4.01 Searching And Filtering Questions

Our site has a search form with checkboxes for 4 product fields: Product name, Short and Full description, Keywords. The checkboxes are supposed to restrict the search to checked fields but do not, instead finding records matching the search term in any one or more of the fields. This is problematic as, e.g., “Spring” is the name of a product and also a keyword in several other items. Considering that this can happen over four fields, the effect is excessively large search result sets for users and for us in the back end. So I have a few basic questions about search/filters:

Where are settings for search and filter in v.4? Is it possible to roll ones own searches by setting up any conceivable boolean search, on single field or multiple fields, using AND, OR, NOT, and relational logical operators and SQL calls, or does CS-Cart impose the use of some prefabricated forms with limitations, possibly due to logical dependencies (business or other) in the various templates and the fact that CS-Cart system-defined fields would be tied to that logic?

Regarding filters, we have an advanced filter form which contains five feature fields. They stand alone with no modifiers such as “any”, “all” or “exact phrase” and filter in an additive or AND fashion, which is intuitive as that's how physical filters work. I'm wondering if it's possible to use the “any”, “all” or “exact phrase” operators on the individual filter input fields, and add a “show” or “hide” operator on each filter for full boolean functional completeness. Also, is there any essential difference between a search and a filter, and if so what is it?

I guess at all boils down to whether or not CS-Cart demands any limits on searches/filters? Sorry for wordiness; I was trying to be as clear as possible.

Thanks for any insights.

Very good points. I will have to try disabling those check boxes and seeing how the results compare.

I remember having to edit the files to change the default search in v2.2 or v3.0 from AND to OR, as it would never return any results.

It would be very welcomed if greater control was available (an “Advanced” button that did in fact show useful advanced options) via AND or OR (which covers your “any” (or) and “all” (and)). But I guess using quotes would force an “Exact” phrase search…

I would need to test it. But I totally agree, having these operator options visible, so regular users (who may not be syntax specialists) can continue to use and utilise advanced searches on the site.

I also feel NOT would be an important feature too…

The difference between Search and Filter? Filters search one set (column) of data, where as search can search 4 sets of data…

I hope you get additional responses from others as I would also like to know how to better improve this search and filter functionality.

Thanks :D