Wildcard search is the ability to match user query terms to fragments of words in indexed text.

Normally, Oracle Commerce search operations (such as record search and dimension search) match user query terms to entire words in the indexed text. For example, searching for the word run only returns results containing the specific word run. Text containing run as a substring of larger words (such as running or overrun) does not result in matches.

With wildcard search enabled, the user can enter queries containing the special asterisk or star operator (*). The asterisk operator matches any string of zero or more characters. Users can enter a search term such as *run*, which will match any text containing the string run, even if it occurs in the middle of a larger word such as brunt.

Wildcard search is useful for performing text search on data fields such as part numbers, ISBNs, and SKUs. Unlike cases where search is performed against normal linguistic text, in searches against data fields it may be convenient or even necessary for the user to enter partial string values. details about how data fields that include punctuation characters are processed are provided in this section.

For example, suppose users were searching a database of integrated circuits for Intel 486 CPU chips. The database might contain records with part numbers such as 80486SX and 80486DX, because these are the full part numbers specified by the manufacturer. But to end users, these chips are known by the more generic number 486. In such cases, wildcard search is a natural feature to bridge the gap between user terminology and the source data.

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