Synonymous search possible in SharePoint?

Occasional Visitor

We are a mechanical engineering company for special machines. In the future, we will use SharePoint Online for internal document management. Since our customers work a lot with chemical substances and we are an international company, our managing director asked if it is possible to set up a synonymous search in SharePoint. What does that mean? It means that when an employee searches for the keyword "titanium dioxide", for example, SharePoint automatically searches for the German term "Titandioxid" and the chemical name "TiO2".
If this were at all possible, I imagine it would be like a table in the background, where it is entered which terms are related to each other. SharePoint would then automatically search for the related terms when a term is entered and display them in the results.

I know this is a very specific question, but any ideas or tips on how to implement it? Or is this completely impossible.

 

1 Reply

@jonasloesle 

Hi Jonas,

OOTB the only option is to use query rules. This works okay for a few synonyms but when you have 100's this is not a robust solution.

 

There is also the script from Elio Struyf: https://www.eliostruyf.com/a-better-way-for-search-synonyms-in-sharepoint-online-2013-2016/ that uses a SharePoint list to store the synonyms.

 

There are also 3rd party apps that can be easily extended. For example Explorer has a search field at the top of the page (example). The minor changes required are reading a csv with the synonyms and modifying the search query that is send to search when the user enter a word which has a synonym.
These apps already contain the logic for authentication, showing search results, error handling, etc ...


At the end the key challenge will be to create and maintain the synonyms list.

Paul | SLIM Applications