Federated Search is an addon that enhances your Higher Logic Vanilla (Vanilla) community search by automatically including content from external platforms, such as Zendesk Guide. This broader search provides a real benefit to your users: they get more results, from multiple sources, returned to them in a central location -- but, presented on separate tabs to help keep them distinct (refer to Search Connector In Action, below).
To include external content in your Vanilla community searches, configure one of our Search Connectors.
📝 NOTE: Currently, Zendesk Guide is the only available Search Connector. The instructions in this article will apply to other Search Connectors that become available.
Zendesk Guide Search Connector
📝 NOTE: This information pertains to the Zendesk Guide Search Connector. For information on integrating your Zendesk support center, see Integrate with Zendesk.
This "connector" surfaces knowledge base articles from your Zendesk Guide Help Center. When a user does a search in your Vanilla community, the Zendesk Guide knowledge base articles are also queried and any matches are included in the search results.
If you have a multi-lingual community set up with subcommunities, search results will automatically be filtered by language. For example, in a German subcommunity, search results will be pulled from your German Help Center.
Enable & configure Federated Search for Zendesk Guide
1. Navigate to Settings > Addons > Federated Search in your Dashboard.
2. On the Search Connectors page, slide the toggle to the right to enable the Zendesk Guide addon.
3. Click the pencil icon to edit the Search Connector and in the dialog:
- Specify the URL of your Help Center (e.g., https://support.higherlogic.com).
📝 NOTE: The URL must have the "secure" protocol (https) in order to enable the Save option.
- (Optional, but recommended) Specify a label for your Help Center repository.
📝 NOTE: This label displays in your search suggestions and as the tab label for your search results. Examples of these are included in the next section.
4. Click Save.
Search Connector in action
After you have configured and saved your Search Connector (e.g., Zendesk Guide), searches in your Vanilla community immediately include content from that now-connected external repository.
📝 NOTE: If you specified a label (such as, Higher Logic Documentation) while configuring the Search Connector, that label distinguishes the external content from your Vanilla community content, as shown in the two examples that follow.
In search suggestions
When a search term is entered in the Search field, "matches" from within the community and from the external repository display in the suggestions list. Community content always displays above the external content.
⭐️ EXAMPLE: The Search Connector was labeled Higher Logic Documentation during configuration; external matches are grouped under that label.
In search results
When the search results display, "matches" from within the community and from the external repository display in dedicated, tabbed lists.
⭐️ EXAMPLE: The Search Connector was labeled Higher Logic Documentation during configuration. External matches are grouped under that tab; they do not display with the community content on the Community tab.
✔️ TIP: The "sort" and "filter" options for external-content results lists are the same as those for the Vanilla community results list.