Search capabilities in communities can make or break a member’s experience. Search in communities is different depending on whether your community is using a Community Builder-based template or a Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce template. In general, searches within a community return results specific to that community.
Available in: Salesforce Classic
Available in: Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer Editions
Search behavior in communities is different from searches in the internal org:
In general, searches within a community return matches from within the community. To find items from a different community, members must leave the current community and search from within the other community.
In community search results, members can see what they have access to through their profiles and permission sets. In addition, they can also view data that is explicitly shared with them in the community context. This can include internal company content and records not explicitly shared with the rest of the community. For example, if the user’s profile allows access to accounts, but the accounts tab isn’t exposed in the community, the member can still view account data in their search results.
For user searches performed by external users of a community, global search and enhanced lookup search (with the All Fields option selected) query the following limited set of fields:
For example, say an external community member searches for a user, John Doe, by his alias jdoe. If that term isn’t contained in any of the searchable fields in the user object, John Doe’s record isn’t included in search results.
Search results include all the records and files that a community member has access to. This includes records not explicitly exposed in the community or records and files they have access to in the internal Salesforce organization. In file searches, users can see:
Files they own
Files shared with them directly
Files they have access to in a library
Files that are posted to a record they have access to
Files that are posted to groups or shared with that community
The admin must enable search result filters for an object in the internal org for it to be searchable in a community. To make custom objects searchable, the object must be associated to a tab in the internal org.
For communities using the Koa and Kokua templates:
The Featured Search component lets community members search for articles within a specific data category.
The Article List component shows the search results based on the search term entered in Featured Search.
For communities using the Customer Service (Napili) template:
The Search Publisher component lets community members enter search terms in the community.
The Search Results component shows a list of search results limited to articles and discussions.
Only articles that have a topic associated to them in Community Management populate in the Search Results component.
The Global Search Results component lets members see search results in one tab (All), or in separate tabs for cases, accounts, contacts, and any other object exposed in the community (including custom objects) to which they have access.
Admins must associate a tab to a custom object to make it searchable in global search.
For communities using Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce:
If Chatter is enabled in your org, global search and contextual feed search are enabled by default in all communities.
With global search, members can search for records, files, people, groups, topics, and feed posts and comments.
Feed search () is helpful when members want to look for information in a specific feed context. Groups, user profiles, records, and the community feed support feed search.
If Chatter isn’t enabled, sidebar search is enabled in all communities.
Sidebar search doesn’t support searches for items specific to Chatter, such as feeds, groups, files, topics, and user profiles.