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Metadata class types

Introduction

Funnelback supports five types of metadata classes:

  • Text: The content of this class is a string of text.
  • Number: The content of this field is a numeric value. Funnelback will interpret this as a number. This type should only be used if there is a need to use numeric operators when performing a search (e.g. X > 2050). If the field is only required for display within the search results a text type metadata class is sufficient.
  • Date: Funnelback supports a single date class and will use the values mapped to this class to determine a date for the document for the purpose of ranking, sorting and also date range search. If additional dates are required they should be configured as either text (e.g. 2017-09-24) or number (e.g. 20170924) type metadata classes.
  • Geospatial x/y coordinate: The content of this field is a decimal latlong value in the following format: geo-x;geo-y (e.g. 40.6976684;-74.260555) This type should only be used if there is a need to perform a geospatial search (e.g. This point is within X km of another point). If the geospatial coordinate is only required for plotting items on a map then a text type metadata class is sufficient.
  • Document permissions: The content of this field is a security lock string defining the document permissions. This type should only be used when working with an enterprise collection that includes document level security and specifies the requirement of a document permissions metadata field.

Metadata class types: text

A text type metadata class has the values interpreted as a text string.

The text can include code such as HTML tags and these will be returned as is by Funnelback. It is the responsibility of the user interface layer to interpret or escape the field content.

Searching textual metadata

Funnelback includes a number of query language and CGI parameters that can be used to search a text type metadata field

CGI parameterQuery language operatorDescription
meta_CLASSNAME=valueCLASSNAME:valueMatching result will contain the term value within the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_and=value1+value2+CLASSNAME:value1 +CLASSNAME:value2Matching result will contain the terms value1 AND value2 within the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_or=value1+value2[CLASSNAME:value1 CLASSNAME:value2]Matching results will contain value1 OR value2 within the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_not=value1+value2-CLASSNAME:value1 -CLASSNAME:value2Matching result will not contain the terms value1 AND value2 within the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_sand=value1+value2|CLASSNAME:value2 |CLASSNAME:value2The result set will be scoped to items containing value1 AND value2 within the CLASSNAME class before other query constraints are applied. Partially matching results will always include both of these terms in the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_orsand=value1+value2|[CLASSNAME:value]The result set will be scoped to items containing value1 OR value2 within the CLASSNAME class before other query constraints are applied. Partially matching results will always include either or both of these terms in the CLASSNAME class.
meta_CLASSNAME_phrase=value1+value2"CLASSNAME:value"Matching results will contain the phrase "value1 value2".
meta_CLASSNAME_prox=value1+value2`CLASSNAME:value`Matching results will contain value1 and value2 within 15 words of each other.

Text metadata can also be sorted alphabetically using the sort=metaCLASSNAME or sort=dmetaCLASSNAME parameters. See: sort options for more information on sorting search results.

Metadata class types: date

Funnelback supports a single date-type metadata class using the reserved d metadata class. The value of this field is interpreted as a date and is assigned as the document's date for the purposes of recency in the ranking algorithm, and also for sort and presentation.

Only a single date value will be assigned to the document. If multiple date metadata fields exist in the document the assigned date is chosen based on the date precedence rules below.

Supported date formats

NameFormatExampleNotes
RFC1123See RFC1123 and RFC2822Wed Mar 08 14:11:00 EST 2000
ISO-8601YYYY-MM-DD2001-01-31 or 2001-31-01 12:53:01Z or 2001-31-01T12:53:01ZJanuary 31st 2001
14 digitsYYYYMMDDHHmmss20091110083016November 10th 2009, 8:30:16 am
6 digitsYYMMDD010131January 31st 2001
Short ISO-8601YYYY-MM2001-01January 2001
Very short ISO-8601YYYY20012001
Non compliant ISO-8601YYYY-DD-MM2001-31-01Although this format is not standards compliant, dates with a middle component greater than 12 are treated this way. Take care though, ambiguous dates (eg January 1st) will be interpreted in YYYY-MM-DD format.
Abbreviated dateYYMMMDD31jan01January 31st 2001
Long form dateDD MMMM YYYY31st january, 2001 or 31 Jan 2001Long or short form months accepted, punctuation and 'st' 'nd' optional - "31 January 2001" is also acceptable.
Long form date, month firstMMMM DD YYYYJanuary 31st, 2001Long or short form months accepted, punctuation and 'st' 'nd' optional - "January 31 2001" is also acceptable.
Pre-2000 datesDD MM YY31/1/01 or 31-01-01Punctuation ignored. The indexer interprets years less than 80 as post 2000, and years greater or equal to 80 as 1980 onwards. It is not recommended.
A TRIM formatDD/MM/YYYY at h:mm a13/6/2007 at 6:51 AM, or 06/12/2007 at 4:51 PMUsed by TRIM record management system
Non-standardDD-MM-YYYY13-06-2007 or 13/06/2007Avoid if possible
Non-standardDay, DD Mon YYYYWed, 13 Jun 2007 17:26:08 +1000At least there is no ambiguity here.
19 character UTCyyyyMMddHHmmss.SSSZ19970705071122.123ZThe indexer will convert this date from UTC to the server's local time zone.

Notes:

  • All date formats are case insensitive.
  • There is no locale support for dates. Month names and abbreviations must be in English.

Date precedence order

When multiple dates are encountered for a document the following precedence order applies:

  1. External metadata (highest priority)
  2. The first occurrence in the document of dc.date or any metadata source mapped to the d metadata class.
  3. dc.date.modified
  4. dc.date.created
  5. dc.date.issued
  6. HTTP last modified date (lowest priority)

Searching date metadata

A number of special date parameters are supported via CGI parameters and the query language.

Dates must be specified as DMMMYYYY format. e.g. 1Jan2015, 5Sep2001.

CGI parameterQuery language operatorDescription
meta_d=1Jan2015d=1Jan2015Exact match to the specified date.
meta_d1=1Jan2015d>1Jan2015Matches all dates greater than the supplied date (after).
meta_d2=1Jan2015d<1Jan2015Matches all dates less than the supplied date (before).
meta_d3=1Jan2015d=1Jan2015 d>1Jan2015mMtches all dates greater than or equal to the supplied date (from).
meta_d4=1Jan2015d=1Jan2015 d<1Jan2015Matches all dates less than or equal to the supplied date (to).

Parameters can be combined to create date range queries. e.g. the query below would match results with dates after 28th July, 1914 and before 11th November, 1918:

meta_d1=28Jul1914&meta_d2=11Nov1918

Additional day, month and year variants are available for each of the above CGI parameters to facilitate easy form integration. The parameters can be modified further by appending

  • day
  • month
  • year

The example below would match results with dates matching 25th April 1915:

meta_dday=25 meta_dmonth=Apr meta_dyear=1915

The example below would match results with dates from 1st September, 1939 to 2nd September, 1945:

meta_d3day=01 meta_d3month=Sep meta_d3year=1939 meta_d4day=11 meta_d4month=Sep meta_d4year=1945

Note:

  • d3 and d4 require all three components (day, month and year) to be provided
  • d, d1 and d2 do not require all threee components. e.g. just the year could be specified.

Date metadata can also be sorted by date by using the sort=date or sort=adate parameters. See: sort options for more information on sorting search results.

Metadata class types: number

Defining a metadata class as a number tells Funnelback to interpret the contents of the field as a number. This allows numeric comparisons (==, !=, >=, >, <, <=) to be run against the field, and for numeric ranges to be defined as faceted navigation using the class.

Numeric metadata is only required if you wish to make use of these range comparisons or for numeric range facets. Numbers for the purpose of display in the search results should be defined as text metadata.

The value of a numeric field will contain an integer or float, and this number is interpreted by Funnelback as an 8-byte double. This affects the precision of large and small numerical values when applying range searches against a specific number. The lt_x and gt_x operators compare against the exact value specified. Other operators allow a small tolerance, enforced by the accuracy of 8-byte doubles.

Searching numeric metadata

Numeric fields can be queried using CGI parameters. There are no equivalent query language operators for numeric metadata search.

The CGI parameters are:

CGI parameterValue typeDescription
lt_CLASSfloatPerforms a "Less than" operation on metadata class
le_CLASSfloatPerforms a "Less than or equals" operation on metadata class
gt_CLASSfloatPerforms a "Greater than" operation on metadata class
ge_CLASSfloatPerforms a "Greater than or equals" operation on metadata class
eq_CLASSfloatPerforms an "Equals" operation on metadata class
ne_CLASSfloatPerforms a "Not Equals" operation on metadata class

Note: The CGI parameters currently work only as scoping operators. There must be a query to define a result set which is then scoped by lt_x etc. If there is no query there will be no results.

Numeric metadata can also be sorted using the sort=metaCLASSNAME or sort=dmetaCLASSNAME parameters. See: sort options for more information on sorting search results.

Metadata class types: geospatial x/y coordinate

Defining a field as geospatial type metadata tells Funnelback to interpret the contents of the field as a decimal lat/long coordinate. (e.g. -31.95516;115.85766). This is used by Funnelback to assign a geospatial coordinate to an indexed item (effectively pinning it to a single point on a map). A geospatial metadata field is useful if you wish to add any location-based search constraints such as show me items within a specified distance to a specified origin point, or sort the results by proximity (closeness) to a specific point.

A geospatial metadata coordinate is not required if you just want to plot the item onto a map in the search results (a text type value will be fine as it's just a text value you are passing to the mapping API service that will generate the map).

Searching geospatial metadata

A number of geospatial CGI parameters are available when searching geospatial metadata. These parameters can be used to scope the search to items with a geospatial coordinate within a specific distance of an origin point.

This allows for a show results near me search when used in conjunction with a user's GPS or browser-derived location coordinates.

CGI parameterDescription
origin=X,YSpecifies a coordinate (formatted as x,y e.g. origin=24.543,-2.331) that will be used as the reference point for geospatial calculations.
maxdist=DISTANCECan be used to restrict a search to a DISTANCE (in km) from the origin. (e.g. maxdist=20)

Geospatial metadata can also be sorted by proximity to the origin point by using the sort=prox or sort=dprox parameters. See: sort options for more information on sorting search results.

Metadata class types: document permissions

Funnelback interprets the value contained in a document permissions type metadata class as a document lock string describing the access controls that apply to the document.

This is used for enterprise search collections that enforce document level security.

The format of the lockstring is determined by the connector that is used for the repository that is being indexed.

Defining a document permissions type metadata field will prevent all results from the index from being returned unless an appropriate security plugin has been defined. This is to enforce a miniminum level of security over the collection when document level security is enabled. For this reason metadata fields of this type should only be defined when indexing a supported repository type that requires a document permissions metadata field to be defined.

See: document level security for further information.

See also

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