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ATG Search Indexing - overview of different steps in search indexing

Read more about the search indexing behind the scene steps @

ATG Search prepares searchable content by indexing the products specified in the XML definition file (/atg/commerce/search/ProductCatalogOutputConfig).

Generally there are two types of indexing
1.  Full Indexing  --> all data taken for indexing
2.  Incremental Indexing --> only changed data will be taken for indexing

When full indexing is triggered, following happens:

   1. The out of box component BulkLoader will call IndexedItemsGroup.getGroupMembers() to load the products to the XHTL document. It prevents uncategorized products from getting indexed. The definition file format begins with a top-level item as a product and includes the properties of parent category and childskus. For each product, the set of Variant Producers configured in ProductCatalogOutputConfig is executed to check how many index items are to be created.

   2. XHTML documents are generated for each product, in order to submit to the engine for indexing. The XHTML is generated based on the definition file specified in ProductCatalogOutputConfig. An XHTML document that represents a Commerce product includes information about its parent category’s properties, as well as information about the properties of the child SKUs.

  3. The definition file, product-catalog-output-config is parsed to generate the text and meta properties, to be added to the index. The Text–properties indicates the properties which can be searched on. The Meta-properties indicate the properties which can be sent as constraints for faceted search. The text property will be specified in <text-properties> tag and meta property in <meta-properties> tag. The properties for which there is a custom property accessor specified, the property accessor is used to obtain the value to be indexed.

  4. After all the products have been added, the out of box PostIndexCustomization is executed to add any refineConfig and rankConfig information. This is used by the engine for generating facets and for manipulating the search results

  In case of failure in indexing, check the following logs
- JBoss server logs - <JBOSS_HOME>\server\atg\logs\server.log
- Dumping request logs Folder - <ATG_HOME>\logs\searchEngineActivity\*.xml ( request and response xmls). These logs will provide whether what was the request send to search engine in xml form and what was the response from engine for a query.
- Soap request logs - <ATG_HOME>\Search2007.1\SearchEngine\i686-win32-vc71\bin. This is used for checking the indexing failing.


  1. Hi, I've been dealing with some questions regarding Search and indexing, I got the process a lot clear now (thanks for that) but I got some questions:
    - if there are problems with facets, like not showing the right facets configured, does that mean there was a problem during the indexing on the PostIndexCustomization?
    - Why during the PostIndexCustomization the indexing can take too long, like 2 hours? And before it took like 30 min, what could be a starting point to find what is wrong?
    - Which one is better, full or incremental indexing? Can both coexist? What do you recommend?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. - If there are issues with facets not showing on the site, first check the data in your database, then the refinement repository, then the refineconfig passed to search engine.

    - I haven't tries incremental indexing.But if you have small changes per day, you can go ahead with incremental, otherwise go with full indexing


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