Administration: Omnidex Indexing



People do not think like databases. Databases are highly structured, and they follow rigid rules. People simply ask questions that they want answered, and they don't always follow the rules when they ask their questions. Databases record their data very precisely, and they expect queries to be precise as well. People do not always ask precise questions.

Imagine asking a question of an Internet search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. You give your best guess at criteria and the search engine interprets it for you. It compensates for spelling errors, plurals and verb tenses. It translates acronyms and honors well-known synonyms. It generally finds what you want, and it can even suggest, “Did you mean …?”.

People appreciate how Internet search engines think more like a person. They don't have to be an expert searching the web, and they don't have to understand the structure and details of a web page. They just need to know how to ask a question.

This flexibility belongs in databases, too. PowerSearch provides this flexibility. PowerSearch lets you find your data even if you don't know the correct spelling, transpose numbers, use abbreviations, or use nicknames or synonyms. PowerSearch allows your database to think like a person.

With PowerSearch, each column has a context, and each context demands a different flexibility. For example:

  • A First Name column needs to allow synonyms for given names, equating Bill to William, Beth to Elizabeth, and so forth.
  • A Last Name column needs to allow a phonetic search.
  • An Address column needs to allow misspellings and postal abbreviations.
  • A Zip Code column needs to allow a geographic radius search for all zip codes within a certain distance.
  • A Phone Number column needs to allow transpositions, and would allow alternative area codes.
  • An Email Address column needs to allow alternative spellings, or alternate domain names.

PowerSearch lets you choose the best flexibilities for each column. PowerSearch even allows you to create custom synonym lists that are designed specifically for your data. As a database administrator, you can design the flexibility that you want in your database. In the end, you can help your users find what they are looking for.

Take a look at an example of PowerSearch. As you continue this section, you will learn how to add PowerSearch into your application.

Additional Resources

See also:

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admin/indexing/powersearch/home.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/28 22:38 (external edit)