SearchBlox allows you to perform faceted, API-based and security-enabled search.

SearchBlox supports an industry-standard search query syntax with operators and faceted search.

Search Query Syntax

  • SearchBlox query syntax is a combination of Elasticsearch query syntax and custom query syntax.

Operators in Search

Operator DescriptionOperatorExample
Wildcard Operator* (Asterisk Operator)
? (Question Operator)
Fuzzy Search Operator~ (Tilde Operator)roam~
Proximity~10 (Tilde with numeric operators)“searchblox j2ee”~10
Exact Search Operator"" (Double Quotes operator)“Old is gold"
OR OperatorOR“searchblox server” OR elasticsearch
AND OperatorANDsearchblox AND j2ee
NOT OperatorNOT“searchblox server” NOT j2ee
Plus Operator+ (Plus Operator)+searchblox j2ee
Prohibit Operator- (Minus Operator)"searchblox server” -j2ee
Fielded Search Operator: (Colon Operator)keywords:news
Escape Operator\test\~

Fielded Search

titleTitle of the documenttitle: test
keywordsKeywords from the documentkeywords: search
descriptionDescription of the documentdescription: "This is test"
urlURL of the documenturl: ""
contentcontent of the documentcontent: searchblox content
contenttypeFile type of the documentcontenttype: pdf
meta datacustom fields index from html, files or databasesauthor: Stephan
Groupingcombination of SearchBlox and custom fields can be provided in fielded searchtitle: test AND author: Stephen AND keywords:search

+travel +world +(title:news)

((world AND travel) OR keywords:news) AND cnn

Wildcard Search

  • SearchBlox supports single and multiple wildcard character search.
  • To perform a single character wildcard search, use the ? symbol. To perform a multiple character wildcard search, use the * symbol.
  • The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match with the single character replaced.
  • To search for text or test you can use the search query: te?t
  • Multiple character wildcard searches look for 0 or more characters.
  • To search for test, tests, or tester, you can use the search query: test*
  • You can also use a wildcard character in the middle of a term. te*t

Fuzzy Search

  • SearchBlox supports fuzzy search. Fuzzy search can also be referred to as an approximate search and can fetch results even for incorrect spelling.
  • To perform a fuzzy search, use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a single word term in the search query.
  • To search for a term similar in spelling to roam, use the fuzzy search query: roam~
    This search will find terms like foam and roams.
  • If you want a fuzzy search for more than one term, fuzzy search operator has to be used separately for each term,
  • To perform a fuzzy search on International earth day, use the search query: international~ earth~ day

Proximity Search

  • SearchBlox supports proximity search which allows you to find words within a specific distance.
  • To do a proximity search, use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a phrase.
  • To search for “searchblox” and “j2ee” within 10 words of each other in a document use the search query: “searchblox j2ee”~10

Exact Search or Phrase Search

  • To find documents with the exact phrase, the search query has to be enclosed within double quotes.
  • To search the phrase Old is gold, use the search query: “Old is gold"

Boolean Operators

  • Boolean operators allow search query terms to be combined through logic operators.
  • SearchBlox supports AND, +, OR, NOT and - as Boolean operators
  • Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT must be ALL CAPS.

OR Operator

  • The OR operator is the default operator in SearchBlox Search API.
  • The OR operator finds documents if either of the terms or phrases exists in a document.
  • To search for documents that contain either the phrase searchblox server or just the term elasticsearch use the below search query: “searchblox server” OR elasticsearch
  • The following search query finds documents with either terms: searchblox j2ee

AND Operator

  • The AND operator finds documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of the document.
  • To find documents that contain searchblox and j2ee use the following query: searchblox AND j2ee

NOT Operator

  • The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT.
  • To search for documents that contain “searchblox server” but not “j2ee”, use the search query:
    “searchblox server” NOT j2ee
  • The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term.
  • The following search will return no results: NOT “searchblox server”

Plus Operator "+"

  • The + or required operator requires the term after the + symbol to exist somewhere in the field of a single document.
  • To search for documents that must contain searchblox and may contain j2ee use the search query: +searchblox j2ee

Minus Operator "-"

  • The -, or minus operator, excludes documents that contain the term after the - symbol.
  • To search for documents that contain “searchblox server” but not j2ee use the search query: "searchblox server” -j2ee

Fielded Search

  • SearchBlox supports fielded search where you can search within a specific field.
  • The default search is performed on content, title, description, and other custom fields that have been mapped to the content.
  • This search can be made specific using fielded search.
  • Fielded search requires you to give the field name followed by a colon :, and then the search term you are looking for.
  • Examples:
  • When performing fielded search on url field, the url has to be enclosed in double-quotes.
  • You can perform fielded search on standard fields as well as custom fields.

The following fields that can be used for fielded search queries:

contentYesDocument contentcontent:test
keywordsYesDocument keywordskeywords:news
titleYesDocument titletitle:"world news"
descriptionYesDocument descriptiondescription:world
urlNoDocument URLurl:""
contenttypeNoDocument formatcontenttype:pdf
languageNoar – Arabic
bn – Bengali
zhcn - Chinese
cs – Czech
da – Danish
nl – Dutch
en – English
es – Estonian
fi – Finnish
fr – French
de – German
el – Greek
gu – Gujarati
iw – Hebrew
hi – Hindi
hu – Hungarian
it – Italian
ja – Japanese
kn – Kannada
ko – Korean
lv – Latvian
lt – Lithuanian
mal – Malayalam
no – Norwegian
pl – Polish
pt – Portuguese
ro – Romanian
ru – Russian
sk – Slovak
sl – Slovenian
es – Spanish
sv – Swedish
ta – Tamil
te – Telugu
th – Thai
tr – Turkish


  • SearchBlox supports using parentheses to group clauses to form sub-queries.
  • Grouping is useful for users who want to control the Boolean logic for a query.
  • To search for either searchblox or server, and j2ee, use the query:
    (searchblox OR server) AND j2ee
  • You can also group fielded search with Boolean operators to form complex queries like:
    +travel +world +(title:"news")
    (world AND travel) OR keywords:news
    ((world AND travel) OR keywords:news) AND cnn

Default AND/OR operation

  • In Search API when more than one search term is used, the default operator used is OR.
  • We support a special parameter &default=AND which can change this query to AND.
  • In faceted search we use &default=AND as a standard to make AND search with multiple terms.
  • To learn more on this parameter read: Search Parameters

Using Special Characters in Search

SearchBlox uses the sb_analyzer by default. sb_analyzer ignores the special characters; however, the special characters would appear in context. We strip off the special characters while indexing. If you want to retain the special characters for search, you can change the analyzer.

The following characters can be used directly without escape character:


eg: test@

The following characters require escape character preceding it:

~,{ },!,:, < >,_,[] ,/ \ ,%

eg: test%

Fuzzy search operator i.e., tilde ~ operator cannot be used directly or using an escape character. The search term with characte~r can be enclosed in double-quotes for search.

eg: "test~nest"

To learn about search analyzers and how to handle special characters visit: [Analyzers in SearchBlox] (doc:elasticsearch-custom-analyzers)

Sample Search Queries

Search QuerySearch Results
searchblox testIf default=OR,
contain the words searchblox or test.
If default=AND,
contain the words searchblox or test.
enterprise (contenttype:word OR contenttype:excel OR contenttype:msg)contain the word enterprise and have the file types as Word, Excel, or .msg.
"Enterprise Search"contain the exact expression Enterprise Search.
Enterprise AND Searchcontain the words Enterprise and Search.
("Enterprise" OR "Search") AND "SearchBlox"contain the word Enterprise or Search and the word SearchBlox.
SearchBlox NOT testcontain the word SearchBlox but not the word test.
(Wellness^2.0 OR help) AND learningcontain Wellness or help and learning. The occurrence of Wellness is twice as strong rated as other terms.
+Enterprise +Searchcontain the words Enterprise and Search.
Enterprise Search +SearchBloxcontain the word Enterprise or Search and the word SearchBlox.
+(Enterprise Search) +SearchBloxcontain either Enterprise or Search and SearchBlox
SearchBlox -testcontain the word SearchBlox but not the word test.