Dimension search is sometimes confused with record search. This topic provides examples of when to use each type of search.

Being clear about the differences between the two basic types of keyword search (record search and dimension search) is important before attempting to create a solution for a specific business problem. Use the following recommendations:

For many commerce applications, a combination of dimension search and record search is actually the best solution. In this case, separate dimension search and record search queries are executed simultaneously for the same keywords, as demonstrated in the reference implementation:

Keep in mind that navigation queries and dimension search queries are completely independent. In the scenario described above where both queries are executed simultaneously, neither query affects the other.

Record search is a variation of a navigation query. Record search could return results even though dimension search does not, and visa-versa.

For example, the following query is valid but contains two completely independent types of results:


In this query, the ENEQueryResults.containsDimensionSearch() method (Java), and the ENEQueryResults.ContainsDimensionSearch() method (.NET), as well as the ENEQueryResults.containsNavigation() method (Java), and the ENEQueryResults.ContainsNavigation() method (.NET) evaluate to true for the query results object.

The Navigation object is the same as if the query were only N=40. The dimension search results object is the same as if the query were only D=red. By that reasoning, the following query also contains two independent types of results:


One final consideration in selecting what type of search solution to implement: Unless compound dimension search is enabled, dimension search is only used for finding a single dimension value. Therefore, multiple keywords are still used to find a single dimension value.

For example, red+1996 returns the Red dimension value, and the 1996 dimension value. It only returns a single dimension value that matches both of those terms, if one exists.

Refer to the "Using Boolean Search" section for details about performing Boolean queries with dimension search, for example, red+or+1996, which returns both the red dimension value and the 1996 dimension value.

Compound dimension search is most appropriate where multiple terms are used to search for combinations of concepts, such as D=red+1996. Record search may also be appropriate, and is described in the section about record search.

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