This series of articles compares the standard Dynamics 365 search capabilities with those of Paribus 365, in the use case of finding a specific Account, Contact or Lead. Both the Dynamics 365 Categorized and Relevance search options within the Global Search have value and provide a reasonable solution when doing a high-level search. However both have limitations or certain functional outcomes that make them less effective when trying to find a specific Account, Contact or Lead to work with.
The Categorized Search option by its nature is focused only on the Entity selected. Relevance search by default is unlimited, meaning it will return results with the search parameters from anywhere it finds them. If a user is just trying to find Rob Dixon, who works for a Network company, neither offers a particularly user-friendly or efficient way of doing this.
By default, Categorized search, will only allow you to search on either Rob Dixon or Network in either the selected Contact or Account Category, and Relevance Search will bring back more records the more parameters you add. Although the scoring of the results has improved, offering the more likely matches at the top of the list, the numbers of the results returned can still overwhelm users. See the following examples of searching for Bob Dixon at a Network company.
However, both Categorized and Relevance search have very little capability in terms of matching beyond an exact match. You can use wild cards to help, but there is not much more. What would be really helpful is to have a capability that incorporates fuzzy matching, and uses any additional parameters to filter down the list of results.
That is, to be able to find Bob, Robert, Bobby. Rob Dixon, Robert Dickson etc, at a Network company. Each additional element of the search being matched in a fuzzy search, but each parameter aids the filtering to a more focused list of results.
Global Search Only
It is handy to have a quick “global search” option, no question. I use it on occasions when I know explicitly what I am looking for and know an exact match will find it. Although I use it for probably less than 5% of the searches I do in Dynamics 365. With Paribus 365 I have a wider set of options that find records far more efficiently, when I am looking for a contact at a company, by being able to use the combination effectively, not worry about spelling the name exactly as it is entered, and not having to worry about wild cards etc., just makes life a lot easier.
And then there is Lookups. You are effectively limited to Categorized Search in Dynamics 365 Search capabilities with very poor displaying of the results – Paribus 365 is just a lifesaver!
The next article in this Dynamics 365 search series provides a more detailed breakdown of how we view the standard Dynamics 365 search functionality compared to Paribus 365, in the context of looking for Accounts, Contacts and Leads wherever you need to do this in Dynamics 365.
Read the Dynamics 365 Relevance Search vs. Paribus 365 article.