20 Using Federated Search and Freeze

This chapter describes how to use Federated Search to gather information needed for a discovery action and how to use Federated Freeze to freeze those items for Oracle WebCenter Content: Records.

This chapter discusses the following topics:

20.1 Understanding Federated Search and Freeze

Federation is a term used to describe the process of providing a single point of contact/entry for searching multiple disparate data sources. This is often used during the legal discovery process. For example, by using the Federated functionality with the Records system, a legal officer can search all repositories and catalogs for items pertaining to a legal matter. The search results then connect all the items together in one place in order to perform legal searches.

Federated search is most effective when used with the adapters that manage content on remote repositories.


Federated Search functionality is not visible until the RmaNoSecurity right is added to a role. This right is not added by default to any role and must be enabled for the functionality to be accessible. This right should not be treated lightly or granted indiscriminately.

In addition, a system administrator role is needed to use this functionality.

20.2 Federated Searches

Federated Search is available when an external repository (an adapter) is installed.

As part of a discovery process, organizations might search for or freeze content across multiple repositories that are managed by adapters. Records uses external adapters to search metadata and full text of remote repository items. With this functionality, a user can:

  • Create searches by sending the search criteria to the adapter. External adapters check periodically to see if there are searches pending, perform the searches, and return the search results. The adapters may perform the search in a delayed timeline, requiring users to wait for the search results to complete.

  • Freeze the content returned from a completed scheduled search. While scheduled freezes are initiated immediately, the Records system performs the freeze in the background.

  • View detailed information about a scheduled search or freeze.

  • View search or freeze results.

  • Delete a scheduled search or freeze.

This section discusses the following topics:

20.2.1 Federated Search Query Builder

To access the Federated Search Query Builder choose Search then Global Search. The following options are available:

  • Central Catalog Search is used for external content already registered with the system. This is a search of local metadata and is usually a faster search than Remote Repository items.

    It is up to the adapter configuration to make adapter content visible to the Records system server. If the adapter has not made its content available, content will not be found in a search.

  • Remote Repositories Search is used to find items stored on external content systems whether they have been cataloged on the Records system server or not. This is a search of all possible content using adapters to schedule the search. The adapters use the criteria entered for a Remote Repository Search as the criteria used for the search on that remote repository. Searching for content in Remote Repository is not in real time and is dependent on adapters to complete the search. This option provides the most accurate and up-to-date results but it may take a long time to complete.


    Federated Search adds functionality to the Search Query Builder Form. See Using Oracle WebCenter Content for additional help using the Search Query Builder.

  • SES Search is similar to a Remote Repository Search but the search is not scheduled and run by an adapter. Instead, a connection is made to an SES server which has done a scheduled crawl of content on the adapter(s). Records connects directly to the SES server, which has been configured ahead of time. If this option is selected and no servers have been configured, an error message is displayed.

The Federated Query Builder page enables users to build and schedule queries across all repositories. Select the repositories to include in the search from the External Sources list. Multiple sources can be included in the search.

Select a field to use as sorting criteria and click Search when done. When performing a remote repository search, a search name must be entered. Users can only search using fields that are mapped to all of the selected external sources. Errors occur if a search is done against a source using a field that is not mapped.

After pressing Save enter a title for the action. The search is scheduled and the Federated Searches page appears. The list of scheduled searches includes the number of external sources requested in the search, and number of external sources that have completed the search request.

The search is scheduled and waits for the external search adapters to return results.

To return to the Federated Searches page, choose Records then Scheduled then Federated Searches.

20.2.2 Performing a Search

To perform a search of a remote repository:

  1. Choose Search then Global Search.
  2. Choose the type of repository search to perform.
  3. On the Federated Query Builder page, select the external sources to use in the query from the pull-down list.
  4. Select Include Content to retrieve copies of the content matching the search criteria. This option is only available when performing a remote repository search.

    Do not select this box unless search results are certain. Returning a copy of the data takes time and uses space. Fine tune the query first and verify what items will be returned before actually retrieving the content. For more information about content retrieved during a search, see About Returned Content.

  5. Choose the fields to use for searching. The Search Builder menu is used to select fields for use in the query. Only search using fields that are mapped to all of the selected external sources. Errors occur if a search is done against a source using a field that is not mapped.

    After a field is selected for use, additional menus are available to further refine the criteria. Boolean operators can be used to combine fields. Click the insert symbol (a plus sign) to access a menu of Boolean operators. Click the remove symbol (a lowercase x) to clear previous selections. Additional wildcard search operators, such as Matches and Substring, enable further flexibility in query building.

  6. Enter a search term for full-text searching. If a search is done across all sources, be aware that some adapters may not be able to perform a full text search. When choosing a search type, choose types that are valid for the adapters in use. For example, if a user chooses full-text search to use with an adapter that does not allow that option, an error is returned.
  7. Enter a search name. A Federated search is performed on the adapter's schedule, so it may not occur immediately. A search name allows users to check the status of the scheduled Federated search. No uniqueness validation is performed on this field because the unique identifier is an assigned Federated Search ID.
  8. Select the result output criteria by indicating a number of results per page and the sorting criteria used for the results.
  9. Click Search when done.

    The query is routed to the chosen adapters and is completed according to the adapter configuration. About Returned Content

Saved content is stored in a zip file and is checked into the Records system as internal content. These returned content items can be accessed and treated as standard local items. Users can set dispositions on the files, establish specific rules for their handling, and so on.

Some adapters may return the content in multiple files because the adapter may be configured to chunk data into manageable units. This behavior is controlled on the adapter side and cannot be modified. Checking Search Progress

Federated searches are performed according to adapter schedules which may vary according to the different configurations. To check the progress of the search, choose Records then Scheduled then Federated Searches. Or click the Federated Searches Link on the Federated Query Builder page.

The Federated Searches List page opens. This page shows the scheduled searches and their progress. The following options are available on the Actions menu for each search:

  • Show Search Results: Opens the Federated Search Results page for the selected search. If multiple external sources were selected in the search, the Search Results page organizes the results by external source. The search results for individual external sources can also be displayed.

  • Show Search Details: Opens the details for the selected search. Within the Federated Search Details page, users can view the search results for individual external sources, freeze the search results, download the files returned for the search, and create a similar search.


    Users can freeze items in the returned search results per external source. If multiple external sources have been defined in the search, but have not all returned results, users can schedule a freeze on the sources that returned results for the scheduled search.

  • Subscribe to Search: Subscribes the user to the search and opens the Content Information page for the query. For more details, see Subscribing to a Search.

  • Create Similar Search: Opens the Federated Query Builder page, pre-populated with search criteria used in the selected search. Users can modify or add criteria to schedule a new search.

  • Delete Search: Deletes the selected scheduled search. See Deleting a Search for details. Subscribing to a Search

When a Federated search is created, a content item is checked into the local repository with details of the search. If a user chooses Subscribe to Search on the Actions menu for an item on the Federated Searches List page, the user is subscribed to the content item for that query.

As results are returned for the saved search, the content item is updated. For example, if a query is set to use three repositories and results are returned from one, the content item is updated and a notification is triggered to those people who are subscribed to the content item. Deleting a Search

A Federated search can be deleted at any time. Search results do not have to be returned to delete the search.

To delete a search, deselect the check box for the search on the Federated Searches List page then choose Delete on the Table menu. A message is displayed, indicating the search and all returned results will be deleted. Any pending search results will be ignored.

20.3 Federated Freeze

Federated Freeze is used in conjunction with Federated search, to freeze search results from a Federated query.


Federated Freeze adds functionality to content freezing used in the Records system. See Managing Freezes for additional information about freezes.

When freezing content on an external repository, first schedule a Federated Search, then run a Federated Freeze on the returned results. If the search result that is selected for freezing has not been registered with the Records system yet, an external record is created for it automatically using the metadata returned in the search results. This new external record is then frozen.

The Frozen Federated Search Content page opens for review or further action. The list of frozen scheduled searches includes the external source of the frozen content, and the status (scheduled, completed or errors) of the freeze.

The following options are available from the Actions menu for a frozen item:

  • Show Freeze Errors: Displays the items with errors during the selected freeze. Freeze errors may occur if the checked-in items from the Federated Search do not have all required fields defined or if the items do not pass validation.

  • Refreeze Errors: Reschedules the freeze for the error items in the selected search task.

  • Delete Freeze: Deletes the selected freeze.

This section discusses the following topics:

20.3.1 Freezing Search Results

To freeze search results:

  1. Choose Records then Scheduled then Federated Searches.
  2. On the Federated Searches List page, choose Show Search Results from the Actions menu of a search.
  3. On the Federated Search Results page, select the check box of the items to freeze then choose Freeze from the Table menu.
  4. If freezes have been added to a My Favorites list, they appear on the list in the resulting dialog box. Choose a freeze name from the list or select Show All Freezes to display all defined freezes.
  5. Enter a reason for the freeze.
  6. Click OK.

    The search results are frozen.

20.3.2 Viewing Scheduled Freezes

To view which results are frozen:

  1. Choose Records then Scheduled.
  2. Choose Federated Search Freezes.

    The Frozen Federated Search Content page opens, showing all items found during a federated search that are frozen.