Simplify Your Searching with Federated Search


Salesforce strives to offer great features and advanced capabilities of search in Salesforce, such as instant auto-suggestions as they type, machine-learnt relevance ranking and an awesome new search results interface in Lightning Experience.

But, what if the results your users are looking for aren’t Salesforce records? Well, we’ve got a solution for that, too. As of the Summer ’17 release, Salesforce Federated Search is now generally available. With Federated Search, users can search for external documents while working in Salesforce Classic, Salesforce Console, or Lightning Experience. Users quickly find the information they need and avoid the hassle of using multiple search engines.

For admins, the setup process is similar to connecting external data sources to Salesforce. It’s like bringing together a bunch of search engines into Salesforce to create a super-powered search engine right inside of Salesforce.

How Federated Search Could Work for Your Org

Do your service reps often reference articles stored in SharePoint or Confluence? Or rely on Dropbox or Box to send and receive sales contracts or product materials? Going back and forth and running multiple queries can be frustrating and time wasting. With Federated Search, reps search once and see internal and external results on the same Salesforce search results page.

On top of that, users get some Salesforce search benefits when searching for external content, like seeing external results in Top Results in Lightning Experience. However, other advanced features we use for Salesforce records, like machine-learnt relevance ranking or spell correction, aren’t applied. Instead, results are returned according to the external search provider. Salesforce displays the results in a single user interface to simplify your business processes and make them more efficient.

More Search Options for Your Org

Federated Search accommodates all our customers, whether you use a homegrown or enterprise search engine.

Custom search engines
Did your dev team create a custom search engine using Drupal, Mindtouch, Solr, or another solution to search through external data? No problem. Our Federated Search Developer Guide follows the OpenSearch specification, with additional Salesforce extensions. External search providers, like Google or Bing, who conform to this API remain fully compliant to the OpenSearch specification.

Enterprise search engines

Do your users often access data from Dropbox, Confluence, or SharePoint? Our partners Coveo, Docurated, Swiftype, and Squirro make it easy to connect your external content to Salesforce and have built out integrations to the Federated Search API that work out of the box.

Here’s more information about our partners and how you can find them on the AppExchange:

  • Coveo brings AI-powered search directly into your Service Cloud, Community Cloud or App Cloud so the most relevant content is surfaced, regardless of where that content resides. Coveo is a Salesforce Gold ISV partner built natively on Salesforce. Community Cloud Lightning customers can bring AI-powered search on their Salesforce content for Free by installing the Coveo for Salesforce Free Edition on the AppExchange.
  • Docurated is a sales and marketing content distribution platform that helps enterprises increase the effectiveness of buyer conversations. Docurated leverages content engagement across all critical channels, such as Salesforce libraries, Microsoft SharePoint, and other sales portals, helping sales reps access the most relevant and effective marketing content. Docurated is introducing the most powerful channel for content distribution to sales and a new way for marketers to gain insight into content engagement and effectiveness. Check out the app on the Salesforce AppExchange.
  • Swiftype brings federated search to the Salesforce platform. Swiftype’s uniquely-built search platform is easy to set up and gives users the ability to find content outside of Salesforce without disrupting their workflow. Swiftype supports out-of-the-box single-click connectors to external content platforms and its extensive connector framework includes Box, Sharepoint, Slack, Google G Suite, JIRA, Confluence, Evernote, Dropbox and more. Visit Swiftype on the Salesforce AppExchange.
  • Squirro is a contextual search tool that allows users to search their unstructured and structured data across multiple instances of Salesforce within an enterprise, providing a true 360-degree view of each customer. Learn more on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Setting It Up

With a few, simple setup steps, your users can get external sources in their search results. If you’ve added external data sources, the process is the same, just use the OpenSearch type. But if you haven’t, t Salesforce Help guides you through the process.

Before you start setup, make sure that you have the following for your external search engine.

  • OpenSearch endpoint, also known as the OpenSearchDescription URL. Check with your external search engine provider for details.
  • Authentication setup information. For details, see External Authentication Providers.

For more information:

Summer ’17 Release Note
Admin Setup and Manage Help
Developer Guide

For questions, comments, or feedback, contact the Federated Search Product Manager, Kanishka Maheshwari, at

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