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Search keys

Learn how you can set and use Bonita Search Keys to easily search for business values defined on your processes

A search key is data that is attached to a process and is used to distinguish between cases of the process in the Bonita Runtime.
You can define up to five search keys for a process.

For example, in a process handling insurance claims, you could define the claim number that is automatically assigned from a database to be a search key, so that you can search in the Bonita Runtime and find the case associated with a given claim. The value of this search key would be fixed for the entire lifetime of a case. You could also define a claimState search key that is updated at certain milestones while the claim is being handled, and could be used to find all your cases that are in a given state.

You can define a search key using any valid expression in the expression editor (constant, script, parameter, or variable). In most cases, a search key is a variable, either visible to users (like the claim number) or not. It can be initialized from a form field (typically on the initialization form), from the business data repository, or from an external database, or it can be assigned a default value in the definition. The value is initialized when the case is created.

The search key value can be fixed for the lifetime of a case or it can be updated with an operation during the process instance lifetime. If you define a search key whose value is a variable (or an expression including a variable), the search key value is not automatically updated when the variable value changes. You must use an operation to update the search key value at all points in the process definition where the variable value might change. Note that you cannot update a search key in a form field operation, action, Groovy script or Connector.

To configure a search key:

  1. In a process diagram, select a pool.

  2. Go to the Details panel, General tab, Search pane.

  3. In the Label column, enter a label for the search key. You can use the expression editor to specify the label, but as it is a constant, you can just type the label into the field. The label is used to identify the search key in Bonita Studio and in Bonita Engine.

  4. In the Value column, open the expression editor by clicking the pencil icon.

  5. Define the search key value using an expression.

Search keys are displayed in the Case details page of the Bonita User Application.
In this way, you can use search keys for adding business information to your cases. You can search on search keys typing the value of a search key in the Search field. For example, if you have a process called Issue E111 that uses the applicant social security number as a search key, you can type the number of an applicant into the search field and see the status of the tasks in the case.