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Apex Basics & Database : Writing SOSL Queries

Note: All credit goes to Salesforce, I am just a developer who enjoy playing trailhead and try to make note to myself.
What is SOSL?
Salesforce Object Search Language (SOSL) is a Salesforce search language that is used to perform text searches in records. Use SOSL to search fields across multiple standard and custom object records in Salesforce. SOSL is similar to Apache Lucene.

Differences and Similarities Between SOQL and SOSL
Like SOQL, SOSL allows you to search your organization’s records for specific information. Unlike SOQL, which can only query one standard or custom object at a time, a single SOSL query can search all objects.
They are same in : 
  • allows you to search your organization’s records for specific information
They are not same:
  • SOQL can only query one standard or custom object at a time, a single SOSL query can search all objects.
  • SOSL matches fields based on a word match while SOQL performs an exact match by default (when not using wildcards).For example, searching for 'Cloudy' in SOSL returns records whose field values are 'Cloudy' or 'Cloudy Day', but SOQL returns only records with field values of 'Cloudy'.
  • SOQL and SOSL are two separate languages with different syntax.
    • Use SOQL to retrieve records for a single object.
    • Use SOSL to search fields across multiple objects. SOSL queries can search most text fields on an object.

Basic SOSL Syntax

FIND 'SearchQuery' [IN SearchGroup] [RETURNING ObjectsAndFields]
  1. SearchQuery : is the text to search for (a single word or a phrase). Search terms can be grouped with logical operators (AND, OR) and parentheses. Can include wildcard characters (*, ?). The * wildcard matches zero or more characters at the middle or end of the search term. The ? wildcard matches only one character at the middle or end of the search term.Text searches are case-insensitive. For example, searching for Customer, customer, or CUSTOMER all return the same results.
  2. SearchGroup(optional): It is the scope of the fields to search. If not specified, the default search scope is all fields. SearchGroup can take one of the following values.
  3. ObjectsAndFields (optional):It is the information to return in the search result—a list of one or more sObjects and, within each sObject, list of one or more fields, with optional values to filter against. If not specified, the search results contain the IDs of all objects found.
List<List<sObject>> searchList = [FIND 'Wingo OR SFDC' IN ALL FIELDS 
                   RETURNING Account(Name),Contact(FirstName,LastName,Department)];
Account[] searchAccounts = (Account[])searchList[0];
Contact[] searchContacts = (Contact[])searchList[1];

System.debug('Found the following accounts.');
for (Account a : searchAccounts) {

System.debug('Found the following contacts.');
for (Contact c : searchContacts) {
    System.debug(c.LastName + ', ' + c.FirstName);

Single Words and Phrases 
A SearchQuery contains two types of text:

  1. Single Word— single word, such as test or hello. Words in the SearchQuery are delimited by spaces, punctuation, and changes from letters to digits (and vice-versa). Words are always case insensitive.
  2. Phrase— collection of words and spaces surrounded by double quotes such as "john smith". Multiple words can be combined together with logic and grouping operators to form a more complex query. SOQL and SOSL Reference 
Salesforce TrailHead


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