Mandatory Parts of a Search Query

The Janrain Console employs two types of search queries (also known as a “search term”). The first type, used to conduct default searches, consists solely of the target value you are searching for. For example, if you want to return information for the user with the email address toni.luc.ng@gmail.com, all you have to do is go to the Manage Profiles page, type that email address in the Search for profiles field, and then press ENTER:

toni.luc.ng@gmail.com

That’s easy, but – as is often the case – ease-of-use comes a few limitations. For one, default searching only lets you search on the default search attributes (displayName and email). Furthermore, your search has to encompass all the default search attributes: you always have to search on display name and email address (as well as any other attributes you might define as default search attributes).

And there’s another restriction: you are limited to searches where the returned user profiles equal the target value. Is that a problem? Well, it could be. For example, suppose you want to return all the user profiles except the profile for toni.luc.ng@gmail.com. That can’t be done with a default search.

Fortunately, however, that’s not much of a problem, That’s because you can also create a custom search, a query type that does let you search on a specific attribute (or attributes) and that does return something besides user profiles that equal the target value. That’s the good news. The bad news (if you want to call it that) is that a custom search requires a bit more effort on your part. As we just saw, a default search only requires you to type in the value you’re searching for. By comparison, a custom search consists of at least three items:

  • The name of the attribute that you want to search for (i.e., familyName).
  • The operator you want to employ (i.e., =).
  • The target value for the search query (i.e., Smith).

Or, to put it a little more graphically:

The various parts that make up a search query, and more, are discussed in the following topics: