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eZ Publish (5.x)

eZ Publish 5.x | For eZ Platform & eZ Studio topics see Technical manual and User manual, for eZ Publish 4.x and Legacy topics see eZ Publish legacy

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Version compatibility

This recipe is compatible with eZ Publish 5.3 and higher


Search Criteria and Sort Clauses are value object classes used for building Search Query, to define filter criteria and ordering of the result set. eZ Platform (and eZ Publish Platform 5.x)  provides a number of standard Criteria and Sort Clauses that you can use out of the box and that should cover the majority of use cases.

Example of standard ContentId criterion

Search Engine Handling of Criteria and Sort Clauses

As Criterions and Sort Clauses are value objects which are used to define the Query from API perspective, they are are common for all storage engines. Each storage engine needs to implement its own handler for corresponding Criterion and Sort Clause value object, which will be used to translate the value object into storage specific search query.

Example of ContentId criterion handler in Legacy Storage Engine
Example of ContentId criterion handler in Solr Storage engine

Custom Criteria and Sort Clauses

Sometimes you will find that standard Criteria and Sort Clauses provided with eZ Publish are not sufficient for you needs. Most often this will be the case if you have developed a custom FieldType using external storage, which therefore can not be searched using standard Field Criterion.

On use of Field Criterion/SortClause with large databases

Field Criterion/SortClause does not perform well by design when using SQL database, so if you have a large database and want to use them you either need to wait and use Solr/ElasticSearch support when official later in 2015, or develop your own Custom Criterion / Sort Clause to avoid use of attributes (Fields) database table, and instead uses a custom simplified table which can handle the amount of data you have.

In this case you can implement a custom Criterion or Sort Clause, together with the corresponding handlers for the storage engine you are using.

Difference between Content and Location Search

These are two basic types of searches, you can either search for Locations or for Content. Each has dedicated methods in Search Service:

Type of searchMethod in Search Service

All Criterions and Sort Clauses will be accepted with Location Search, but not all of them can be used with Content Search. Reason for this is that while one Location always has exactly one Content item, one Content item can have multiple Locations. In this context some Criterions and Sort Clauses would produce ambiguous queries and such will therefore not be accepted by Content Search.

Content Search will explicitly refuse to accept Criterions and Sort Clauses implementing these abstract classes:

  • eZ\Publish\API\Repository\Values\Content\Query\Criterion\Location
  • eZ\Publish\API\Repository\Values\Content\SortClause\Criterion\Location

How to configure your own Criterion and Sort Clause Handlers

After you have implemented your Criterion / Sort Clause and its handler, you will need to configure the handler for the service container using dedicated service tags for each type of search. Doing so will automatically register it and handle your Criterion / Search Clause when it is given as a parameter to one of the Search Service methods.

You will find all the native handlers and the tags for the Legacy Storage Engine available in the eZ/Publish/Core/settings/storage_engines/legacy/search_query_handlers.yml file.



Available tags for Criterion handlers in Legacy Storage Engine are:


Available tags for Sort Clause handlers in Legacy Storage Engine are:



Available tags for Criterion handlers in Legacy Storage Engine are:


Available tags for Sort Clause handlers in Legacy Storage Engine are:


Example of registering ContentId Criterion handler in 5.4.x, common for both Content and Location Search

Registering Criterion handler

Example of registering Depth Sort Clause handler in 5.3.x for Location Search

Registering Sort Clause handler

See also

See also Symfony documentation about Service Container for passing parameters