While Relevance Search was added on version 8.2 of Dynamics 365 at the end of 2016, it came as part of a recent discussion when a SharePoint resource asked me about something similar to the old Search Server (MSS) or SharePoint Search, but in CRM. Namely, he was asking about the ability to have result filters based on specific record properties. Remember this?
If you have not enabled Relevance Search in your organization, you can do so from Settings > Administration > System Settings. Scroll down on the General tab, and find the Set up Search section. Check the Enable Relevance Search box.
Note that once you enable Relevance Search, the data used in searches will be shared and will comply with the Azure privacy agreement. This is because Relevance Search leverages Azure for search optimization. If you decide to stop using Relevance Search, the data shared will be removed from Azure.
From a configuration perspective, once you’ve enabled the service, you can configure it either globally, or as part of a solution. When configuring as part of a solution, you can only configure across the entities included in your solution.
You can create a Relevance Search configuration Solution in which you add the entities enabled for search, but no assets related to the entities other than the Quick Find view if you intend to tweak the searchable fields here. The core out of the box entities will be selected, while you have to add the custom entities.
Note that, first of all, there is a limit of 1000 fields for search. This minimized the potential performance impact.
Also, note that in order to be able to add a custom entity to the Relevance Search, you must configure it to allow for sync to the external search index. You find this setting in the entity’s Managed Properties.
Once you have your entities set-up, move a level down to fields. You do this the same way you do it for regular search, as the settings are shared. Open on the entity the Quick Find view and select the Add View/Find Columns.
Once complete, publish the solution and test it.
When you run a search, you can switch from Categorized to Relevance Search on the fly.
And now, with Relevance Search you have the option to filter by categories on the left side column. Depending on the available properties of the search results sub-set, you will get various categorizations available.
Feels a little like MSS around here, right?