offloaded to a separate server. I think memory usage would be much better optimized as well to remove all of the "tokens" tables from MySQL and rely solely on ElasticSearch for search functionality.
For example, I use ElasticSearch for aggregating logs of about 15 servers which totals about 70 million documents on a VPS with 8GB of memory and it doesn't break a sweat. Indexing 70 million SmarterTrack tickets using the MySQL method would be a disaster on even a beefy dedicated server.
ElasticSearch would basically solve all of the problems mentioned, plus my own (scalability). Additionally, it would be great for reporting (check out Kibana). It is very easy to install so I personally would just make it a requirement of ST 12 rather than supporting it optionally, but it could be done either way.
Hi,  We can't be the only ones that need to search for an exact string.  If a customer reports an error message, it is difficult to find the related knowledgebase articles without some really skillful searching.  The customer themselves stands no chance of finding a self-service solution in our KB .  Maybe we're doing something wrong, but I've read through the information on this and it seems there is no way of stopping the keywords being searched for individually.  Consider the error message:
"Error Retrieving License File"
A customer typing this into our KB search will not find every article with every word in the phrase, with the word "Error" given the highest priority, thus resulting in the display of almost everything in the KB database.
This is giving us such a staffing overhead on tickets that could otherwise be dealt with on a self-service basis that we're considering purchasing an alternative solution, even though we have only recently re-purchased Smartertrack 12 in order to upgrade and improve on our previous Smatertrack experience.
I note that this thread has been dormant for a while, but if Smartertrack have any plans to improve this soon, or if any of those watching this thread have found a work around, then I'd be delighted to hear from you.

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