Search in Dataverse – A Comparison

Data, that is what everyone is worried about and everyone want now. Lately, we all know who have the right data at right time with right insights have high chances of taking a leap in the journey to next level and succeed. This is the global truth nowadays and each global organization is behind collecting customer data and storing it in their own way. Gradually this data keeps on growing and they end up heaps of data and obviously needs a search feature to find the right data at right time. If that search feature is not reliable and flexible, all these data handy is worth nothing as it may not be useful for these organizations when they need it. With this coming to our point, we do have a search feature in Dynamics 365 for customer engagement as well. Today in this article, we are going to talk about the search in Dataverse and probably a comparison about different options available for us.

Coming to our feature list, Dynamics 365 provides us with three different search options,

  • Relevance Search
  • Quick Find (Single table & Multi table (Categorized Search))
  • Advanced Find

We will get into these in detail in a short while, but before that lets get into a small comparison between each of these and help to understand which one of this will be of our use at what point of time. 

  1. All three search features are enabled by default in a Dynamics 365 organization except Relevance Search.
  2. Both Quick and Advanced find are available in a table grid, while Relevance Search can be filtered based on a single entity once we have the results.
  3. All these three searches support multiple table search except the Advanced Search.
  4. Search behavior of each of these search differs and that defines where each of these search can be used.
  5. Searchable columns is another factor to define which search to use at what point of time. Relevance search can be used for any text type columns (Single or Multi line text, Lookups, Option sets) while don’t support searching in columns of numeric or date data type. Quick and Advanced find supports all searchable columns for a table in Dataverse.
  6. Search Results, this is where these three search options differs,
    1. Relevance Search, returns the data in order of their relevance as a single list as defined by the administrator.
    2. Quick Find, returns the search results in a table grid if its a single table search. For a categorized search or multi table search, the results will be grouped by categories like different tables.
    3. Advanced Find, returns the results with the defined columns we have specified in the order defined by us while we are doing the search.
  7. Relevance Search supports training wildcard search. Quick Find supports both the wild card search while Advanced Find don’t support wild card search.

To summarize things, refer to the below table.

FunctionalityRelevance SearchQuick FindAdvanced Find
Enabled by DefaultNo, we need to manually enable it.YesYes
Search ScopeSingle table search is not available. We can filter the search results by a table on the results page.
Multi table search is available with no limit to the number of tables which can be searched against. But there is a limit to the row type filter applicable for only 10 tables.
Single table search is available.
For multi table search its available for up to 10 tables grouped by a table.
Single table search is available.
Multi table search is not available.
Search BehaviorFinds the matches to any word in the search term in any column in the table.Finds matches to all words in the search term in one column in a table; however, the words can be matched in any order in the column.Query builder can be used to define the search criteria for a selected row type. Can also be used to prepare data for exporting as well.
Search ColumnsText columns (Single and Multi line of text, lookups and option sets) are supported.
Doesn’t support searching in columns of Numeric or Date type.
All searchable columns are supportedAll searchable columns are supported.
Search ResultsReturns the search results in order of their relevance, in a single list.For a single-table, returns the search results in a table grid. For multi-table, returns the search results grouped by categories like different tables.Returns search results of the selected criteria with all columns defined in a sort order configured.
Wildcards (*)Trailing wildcard supported for word completionTraining & Leading wildcard supported.Not supported.
Search Options – A Comparison

Reference from Search options in Microsoft Dataverse.

Hope you have got a pretty good understanding on the different search options we have in Dataverse. Depending on our requirement, we have to pick the right search option to serve our customer. For example, if we have to be very specific and data needs to be filtered based on complex logics and later needs to be analyzed then advanced find would be a quick pick for us. If its something like to find an account from all the active accounts but don’t have much idea about the name of the account then quick find will be a good fit assuming the name field is searchable. Likewise, we have all the options in front of us and its all about picking the right tool for our situation.

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