Search bar algorithm not perfect

Hi Community.

The Search Bar algorithm in the list block is not perfect. It will find patterns of multiple strings if they are coming in perfectly “as is” from the selected Airtable columns. However, it won’t find partial strings (chopped by words), strings mixed in sequence, strings with commas in between, or added words in between (like “in” or “at”) etc…

Let’s say I have an Airtable of people (person’s name, business name, address)
Typical use cases:
Find me a person’s name at business name
Find me a person’s name, business name
Find me a business name, person’s name
Find me a person’s name, address
Find me a business name, address
Find me a person’s name at address
Find me a business name at address
Find me … etc, etc, etc…

It just won’t do that.

In other words, this isn’t your Google search :slight_smile:
Ideally, Softr should update their search algorithm. Short of that, I’ve decided to create common permutations of search patterns as formula columns in Airtable with CONCATENATE() function, and add all of those columns in the Softr list block search bar’s “search by” field.

I’ve got about 100 or so search pattern permutations. So, 100 fields.
Question: how many Airtable fields can I add to the list block search bar’s “search by” field before it starts crippling performance? How well does it scale?

Thank you

I second this issue.

The search bar feature of Softr only searches for “perfect” matches and not by single keywords. This basically makes the search bar unusable in cases where I want to allow users to search across multiple fields (a feature that is actually offered by Softr).

Currently it’s using exact match with contains logic over multiple fields. For more advanced cases the data needs to be taken out from airtable and put into specific engines that provide advanced search functionalities.

Absolutely understand this can’t be the same as a proper search engine. But in my opinion the logic just doesn’t make sense the way it is now. Let me give you an example:

Data structure:
Name (string) | Skills (tags) | Residence (string)

Jon Doe | [Java][SQL] | Berlin

You’re displaying this data in a list view. The list view block allows you to add a search bar and select the fields that are to be searchable. Let’s assume you select all three fields as searchable.

Search results:
‘Jon’ → :white_check_mark:
‘Jon Doe’ → :white_check_mark:
‘Doe Jon’ → :x:
‘Jon Berlin’ → :x:
‘SQL’ → :white_check_mark:
‘SQL Java’ → :x:

Even though I understand the options are limited without a proper search engine, I think the basic text search could be improved. Perhaps a configuration option could be added to the search bar ‘Only exact matches’.

This is mostly related the way we interact with Airtable as a datasource. We do work with it real time and use their API (we don’t copy their data over to our storage and maintain) and currently the filtering is not giving us flexibility. What other datasources would you consider ? :slight_smile:

Xano, of course! But generally speaking, I can’t wait for the day Softr will access an API data source. It will put Softr on another level.

@bbelo working on it :slight_smile:
Re XANO could you pls share if you use it as more of an API or more of a database with tables ?