You have two types of site-wide searches you can use, configured in the Main Settings. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and can be configured to fit your own store needs. By default, each searches the name, teaser and detail text, meta keywords and description fields. Product searches include the SKU field, and feature searches include the author.
The Verity search uses the built-in Verity engine that ColdFusion ships with. Verity is a true search engine that offers features such as results ranking and intelligent word matching. For instance, entering the word ‘believe’ will match
‘believe’, ‘believing’ and ‘believer’. With store searches, your categories, products and features are all grouped together into one search, with the best matches in any section being listed first. Once indexed, searches are fast and accurate.
Verity also offers a variety of search operators that can be used by advanced users. The most basic of these is to use the AND and OR operators in your search. Another common one is to use a wildcard indication such as ‘prod*’. See
the ColdFusion Verity documentation for more information on search operators.
To use the Verity search, you must first set up a Collection in the ColdFusion administrator. Enter the name of the collection in the Main Settings and set your store to use a Verity search. After saving these settings, you will have two more options on the Main Settings page. The first button will Reindex the collection. This will first purge all the current index data, and then update it with all your current store data. The other button will optimize your collection. This basically packs it, similar to a database optimization.
The disadvantage of the Verity search is that it is not updated automatically when you make changes to your store, and does not easily handle features like access keys, hiding out-of-stock products, etc. If you use dynamic features like these, the SQL search is a better option for your site. With Verity, you have to reindex the collection for new products to show up, for updates to the text to be included, or for deleted ones to be removed (for instance). While the store handles these situations as gracefully as possible, it still is ideal that you update the verity search as frequently as possible. You can do this manually from the Main Settings, but to make this as easy as possible, the store includes a page that can be set up in the ColdFusion scheduler to be run automatically on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the reindexing purges the search first, so ideally this will be run during low traffic times for your site. The URL to run the indexing is:
The other type of search uses simple SQL queries to retrieve your results. While the SQL search does not offer as many features as the Verity search, it always reflects the real-time data in your database, and for programmers not familiar
with Verity, it may be easier to customize to handle more advanced searches. The store allows users to specify whether to include all or any words in their search when looking for results. Unlike the Verity search, the SQL search does
not group the categories, products and features together, listing the results from each separately. It also does not order the results by relevance, simply listing them alphabetically by name.