Boolean Operators in Enterprise Vault 11 Search

The new search interface delivered in Enterprise Vault 11 is a big step forward in look, feel, and functionality over the older versions. It of course relies on Enterprise Vault 11 on the back-end, in my limited testing you can use the EV 10 Outlook Add-in with the EV 11 Server on the back-end. But that's not what this article is about, this article is about some cool ways that you can search for data within an archive.

Boolean operators are operators that can be used within your search

The simples of these is of course AND, and OR.  So you can search for John AND Smith for example. You can search for Smith OR Jones. They're pretty simple. Everyone is probably already used to using things like this.

NOT is another Boolean operator, and this can be quite powerful if there is a recurrence of something in your initial search results that you want to exclude. Not comes in two forms, the word NOT, and the minus sign (-). So you can have -Jones, which will bring back everything that doesn't contain Jones. You can have Smith NOT Jones, to return everything that Smith in it, but not Jones.  

"Not" is a fairly common operator... but then we can get into the good stuff:

NEAR is a very powerful operator. Near lets you search for one word/phrase 'near' to another word or phrase, and you can specify what you mean by Near.  For example Sue NEAR Parker will return matches when items are found where Sue appears within 10 words of Parker. If you want that range to be narrower try Sue Near/3 Parker. That will return items that are within 3 words of each other.

But what if you want to only return things where Sue is near Parker in that order. You don't want "John parker said he sue me". This is the realm of the BEFORE operator. This works in the same sort of way as NEAR but specifies the ordering. So you can do Sue BEFORE/3 Parker.

The final useful operator is NOTWITHIN. You can search for a particular word or phrase, but only bring back the result if it doesn't appear within some particular other text. For example if you're searching for 'inventory' but you don't want the results to come back when they match "Warning: Our inventory levels are low" (which in some situations might be standard, automated mail), you would search for Inventory NOTWITHIN "Warning: Our inventory levels are low".

All of these can be combined to produce some really good results. It might be something worth passing on to your power users, and gives an almost Discovery Accelerator like experience to things. Have you tried out these operators?



It's worth pointing that this information (and a whole lot more!) is all available via the help button in the Search window:





Thanks Chris, the blog was more to 'tempt' people towards what you can do with the new search, if you don't actually have it yet.