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Configure search in apps

Most configurable apps support the ability to search locations and features within the map. An integrated search widget in the app’s user interface allows a user to input search terms. If search has been configured in the web map, configurable apps use that configuration once it’s enabled inside the app.

You can also configure search in an app using the Search tab of the app configuration panel, regardless of any search properties set at the web map level. The sections below outline how to configure search in apps.

Configuration parameters

Configurable apps support the same types of search sources that are supported in web maps—for example, locators and searchable feature layers. Apps that support search have a Search tab in the configuration panel where all search sources are listed. Each search source can be enabled or disabled from the app from this list. You can configure the parameters for each search source by clicking Edit next to the source in the list.

The following search source parameters can be configured:

  • Name—Specify a custom name for the search source.
  • Placeholder—Specify the preset text shown in the search box before a search value is typed. Think of this as hint text.
  • Constrain search within map—Check this box to only find features that are within the extent of the map. This is the extent saved at the web map level.
  • Enable Suggestions—If you check this box, potential matches will appear in a drop-down menu as a search value is entered.
  • Maximum Suggestions—If suggestions are enabled, choose the maximum number of suggestions that will be offered at a time.
  • Display Suggestions—For searchable layers, you can specify how the suggestions are displayed for app users. You can display the suggestions as a specified field’s value or customize the display by adding text and field values together.
  • Exact Match—Check this box to limit search results to only results that exactly match the value typed in the search box.

The sections that follow outline how to configure search sources to customize the search experience for your app.

Geosearch

All established locators specified in the organization settings will appear in the search source list and will behave in the app as they do within a web map or Map Viewer.

Do the following to enable a locator as a search source:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Check the box next to the locator you want to enable.
  3. Optionally, click Edit next to the locator to configure additional parameters. Click Save when finished.

Searchable feature layer search

If a searchable feature layer is detected in the web map, it will appear in the search source list identified by name.

Do the following to enable a searchable feature layer as a search source:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Check the box next to the searchable feature layer you want to enable.
  3. Click Edit next to the layer name and choose a search field from the Search Fields list.
    Note:

    You must declare a search field for search by feature layer to work.

  4. Click Save.

Multiple search sources

You may want to enable multiple search sources in one app. This is useful when users of the app might need to search against multiple sources of information to use the app. Keep in mind the purpose of the app and do not enable search sources that are unrelated to this purpose, as they may cause unwanted confusion for the end user. For example, if the purpose of the app is to locate and update job statuses of crosswalk maintenance for a local city, it is not beneficial to enable a worldwide locator, as this could navigate an end user away from the local city extent where all of the crosswalk maintenance features are located.

To enable multiple search sources, do the following:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Check the boxes next to the search sources you want to enable.
  3. Click Edit next to each source to confirm or configure the parameters as needed.
  4. Click Save.
  5. On the Search tab, do one of the following:
    • If you have a preferred default search source, select it from the Select default source drop-down menu. The app user will be able to choose from the other search sources in the app search as needed.
    • If you want the default behavior of the app to search against all sources at once, check the Search all sources box and select All from the Select default source drop-down menu.

    All sources that have suggestions configured will appear in the suggestion drop-down menu if potential matches are found based on the search term entered.

Multiple-field search

More than one field can be searched within one search source. For example, you might want to allow users of your app to find a feature based on different types of information, such as finding a parcel feature based on its ID number or owner name.

To enable multiple-field searches, do the following:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Click Edit next to the search source in the list.
  3. In the Search Fields list, click one of the fields and press the Ctrl key while clicking the other fields you want to enable for search.
  4. Click Save.

When configuring a multiple-field search, it is recommended that you also configure suggestions and customize a suggestion template, as outlined in the following sections.

Configure suggestions

If you enable suggestions for your app, potential matches will appear in the search drop-down menu for users to choose from as they enter a search value. Suggestions are helpful when a user knows part of, but not all of, an exact search term. They are also useful for allowing app users to more quickly choose the correct match from a list after typing a few key characters. Suggestions are also recommended when multiple search fields have been configured for a search source.

To configure suggestions, do the following:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Click Edit next to the search source in the list.
  3. Check the Enable Suggestions check box.
  4. From the Maximum Suggestions drop-down menu, choose the desired maximum number of suggestions to display at once.
  5. For searchable feature layers, do the following:
    1. Choose either Field or Template.
    2. Configure the additional parameters according to your needs.
  6. Click Save.

Create suggestion templates

When configuring search on a searchable layer, you can use a suggestion template to display multiple fields in a suggestion or when you want to customize the look of suggestions in the app search drop-down menu.

To configure a suggestion template, do the following:

  1. If necessary, check the Enable search tool box at the top of the Search tab.
  2. Click Edit next to the searchable layer in the list.
  3. Check the Enable Suggestions check box.
  4. Click Template and type your suggestion template.

    Basic syntax is ${fieldname}, where you replace fieldname with the name of the field whose value will be displayed. For example, to create a suggestion string that combines a tree type field value with a park name field value, you can use the following syntax:

    Tree Type: ${treeType}, Park: ${parkName}

    This string would result in a suggestion like the following displayed to users of the app:

    Tree Type: Dogwood, Park: Eastland Community Park

  5. Click Save.