Meta collections


A meta collection is a collection that allows users to search over one or more existing collections at the same time. For example, if you had two web collections, one for the external Internet site and a second for the internal Intranet, you could create a meta collection comprising the two collections to allow internal users to search both sites.

Meta-collections operate similar to standard collections, except that they are not updated: the individual collections must be updated instead.


Creating a meta-collection is usually just a matter of selecting the collections you wish to be included. For example, on the "Edit Collection Settings" page shown below two web collections have been included in a meta collection:


Note that if any of the selected base collections have early binding document level security, the following option must be added to the collection.cfg file for meta collection to maintain security processing for those component collections:


Displaying results in a meta collection

If your meta-collection comprises a number of different collection types, for example a web plus a database collection, then the search results will be a heterogeneous mix of records. The meta-collection's search forms should use an <#if /> FreeMarker clause (Modern UI) to identify the child collection and format the record appropriately.

For example, if you had a database collection called "library" you could format results differently with the following:

<#if r.collection == "library">
  <a href="${r.cacheUrl}">${r.title}</a>
  <b>Library Record</b> - ${}
  <#if r.metaData["y"]?exists>
    <span class="summary_label">ISBN:</span><${r.metaData["y"]}<br />
<#if r.collection != "library">
  <a href="${r.cacheUrl}">${r.title}</a>
  <b>Other Record</b> - ${}
  <#if r.metaData["a"]?exists>
    <span class="summary_label">Author:</span><${r.metaData["a"]}<br />

Note that r.cacheUrl is used for the links to the library records as they are the rows extracted from the database (as XML files).

You might also use a hook script to transform the results so that results from a specific sub-collection are processed in a particular way.

See also