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My website requires that Content Editors have access to a custom Search mode which shows them results based in a format that's not directly available in Sitecore. Is it possible to extend the Search functionality somehow to avoid writing a fully custom Search page?

I'm referring to this Search tab:

the content search tab

  • Where is your data stored? you could create a Custom Data Provider to expose it in Sitecore and then you could search it. – Adam Seabridge Feb 28 '17 at 13:52
  • Could you elaborate on the part of Sitecore's search functionality that you want to extend? From your description, it sounds like you want to change the search querying logic, but from the comments it sounds like you want to change the GUI. If you don't want to start from scratch then which part(s) are you planning to keep? – Zachary Kniebel Feb 28 '17 at 14:08
  • @ZacharyKniebel Sorry, I didn't explain myself properly. I want to keep the Search function as-is, but need to attach a custom data-source. As far as I understand this would also let me return more results per page and/or change the icons near the results. – JonathanReez Feb 28 '17 at 14:10
  • Could you provide some more info on where this data is coming from? e.g json or another database etc? If really isn't that much effort to plug in a custom data provider so I'd still suggest thats the best route to expose your data in search (based on what you've said above). Here is a good example or reading from a custom data set: coreworks.co/sitecore-data-providers-simple-read-only – Adam Seabridge Feb 28 '17 at 14:14
  • @AdamSeabridge I will write a custom data provider, but I don't want to force the user to select it when searching. Currently my solution is to use SPEAK's SearchPanel and a custom tab, but I've thought perhaps the Search page has some hidden settings I can access. – JonathanReez Feb 28 '17 at 14:16
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Searching Sitecore Data

In one of your comments (now removed), you mentioned that the data that you want to search is all in the Sitecore database - implicitly the master database. As such, when you say that you want to attach a "custom data source" I infer that you mean that you want a specific piece of the Sitecore tree to be searched or a special query to be performed.

Assuming the above, I believe that what you are looking for are search facets and search filters. If yoou are looking to customize content search within the Sitecore client beyond that, you will likely have to create your own interface.

Searching External Data

If your data is not stored in Sitecore, then the comments from @AdamSeabridge should put you on the right path. Basically, you will need to create a custom data provider. You can do so with fairly limited effort or a very high amount of effort, depending on your implementation. You can find some pretty good documentation to help get you started, here.

Note that if you write a custom data provider, your content authors can search directly within the same content search tab as they would have otherwise, provided that you code your data provider to support content search. In other words, no additional tabs or custom SPEAK applications will be necessary, unless you have additional requirements for them that need to be satisfied.

Note that if your data is actually stored in Sitecore then you should avoid writing a custom data provider.

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