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Many of you use Google™ to find our content. This is good and we try to optimize our content to be found by Google as much as possible.
And you certainly know that you can use expressions like <query> to restrict your search to the SAP Help Portal. You can also create your own search provider for your browser.

Yet I think that you can get better results using SAP’s search engine.

1.   Choose the right source

First, you should know that search on SCN and search on SAP Help Portal is basically the same. They use the same indexes, thus retrieving the same results for the same query – theoretically. Practically, search on SCN and SAP Help Portal are configured differently. Both sites use faceted search and both sites have set the “Source” filter to show only content residing on their respective sites. You just need to remove the “Source” filter to see results from more sites.

To see all available content, you must be logged on to SCN and use search there, because some content is restricted to authenticated users. SAP Help Portal does not provide authentication, so restricted content such as SAP Notes cannot be found there.

In case you want to get an overview about what kind of information is available for a given product you should start your journey from the respective documentation overview page. Just enter the product name or its abbreviations into the search box. Usually, a so called best bet appears as the topmost search result. The best bet directly opens the overview page.

2.    Filters are your friend

Let’s get back to the advantages of faceted search for documentation. The filters enable you to narrow your search results to specific products and even to release level. Admittedly, the filters could be a bit more user-friendly. But if you keep in mind that you need to start filtering using the “Solution Suite” filter and continue to “Solution” and finally “Version” you quickly get used to it.

Spoiler Alert

The Help Portal search is pre-configured to filter the result set for content in English-only. Although this is a usability advantage for most Help Portal users, some of you may struggle because you don’t find the topic you are looking for when entering search queries in other languages. Of course you can quickly switch off that behavior. Unfortunately, you cannot set this as a permanent default.

If you are already on a documentation page and use the search function there, the release-specific filter is activated by default. This is indicated by the ghost text “Search within this release”. To search all content, choose “Global Search”.

3.    Use operators to refine your search

I don’t have a complete list of all supported operators, but I know at least about these:
This operator…
Has this effect…
“  “
If a query is put in quotes the search engine only retrieves results that exactly match that string. Please note that the maximum length of queries is limited to 50 characters (including spaces). Longer queries are truncated. As this includes the end quotes this can lead to unexpected results.
Example:    “Configuring the BI Integration of CPH”
You can also use wildcard operators (* ?) within phrases.
Example:    “Config* the BI Integration of C?H”
Capitalized AND ensures that all words connected with this operator must appear in the result. As this is the default search behavior you can leave it out.
Example:    Configuring AND Integration           or simply
                        Configuring  Integration
Capitalized OR retrieves results that contain either of the words you have entered.
Example:    “Configuring OR Integration”
If you type a hyphen directly in front of a word, you only see results that do not contain that word.
Example:    “Configuring -Integration”
The asterisk is a placeholder for one or more characters. Please note that it cannot be used to replace an entire word.
Example:    “Config* the BI Integration of CPH”                 valid
“Configuring the * Integration of CPH”          invalid

  ?  is a placeholder for single characters.
  Please note that it cannot be used to replace an entire word
Example:    “Configuring the B? Integration of CPH”         valid
                           “Configuring ? new System”                         invalid

If you apply some of these tips regularly, I’m sure you will get your answers faster. Just stick the following checklist next to your screen as a reminder.


  • Start your search at
    • Alternatively, enter product names or common abbreviations into the search. Choose the respective best bet on the search result page.

  • Use SAP Help Portal search to get to specific topics.
    • Use filters to narrow down your result set.
    • Remove filters to expand your result set to include content from other SAP sites or to include results in other languages
  • Provide feedback: there are multiple ways to contact us if you run into problems with our content. Don’t hesitate to make use of them. We appreciate your help in improving our help.