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Can I search on fields other than NAME on the Salesforce.com iPhone App?

Posted on 2012-03-25
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Last Modified: 2016-02-17
Hi all,

I'm working an implementation for a customer that is very interested in rolling out the Salesforce.com Mobile App for iPhone, but has significant concerns regarding some apparent limitations in the search functionality on that device.

It seems that when using the standard search functionality available for searching through a related list of custom objects linked to a record the only field that is searched is the "NAME" field for the record (This is a standard field created by the Salesforce.com API in all custom objects.  It usually contains either a record name or serializing auto-number of some kind).

The concern here is that the NAME field of many of our custom objects contains an autonumber value which is entirely useless to a human being trying to find what they're looking for, and that it's part of a managed package, so we can't change the nature of the data in this field.

Does anyone know if it's possible to work around this limitation?

      1. Is there a setting somewhere that can be changed to enable a more robust iPhone App based search?
      2. We have development resources available if a solution is possible, Is there some way to develop Apex, Web Services, or other code that could help us solve this problem?  Any hints about the direction to pursue would be very helpful.
      3. Are there other types of fields that the iPhone App Search will consider?  Perhaps we can use formulas or some other work around to circumvent this apparent limitation?
      4. Is there documentation anywhere that we can use to try to find answers to detailed questions of this nature on our own?
        5.  If there's absolutely nothing that we can do, it would be very useful to know that as well, since we have other mobile options available (browser, our own iPad app, etc.). We just need a clear answer on whether or not this issue can be addressed.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your help!

-Dan
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Question by:fsiconsulting
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Assisted Solution

by:techhealth
techhealth earned 2000 total points
ID: 37798820
Salesforce iPhone app is very much canned - there's no way to change most of its behaviors.  So I'd strongly recommend using other mobile options if possible.  The standard site renders just fine using Safari on iPad.

As for search, the standard search is limited to Name and any indexed text field - text fields that are marked as External ID.

The Help and Training section of Salesforce contains detailed information for its functions and features.
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Accepted Solution

by:
fsiconsulting earned 0 total points
ID: 37880698
Techhealth,

 I did a lot of research via other forums and testing myself and came up with the following solution that actually works quite well, and is at least hinted at by your response above.

If one

1.

Creates 1 or 2 text based formula field that simply outputs whatever fields you would like to search on

2.

Adds those formula fields to a Mobile View via mobile administration (you can have up to two fields per view, the first shows about 26 characters, the second about 46, but additional data that isn't visible is still searchable and filterable through the Mobile View Interface)

3.

Filter your view in place (without actually clicking the search button)

One can create a very effective mobile search.

You mention in your reply that search is limited to any indexed text field - text fields that are marked as External ID.

This looks as though you're saying that only external ID fields will be searchable (although it's a bit ambiguous), when I think that a much more useful answer is the one I've posted here.
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Author Closing Comment

by:fsiconsulting
ID: 37905293
I feel that the expert solution defines a system constraint and a push to adopt a different application without offering the very relevant work around that my solution provides.  Essentially, my own comment is more in depth and helpful in solving the problem.
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