This feature is part of the Visforms Subscription and not available in the free Visforms version..
In contrast to the traditional Joomla! search function, which searches any content for the search term on every search query, the "Smart" search" is a database based component.
A search index is created and stored in the database. Search results are then displayed using the stored search index.
As a result the search is much faster, especially with large amounts of data. Secondly, algorithms are used in the creation of the search index that deliver significantly better search results than with the classic text search.
As of version 3.5.0 the Visforms Subscription comes with its own Finder plugin. This makes it possible to create a search index for saved form data, so that users of your website can search in Visforms data. It is, of course, ensured, that only data that the user is allowed to see are evaluated in the search.
To create a search function that searches for data in Visforms using the "Search index" component, you must proceed as follows.
- Enable the finder plugin "Smart Search - Visforms" (Extensions -> Plugins in the administration of your website)
- Make sure that all existing form data is indexed: Go to the administration of the Smart Search component (Components -> Smart Search in the administration of your website) and press the button "Index"
- Provide the search in the front end of the page: This can be done either in the form of a menu entry of the type "Smart Search >> Search" and / or via a module of the type "Smart Search"
What data is included in the search index?
The structure of the search index for Visforms form data starts at the form level. The first step is to determine which forms could be indexed in principle.
These are all forms that meet the following criteria:
- The form is published
- The option "Save Result" is activated
- The option "Allow frontend data view" is activated
- The option "Displa Data Details" is activated (because the search result links to the detailed view of the data record in which the search term was found)
- For more information on the general configuration of the Smart Search component, please refer to the Joomla! documentation
In the next step, the fields whose values can be indexed are searched for for all forms that meet the criteria mentioned above and are in principle eligible for indexing.
These are all fields that meet the following criteria:
- The field is published
- The field is of the type Text or Textarea
- The option "Data display in the frontend" is set to "List and details" or "Details only"
- The access level of the field matches to the access level of the form
If no indexable fields are found for a form, the form will not be indexed.
The next step is to index the data of all indexable forms and fields.
All data records are processed, regardless of whether the data record is published or not. The smart search data table stores for each indexed Visforms data record whether it has been published and for which access level the data may be visible. Both the settings for "Published" of the form and the data record are taken into account. The access level is drawn from the form.
If the Finder plugin "Smart Search - Visforms" is enabled, the search index for all affected data records is automatically updated with every change to the form, the form fields and the transmitted data. After the first manual indexing, no further manual actions are necessary to keep the search index up to date.
Display in the search results
The title of the form is used for display in the search results. On the form title there is a link to the detailed view of the data record that contains the search term. If the user clicks on this link, the detailed view of the data record is displayed according to its configuration in the form and in the form fields.