Internet File System User's Guide
Release 1.1

Part Number A75154-04


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Finding Information in the Oracle iFS Repository

The Oracle iFS Find utility allows you to search for files and text in Oracle iFS more efficiently and using more sophisticated criteria than with the Windows Find utility. And because the Oracle database's powerful interMedia Text option is built into Oracle iFS, you also have the advantage of being able to search the contents of files, rather than just the file attributes, when you use the Web interface.

This chapter describes how to perform basic and advanced searching using the Oracle iFS Find utility. Topics include:

Finding Information: An Overview

To facilitate efficient searches of large amounts of data, Oracle iFS allows you to search by keyword(s), date(s), and other criteria. More importantly, you can combine search criteria, to ensure that you find the most relevant data quickly.

Your searches can be based on file attributes, such as the file name, file size, language, or date created. In addition, you can search the content of the file when you use the Web interface. If your e-mails are stored in Oracle iFS, your search will encompass both the e-mail message and any attachments. You can search specific elements of a file, such as its headings or tags. You can also look for themes, information that describes what the document is about, even if your search terms are not included in the document itself.

Many of your search terms will be saved automatically, so that during a session you can reuse them without having to re-enter them.

When a search result is returned, you'll see each file that:

  1. matches your criteria, and

  2. you have appropriate permissions to view or work with.

If the file you are searching for is versioned, by default, only the latest version is returned with the search result. However, you can change this option to include all versions.

Types of Searches in Oracle iFS

Oracle iFS lets you conduct a search on the following elements of a file:

About Attribute Searching

Oracle iFS allows you to search for pre-defined file attributes, or metadata. When you search for an attribute, you are not searching the body of the document. To conduct an attribute search, you can use keywords, menus and multiple-choice indicators, or a combination of criteria. The attributes you can search for include the:

You may also be able to search for custom file attributes defined by your system administrator. For example, if your administrator creates an attribute named doc type to keep track of file extensions (.doc, .xls, .fm), you will be able to use this attribute to limit your searches to files created in a particular application.

About Content Searching with Oracle interMedia Text

When the Oracle interMedia Text option is installed on your server, you have a powerful tool that allows you to search the body of the document, rather than just the metadata, for specific criteria. For example, you might want to locate files containing the phrase marketing analysis somewhere in the text.

Both the Windows and the Web interfaces make it easy to search for specific content. To do so, you construct a keyword search as you normally would, but indicate that you want Oracle iFS to search on the content of the document.

To search for content, you can enter a single word, a group of words, a phrase, or any other keyword combination.


To search for a phrase, enclose the phrase in single quotation marks -- for example, 'marketing analysis'. If you search for marketing analysis without the single quotation marks, Oracle iFS will return all documents that contain the word marketing and the word analysis, regardless of their relationship to each other in the document. 

You can combine content searches with other types of search to achieve very specific results.

About Theme Searching with Oracle interMedia Text

A theme is simply what the document is about. When you search for themes, you enter search terms that describe the subject matter, but may not appear in the document you're looking for. Theme searches use the ABOUT operator, either alone or in combination with Boolean operators. They are conducted from the Web interface only.

Oracle iFS performs the search based on rules that allow it to locate documents that may be relevant to the theme you entered. Before you conduct a theme search, you should check with your system administrator to see if this option is available.


For the current release, theme searching applies only to documents written in U.S. English. 

To conduct a theme search, you'll type a search query (e.g., ABOUT microprocessors, ABOUT 'browsing the internet') into the File Contents field of Advanced Find window on the Web interface.

Windows: Finding Oracle iFS Files

With the Windows interface, you begin your search by right-clicking the folder or drive you want to search.


When you use the Windows interface, you cannot search more than one mount point (mounted drive) simultaneously.  

The Find on iFS utility is displayed in the context menu.

Figure 4-1 The Find on iFS utility lets you search the selected drive


The Oracle iFS Find utility can be used only on Oracle iFS drives. For other Windows drives, you should continue to use the standard Windows Find utility.

The Windows Find utility is able to perform searches on Oracle iFS drives, but does so very slowly and its use is not recommended. 

After you click Find on iFS, a dialog is displayed. On this dialog, you will set the search criteria using one or more of the four tabs provided:

Figure 4-2 The iFS Find tabs help you construct a variety of searches

You can perform a simple search, or build a complex search by selecting multiple search criteria from the four tabs:

Search Type  Function 

Name & Location 

Lets you indicate the folder in which you want the search to take place. You can search by file Name, Description, and/or Owner.  


Lets you search for files based on the creation date, modification date, or expiration date. You can search for dates in a given range, or dates within a given day or month from the current date. Also allows you to search all files regardless of date. 


Lets you search for files based on their type or size. 


Lets you search for a keyword or text string within the body of a file, and lets you choose the language in which the file was written. 

Note that the data entry fields on the screen are also drop-down lists. Oracle iFS will retain the search terms you use in a given session so that you can reuse them during that session.

By default, search fields are not case sensitive; a search for statistics will also yield Statistics. However, you can change this default by selecting the Options menu at the top of the window, and choosing Case Sensitive.

The Options menu also lets you indicate whether you want the search to return all versions of a matching file. If so, choose Search All Versions. Otherwise, only the most current version will be returned.

Figure 4-3 The Options menu helps customize your searches

The iFS Find dialog also presents three buttons on the right. These buttons are available for every tab you work in:

Windows: Searching by File Name and Location

The Name & Location tab allows you to locate files by name, description, or owner.

  1. Right-click your Oracle iFS drive or a folder that you believe contains the file. Be sure you click the drive or folder, not the file you want to search.

  2. From the context menu, choose Find on iFS...

    You can also select Oracle iFS Find by opening the Start menu. When you do so, you have two options:

Figure 4-4 The Name & Location tab provides several search options

  1. To search by the file name or text you think is in the name, type it in the Named field of this tab. You must include the file extension with the file name (i.e., Stats.doc, Sales.xml, Marketing.xls). If you don't know the extension, you can also type a partial name followed by an asterisk (*). For example, you could search for either Stat* or Stats.doc.

  2. The Description field lets you search for text that was used to describe the file when it was created or modified.

  3. The Owner field lets you specify the owner of the file.

  4. If you want to change the folder in which the search will be conducted, select another folder from the Look In menu, or click the Browse button.

  5. To search in subfolders of the selected folder, leave the Search in Subfolders box checked. Otherwise, remove the check mark.

  6. If you're ready to search without adding any other criteria, click the Find Now button.

    The results of the search are displayed in a list beneath the search criteria tabs. Of the results matching your search criteria, this list contains only those files you have permissions to view and work with.

    If you are not ready to search, select another tab and continue entering criteria. Or click the New Search button, which resets the search criteria and lets you create an entirely different search.

Windows: Searching By Date Criteria

On the Date tab, you can either search for all files, regardless of date, or you can set search criteria based on a specific date or range of dates.

Figure 4-5 Use the Date tab to search for modification, creation, or expiration dates

The Date tab provides the options listed in the table below.

Option  Description 

All Files 

The default setting is to search for all files regardless of date. 

Find all files with 

Use this drop-down list to choose which of the date attributes should be used for the search. Options are Modification, Creation, or Expiration date. 


If you clicked Find all files with, you can click between and enter a date range, within which the file was modified, created, or expired. The first field sets the starting date, the second field sets the end date for the range. 

during the previous 

Two fields are available to let you set a search backward for a specific number of months or days, if you clicked Find all files with.

These values cannot be used in a search for expiration dates, since any files that expired before the current date have been removed from the repository. 

In the Between fields, you can enter the dates or use the Calendar pop-up. To use the Calendar pop-up:

  1. Click the arrows to the right of the date fields.

Figure 4-6 The Calendar pop-up lets you set date ranges

  1. Use the arrows at the top of the calendar to navigate to the month and year.

  2. Click the day to set the value and close the Calendar pop-up.

Windows: Searching by File Type and Size

The Advanced tab lets you set search criteria for the file type and size. This tab provides the following options:

Figure 4-7 On the Advanced tab, set file type and size criteria

Option  Description 

Of type 

The type field is set by selecting a file type from the drop-down list. You can choose either Document or Folder. 

Size is  

There are three settings for the size criterion. The first drop-down list sets a comparison operator: you can search for a file that is at least, or at most, the size you set.

The second field is a rolling counter that lets you set the size by typing in a whole number or by using the up and down arrows to set the value.

The third field is a drop-down list that lets you set the unit of measurement to KB (kilobytes), MB (megabytes), or GB (gigabytes). 

Windows: Searching by Content Criteria

The Content tab lets you indicate the language of the document in which the text string was written. Oracle interMedia Text must be installed and configured on your Oracle iFS server before you can conduct language searches. The Text field is not available in this release.

Figure 4-8 The Content tab

  1. In the Find Document field, accept the default contains.

  2. From the Using Language drop-down list, you have the option of selecting the language of the text you entered in the Text field. This allows Oracle interMedia Text to apply the text processing rules that apply to a particular language.


Selecing a language on the Content tab does not restrict the search to documents written in that language. However, if you don't select a language, you may receive fewer relevant documents in your search result.  

Windows: Executing the Search

Once you have set all the desired criteria in the four tabs of the iFS Find dialog, click the Find Now button to execute the search. The results are displayed beneath the search criteria tabs. Oracle iFS displays all the files that match all the criteria you specified. In this way, you can perform very targeted searches.

Figure 4-9 Documents can be opened from the search result list

Double-click any file to open it. You can also right-click any file in the list to activate any Oracle iFS functionality, and you can drag and drop any file out of the result list to another location.

Web: Finding Files in Oracle iFS

To conduct a simple search in Oracle iFS, you will use the Find field in the banner of the Web interface. You can search for a text string in the title or body of a file directly from the banner. If you search for a title, you do not have to enter a file extension (.doc, .xls, .xml).

When you choose to search the entire body of the document, you are performing the same search as you do in the Content tab of the Windows interface search dialog.

Figure 4-10 Use the Find field to conduct simple searches

You can also execute a more complex search using the Advanced iFS Find window. If your system administrator has implemented custom attributes, you may also be able to search on those attributes from this window, along with the ones provided for the advanced search. This is what the window looks like when you first open it.

Figure 4-11 The Advanced iFS Find feature facilitates more complex searches

To understand all the options available from this window, click the arrow next to More Choices and select Add All Options. The window expands to display more search options:

Figure 4-12 All Search Options

You also have the option of selecting fewer choices, using the drop-down menu on the bottom right.

On this screen, you will use the File Contents field to conduct a search of the document's content. Again, if you want to search for a specific phrase, you must enclose the phrase in single quotation marks. Otherwise, Oracle iFS will search for every word in the phrase, and will return documents that contain each one, regardless of their relationship to each other.

Web: Performing a Basic Search

To find a file in Oracle iFS:

  1. Select the folder you want to search.

  2. In the Find field on the banner, enter the string on which you want to search.

Figure 4-13 Enter search criteria in the Find field

  1. To search by file name, choose In Title from the drop-down menu to the right of the Find field. To search for text in the body of a file, choose In Document from the drop-down menu. The language used in the search is the default language of the Oracle iFS server.


  • If your Oracle iFS server installation does not include the interMedia Text option, you will not be able to use the In Document search feature.

  • You can use Boolean operators in the Find field, except for ABOUT and WITHIN.

  • Do not use wildcards (* or ?) in the Find field.

  • Searches using In Title are not case sensitive.


  1. Click the Find icon (the pointing finger). A list is displayed, showing files whose title or contents contain your text string, along with a count of how many files were retrieved. Click any link to open a file.

Figure 4-14 Search results are shown in a list, along with a count of results

Web: Performing an Advanced Search

The Advanced iFS Find window allows you to search on additional file attributes using a wider range of criteria. For example, you can search not only on the file name, but also on the date the file was last modified. You can search for files modified before or after a certain date, or within a day, a week, or a month of the date you specify.

Custom attributes defined for your files are displayed in the More Choices list.

Access the Advanced iFS Find window by clicking the Advanced Find link located beneath the Find field on the banner.

Figure 4-15 The Advanced iFS Find window presents more search options

Adding and Removing Search Criteria Fields

By default, the Advanced Find window displays only the Name field. You can add or remove search criteria fields using the More/Fewer Choices drop-down lists.

To add a search field, choose the field or Add All Options from the More Choices menu.

Figure 4-16 Adding a search field

The Advanced Find window displays the selected field with the appropriate selection menu.

Figure 4-17 The Date Created field

To remove search criteria fields, choose the appropriate field name or select Remove All Options from the Fewer Choices list.

Figure 4-18 The Fewer Choices menu lets you remove search options

Executing the Find Command

Once you have selected the fields on which you want to search and have entered the values you want to find, click the Find button to execute the search. Oracle iFS examines the directories and files to which you have access and displays the items that match your criteria in the File List. You can continue to modify the settings in the Advanced Find window to increase or decrease the scope of your search to achieve the desired results. When you have finished searching for your files, close the Advanced Find window.

Search Criteria on the Advanced iFS Find Window

These are the attributes on which you can search using Advanced iFS Find:

Attributes  Comparison Operators  Criteria 

Name, Creator 

contains, starts with, ends with, is, is not 

A text string. 

Date Created, Date Modified 

is, is not, is before, is after, is within 1 day of, is within 2 days of, is within 3 days of, is within 1 week of, is within 2 weeks of, is within 3 weeks of, is within 1 month of, is within 2 months of, is within 3 months of, is within 1 year of 

A date in the format MM/DD/YYYY. 

File Contents 


Text string. 

(File) Size 

is about, is greater than, is less than, is greater than or equal to, is less than or equal to 

An integer value.

Use the drop-down to select Bytes, KBytes, MBytes, GBytes, or TBytes as the unit of measure. 


status is 

Select checked-in or checked-out from the drop-down list. 

Search Folder 


A folder path. 

In addition, you can use the Advanced Search Capabilities box to choose specific types of content to search. For example, you can choose to search for documents, mail messages, folders, and mail folders. Using the More Content Type Options drop-down menu, you can add other options, including description, lock state, and flags.

Figure 4-19 Use the Content Type menu to specify the content to search

Custom Searches in Oracle iFS

The Web interface of Oracle iFS gives you the ability to make your searches more efficient by creating custom queries with Boolean operators. You can conduct custom searches from the File Contents field of the Advanced Find window on the Web interface.

Specifically, you can create searches based on:

Custom searches apply only when you are searching for file content, not when you search for file attributes.

Before conducting a search with the Web interface, you may want to review basic search techniques with Boolean operators.

Common Search Operators

The following table shows commonly-used Boolean operators and some examples of how to use them:

Table 4-5 Common search operators can be used in Oracle iFS

To Search For:  Use Operator:  Examples: 

Both Term A and Term B, where the term occurring least frequently is considered more relevant 


program AND application 

Either Term A or Term B 


program OR application 

Both Term A and Term B, where you want both terms to carry equal weight in determining the relevance 


program EQUIV application 

Term A, but not in documents where Term B occurs even once 


program NOT application 

Term A, but with less relevance given to documents where Term B occurs 


program MINUS application 

Term A when it is near Term B 


program NEAR application 

When you construct a Boolean search in Oracle iFS, the operators must be in CAPITAL LETTERS.

To search for a phrase, use single quotation marks around the phrase: for example, 'desktop application'.

You can also combine search terms. For example, searching for:

will yield results where the term program and the phrase desktop application both appear in the content of the file.

Advanced Search Operators

The two principal operators that greatly extend Oracle iFS search capabilities are WITHIN and ABOUT. ABOUT is used to activate theme searches; WITHIN lets you search specific sections of a document, such as headings, paragraph text, or HTML and XML tags.

ABOUT can be used either with a single word or with a phrase enclosed in single quotation marks, as shown in Table 4-2.

Table 4-6 Advanced search operators facilitate specialized searches

To Search For:  Use Operator:  Examples: 

Text within a section or tags of an XML or HTML document that has not been parsed 


WITHIN Headings


WITHIN Sentences

WITHIN Paragraphs 

Themes of a document 


ABOUT interfaces

ABOUT 'interface design for desktop applications'  

Web: ABOUT and WITHIN Searches

On the Web interface, you will conduct custom searches in the File Contents field of the Advanced iFS Find window.

  1. On the Web interface banner, choose Advanced Find.

  2. Select File Contents from the More Choices drop-down menu. The File Contents and Language fields will be displayed in the window above.

Figure 4-20 Custom searches use the File Contents field on the Web interface

  1. Enter your search query and any other data you require.

  2. Click Find.Your results will be displayed in a list, along with the number of relevant results.

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