Dovetail Search for Clarify

Ever since we introduced Dovetail Seeker this summer, I was anxious to incorporate its capabilities with our applications.


It is integrated within Dovetail Agent, Dovetail SelfService, and Dovetail Mobile Agent. Kevin also demonstrated how to incorporate it into your own applications (his particular example was integrating Seeker with an ASP.NET 2.0 web application).


We’ve now integrated Seeker with the Clarify Classic Client, bringing the simple and ubiquitous search box into Clarify.


Dovetail Search provides the User Interface (UI) for searching and displaying retrieved search results. Dovetail Search for Clarify makes a request to Seeker, and Seeker returns a set of search results. Dovetail Search displays these results in a simple, intuitive format.



What can you search?

You can search any data in your Clarify database. Out of the box, Dovetail Search is configured for searching cases, solutions, change requests (bugs), subcases, and part request details.


Its easily configurable, so you can search your own objects – including custom data, and custom objects.

How it works

  1. Dovetail Search makes an HTTP request to the Dovetail Seeker web application with the search terms. For example:
    GET http://myserver/seeker/search.castle?query=lorem
  2. Dovetail Seeker responds with JSON containing the results. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format that is easy for humans to read and write, and also easy for machines to parse and generate.

    Here’s an example of a JSON response:
    {“SearchResults”:[{“Score”:1,”Domain”:”case”,”Id”:”7″,”Title”:”Case with lorem ipsum in the title”,”Summary”:”Case History”}],

  3. Dovetail Search then parses the JSON response, and displays the results.

Search Forms

Search Form with Summaries

The Search Form allows a user to search, and shows the results of the search. This list of results include the type of object (case, solution, change request, etc.), its ID number, and its title. It also shows the first 500 characters of the summary of the object (such as the case history, solution description, etc.) Results are returned and displayed in sets (pages), with each page having 10 results.




Search Results Form without Summaries


This Search Form is very similar to the first, in that it allows a user to search, and shows the results of the search. This list of results include the type of object (case, solution, change request, etc.), its ID number, and its title. However, it does NOT show the summary data. This is especially useful for users with smaller monitors.



Which Search form?

As discussed above, there are two Search forms – one that shows the summary information, and one that does not. By default, the Search form with the summary will be used. From there, clicking on Hide Summaries will close the default Search form, and open the Search form without summary information.


Dovetail Search for Clarify remembers which Search form was last displayed for each user. The next time a Search form is opened, it will open the same form that was last used by that user.

Search Tips Form

From the Search form, clicking on the Search Tips link will show the Search Tips Form. This form outlines tips and examples for using Search, including:

  • Finding results that include ALL search terms (using the AND operator)
  • Finding results that include either of multiple search terms (using the OR operator)
  • Using wildcards in searches
  • Using date ranges in searches
  • Using a property, such as the part for a case



Advanced Search Form


From the Search form, clicking on the Advanced Search link will show the Advanced Search Form. This form assists users in building more advanced searches.



But those don’t look like Clarify forms


Indeed, they don’t look like the baseline Clarify forms. The baseline forms are black text on a gray background. Ugly. But they don’t have to be that way. I have an earlier post discussing some of the UI Editor tips I used for creating these forms.



Having worked (and struggled with) the Fulcrum/Hummingbird Full Text Search integration within Clarify, I find Dovetail Search a joy to work with. Its simple, intuitive, and quick. And when I want complex, advanced searches – the capabilities are there as well. Its what I expect Search to be.