Free Text Searches

A free text search scans all the indexed data for a specific Refinery view, across all columns, for the specified time frame.

Free text searches could be very slow in large datasets since they scan all fields. If you have a small data set and you are not sure whether a value might be in the indexed data, a free text search could be helpful. The following example shows a free-text Discover search for the term Opera or "Opera" in an index with one million records:

After the free text search, the results narrow to just under 200,000 results that contain the term Opera in any field. The results sill not match against extensions like Operas or Operations or opera (lowercase) if the Refinery view is case-sensitive, which is the typical setting for most views. Searching for a term like error in very large indexes could return millions or even billions of results, and require a lot of compute/worker resources to complete.

In free-text, you can use wildcards like Oper* to find results that begin with Oper including Opera, Operations, and so on (again, with case-sensitive results using the default view setting), or *Oper* to find results where Oper is found in any part of a value. If a view is case-insensitive, the results will match on any letter case; however, performance is slower for case-insensitive matches, especially for a wide search across a large body of indexed data. The following sample shows a wide search that is narrowed by a free text search for Oper*:

Free text searches could be useful to run a general sweep of the indexed data for a very specific term. In general, free-text searches are not recommended because of the performance. For most searches, it is a better practice to "bind" your searches to a field to narrow the search and reduce the results for performance and also review.