Unstructured and site content

HCL Commerce Search can search for both structured and unstructured site content.

Unstructured site content includes documents that do not adhere to a specific data model, such as product attachments contained in various formats. For example, content such as user manuals and warranty information are considered unstructured content. Its elements, construction, and organization are typically unknown and can vary depending on its file type.

Important: HCL Commerce Search indexes decrypted unstructured data by default. That is, processing encrypted data with HCL Commerce Search is not supported.
When you work with search index types, unstructured content is categorized under the catalog entry search index.

Although the HCL Commerce database might not store the unstructured content, unstructured content can still be indexed and retrieved. For example, when a search for laptop is submitted, the search result can find the unstructured content such as attachments in .pdf or .doc format, which contain the laptop keyword.

Site content

When you work with search index types, site content is categorized under the catalog entry search index.

Site content includes HTML and other site files from HCL Commerce starter stores. It is fetched and crawled by the site content crawler.

HCL Commerce provides sample static HTML files by default, that the site content crawler fetches and crawls to help populate the site content search index. You can configure the site content crawler to fetch extra content from HCL Commerce starter stores.

For more information, see Indexing site content with HCL Commerce Search.

Supported file types

HCL Commerce Search uses parser libraries to detect and extract metadata and structured text content from documents.

The following file types are supported by default:
Microsoft Office
Excel 97-2003 (.xls).
Excel 2007 (.xlsx).
Outlook documents (.msg).
PowerPoint 97-2003 (.ppt).
PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx).
Visio (.vsd).
Word 97-2003 (.doc).
Word 2007 (.docx).
Classes (.class).
JAR files (.jar).
Documents and text
OpenDocument (.odt, odp, .ods).
Plain text (.txt).
Portable Document Format (.pdf).
Rich Text Format (.rtf).
The following Tika version is provided with HCL Commerce Search by default for parsing unstructured documents:
  • Tika 1.7

Unstructured content schema

HCL Commerce Search can directly extract metadata and content from the unstructured data source. Differing unstructured data formats might contain varying metadata information. For example, Microsoft Word files contain metadata such as creator, company, and created date, whereas JPEG image files contain metadata such as width and height.

Solr Cell provides a mechanism to add a prefix to the generated metadata field. This behavior requests that the typical schema design of unstructured content must contain at least one dynamic field, such as tika_*, to store all metadata information. The main difference between structured and unstructured content is that the name and total number of fields for one unstructured document might vary from another unstructured document.

HCL Commerce Search manages unstructured content by requesting Tika to parse the documents before they are processed. Then, they are sent to the HCL Commerce Search server for eventual indexing.

Schema changes for related structured and unstructured content

When structured content contains a relationship with unstructured content, it must contain a new field in the structured schema.xml file to represent the unstructured information. This new field can query the structured objects by their unstructured content.

For example, when you search for products by the attachments' content information, the following new field definition resembles the following form:

<field name="unstructure" type="wc_text" indexed="true" stored="false" multiValued="true" />
Where the stored="false" snippet enables unstructured content to not be retrieved by queries.