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I'm part of a team in SAP specializing in search applications. The team is working on various integrations of search with different web systems, for both SAP internal network systems and SAP internet sites.

We are working to improve the SCN experience. One of the biggest challenges of any social site is finding what you are looking for. A good search application improves drastically the way users consume content and improves productivity. The SCN search is powered by the global SAP search application available at http://search.sap.com. This application is used on other SAP sites, such as http://help.sap.com. In addition, we have integrations with other SAP web applications such as EcoHub, SAP Support Notes and other areas such as sap.com. The goal is to have familiar search experience and one place to find content across the SAP EcoSystem.

We are currently focused on customizing the site search application to better accomodate the needs of SCN users. In this post I will summarize the immediate enhancements we are rolling out, in addition to the longer term initiatives to bring a better search experience.

Recent improvements

The first pain point we identified was the fact that not all content was indexed, and in some cases content which was indexed could not be found by the users. We fixed problems in the content visibility and added new data types such as people (Currently 'SCN Member').

In the picture above you can see a new value under the Asset Type filter: "SCN Member". By selecting it you are searching only the list of SCN users.

The second pain point we addressed is the ability to search for content in a specific space - until today there was no way to filter out content from other spaces we are not interested in. This caused non relevant search results to appear at the top of the list (in some cases) because the only option was to search over all SCN content base, which is, as you know - HUGE.

To search in a specific space, just select one of the spaces under the space filter. When you click more, you will see more values and the advanced features, where you can:

  1. Search within the values by text.
  2. Sort values either by number of documents associated with each value or alphabetically.
  3. Navigate to the next 50 values.

For example i want to search for the term "api" in the "SAP netweaver application server" space. So i will open the advanced filter features window on the space filter, and type "sap netweaver" in the text box, then out of the results found select the "SAP NetWeaver Application Server". Then we can search for any term within the contents of this space and all the discussions, blogs, documents contained in this space.

                                                                                Try it out by clicking this link!

Next step will be to put additional search box on the SCN space page, which will take you to search application with the space preselected based on where you are.

Enhancements we are working on*

Other features which will be rolled out in the future are:

1. Easier ways to find spaces.

2. Real time autocomplete to enable faster content browsing.

3. More metadata indexed for better search results.

4. Enhancements to the results UI.

5. Faster availability of new content in the search application.

..and this is just the start. We will continue to listen to our community for ideas and proposals for improving the whole platform including the SCN search experience. You can use the Idea Place - SAP Community Network Improvements to post any idea or proposal.

* All new features are dependant on the priorities given by the SCN Community Ops