Random Row Generator in Configurable Search

This blog post is about elevators, losing your car in a multi-storey car park and about Configurable Search.  

I've blogged quite a few times now about the amazing new Configurable Search that was introduced in PeopleTools 8.60.  Here's a few links to get you started if you've not seen this before:

Recently I discovered a new and undocumented feature in the Search Criteria and Results Option section of the Search Configuration page.   It's a Random Row Generator control and there's a Checkbox field property which enables it for a specific component. This Checkbox field is OFF by default but when it's turned ON it will insert random search result rows into whatever results are displayed.  There's an additional field Maximum Number of Random Rows which controls how many random rows are inserted.  All random rows are inserted at the top and there's a good reason for this.

Random Row Generator Control Fields

This feature is handy if you believe you've entered correct search criteria but in fact were wrong.   This clever, low budget AI lookalike will insert a bunch of random rows that do not match your criteria in the hope that one of them might actually be the one you're looking for. 

Searching for BETTY VAN and finding ROLF SPOLIA !  Just what I needed.

It's difficult to get your head around just how useful this might be.  It's a bit like returning to the elevator of a multi-storey car park,  hitting the button for the floor you think your car is on and the lift actually taking you to a different floor.  Why?  Because we all know we never remember which floor we left our car on and so whichever floor you think it's on is probably wrong and so if the lift chooses a random floor then there's more chance you'll find your car quicker.  Breathtakingly clever!  And this Oracle AI magic is now part of PeopleTools.  

I just love what the PeopleTools engineering team have given us with Configurable Search.  From PeopleTools 8.60 we can now do all of the following:

  • change the appearance of any search page without customising;
  • override the Component Search Record with a custom one, again.... without a customising;
  • add or remove search columns, change search field labels, optionality and default values;
  • use OpenSearch keyword index searching and also have it revert to Record based searches if for some reason the OpenSearch index is unavailable.
And now, with the very useful Random Row Generator, this is a gift that just keeps on giving.