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Looking for examples of federated search


I am looking for some examples of federated search between a support site and a community. I thought I would ask here if anyone has done this and would care to share a link? 



20 Replies 20

Hi Glenn,

We've got federated search on our support site, but not on the Community (or KB). We've discussed options for replacing the Community search with our federated search, but have no plans to do so at this time.

It's not really a secret that we use Coveo for this. You can check it out here:


Community Manager \\ NetApp

Hi @GlennD 

One of our customers (Swisscom) has federated search in place on their corporate page.

With this link you'll see how it looks like for a dedicated search term




Khoros Expert

Hi @GlennD , i have 3 very different examples for you.


1) Red by SFR (French Telco) : seamless search into ecommerce website, faq and forums (last being Khoros)




2) Analplan : very well structured & clear multi sources global search



3) Dell : this one is different, using a component to bring external relevant content ion addition to our own search engine results.




Hope you find those interesting 😃


Arnaud Lerondeau
Principal Solutions Consultant

Hi @GlennD -

Unfortunately since I'm behind a login, I can't have you see for yourself, but we use federated search with Coveo. I'm not 100% pleased, but it works.

Choose one of the gray pills to narrow down to an area and/or click a product at the left.


Results vary by multiple factors:

  1. Users only see content for products they own. Some of our boards are wide open while others are product specific.
  2. Filter options (type and product) are based on the search results.

We haven't looked into incorporating private boards and Group Hubs.


I hope this helps. Let me know if you want to discuss further.


Chris Todd
Program Manager
RedSail Technologies

@JCTatRedSail Curious what you dislike about Coveo? (Did you implement and manage the instance yourself or using third party/iTalent). I'm in the camp of Coveo being one of the most amazing tools one could have in their arsenal, yet at the same time recognize most companies do a horrendous job of utilizing it to its true potential (myself included with the Anaplan example above). 

Leads into my .02 for Glenn - When looking at options, figure out the legitimate 100% realistic amount of time someone will have to dedicated to this program ongoing. Unified search is to often thought to be a one-time install/config, and it is so so far from it. It's a full time job to do it right, a part time job to do it minimally. It will fail to give real value if you set it and forget it (Which is why search is such a horrendous problem on most web experiences, and why it's just easier to Google it). 

Worked on the Anaplan example above for years, happy to chat more if ever interested.  Been awhile since I had direct access, but happy to share learnings!

Hi @StanGromer -

iTalent helped us / helps us setup and config.

Despite my dislikes (below), I believe federated search is the way to go, so don't read too much into it.

  1. In many ways this is a losing battle, as everyone expects your search engine to work like Google, and it never will.
  2. Content (on us). We're light on content. It doesn't matter how good we are with the search engine if there's nothing to find.
  3. Design (on us). We're in the middle of a usability study right now. Some users don't recognize they can click the gray pills. They also don't recognize the option for preview.
  4. Separate code in the community forum and the rest of our site. [We have an open issue at the moment as the suggested terms are different between the 2.]
  5. We haven't invested the time to tune. I have issues with how much effort should be invested in this activity. More than I've been able to invest is required, but on the other hand...  see #1.

I believe the top 2 tasks to overcome the Google expectation and really search in general are:

  1. Content. Well written and breadth. People search because they can't find what they're looking for. Not having the content they are looking for is a great way to get them to search (and search and search).
  2. A site that is easy to browse, so search isn't needed as often.

And if you're not behind a login like me, spend significant effort in nailing SEO.



Chris Todd
Program Manager
RedSail Technologies

Thank you all, lots for me to dig into.


My friend has federated search from the .com site but as others stated below- the search from community is not.

Best, Sara Leslie 


Hello GlennD, 

There have been a number of references to Coveo and different integrations. We have delivered Coveo integrations at a number of the companies listed below, and more. Coveo has a strong search capability with AI/ML and recommendation engine. We have been working with Coveo over 5 years now and have found it to be very flexible, extensible, and powerful.

Would be happy to set up a quick session with have Vikas, who leads our Search and Personalization Practice, so he can address any questions you may have and review some of the examples we have delivered. Simply information sharing - we would not try to sell you, just share our perspectives.

Best regards,


Partner at iTalent




I don't have anything to show and ours will ultimately require login.  Our team is however starting to build a federated search based in our Help Center and we plan to incorporate Community.

Challenge is the vendor building the search will be doing a ton of Khoros API pulls so this will go against our contract rate. I am hoping we could ultimately get a better integration option.  

Also, we don't have deep links supported between the Help Center and Community so a Community 'answer' will require a login. 

None of this is ideal however I am happy to share the experience when it is live if you want to schedule a time to connect. 


We've been asked if we had an interest in Coveo as it is under consideration elsewhere in the company. The one issue I find in their documentation is that Coveo does not have access to a member's permissions. As our community is public but also has private areas we would need to either expose everything to search or restrict search from showing private area content to anyone. 

If anyone has discovered a workaround I'd love to hear it. 

We (iTalent) has developed a "Role-Based" Coveo Connector for Khoros. Given our depth of experience working with Khoros/Lithium for over 10 years we developed a connector that honors Khoros permissions - which we all know can get vefry complex! You are correct the standard Khoros Connector offer by Coveo does not honor permissions.

We would be happy to share information you need or have a sessions to discuss. I have copied @phani @AbhishekIlindra who are able to provide more insight.

Let me know if you want to connect, would be glad to coordinate a session.

Best regards,



We said goodbye to Coveo and went to Grazitti SearchUnify which sat on both Community and Support Portal.  However, case logging has now moved to Community and support portal retired.  Double win !

SU example.png





How well was the change to SearchUnify received by members? Also any major differences to know about the two roducts?

Khoros Expert

That's very true. Great one @Graham3678 👌

Screenshot 2022-02-21 at 15.59.53.png

Arnaud Lerondeau
Principal Solutions Consultant

When looking for a federated search tool for your Khoros Community, it's important to look for a tool which supports and respects the Khoros roles/permissions. I'm only aware of two that do that - Coveo (with the iTalent connector) and SearchUnify (Grazitti).

We've had a good experience with SearchUnify - they're willing to dig into the details to ensure that they are supporting our business needs and their documentation is very helpful.

To @StanGromer's point, understanding and resourcing for the tuning and management is extremely important, as is working collaboratively with the other knowledge teams within your organization.

Hope that helps!


We use SearchUnify to search our Community resources and Product Help docs.  We also use SU in Salesforce for Support.  It has improved our search but took a bit to figure out the best setup.   We are glad we have SearchUnify and their Support team is amazing, however, I learned a few things from the experience.

- Most things are additional costs with Services, but we have a complicated setup with dozens of products and different permission levels.  We also don't use Product Association right now.  I strongly encourage looking into this feature before a full implementation with SU.

- They haven't quite figured out how to do a release without having to reimplement all of the customizations (I don't know the technical term for this lol).  They also do not keep a list/follow a list well and usually miss things after each release.

- They don't complete a good UAT after a release.  They say they do, but we usually find many issues during our own UAT.  (we don't feel the need to UAT Khoros version updates if it gives you an idea).  We do UAT our own dev releases.

- While they are quick to fix any issues that occurred through Services, it usually takes us being persistent to get these resolved.

All of this makes us nervous when we see there is a version update.

With all of this said, I'm still glad we use SearchUnify over Khoros search.  I just wanted to share our experience so you can keep this in mind if you go through the process.  I haven't dug into Coveo.

SearchUnify is great for mapping permissions.  If this is a requirement for you, definitely look into SU.


I'm happy to demo our SU setup for you.



@melissapotvin I noticed you have All Content as your default source.  We're looking to switch from community to All Content.  We're struggling with the Help docs appearing before community resources right now.  How did you weight your results?

Hi @jamiemccardle , we take great pride in our partnership over the years. As certified Khoros partners, respecting Khoros and Confluence permissions to the most granular level is something we have been working hard around. And we understand that successfully delivering this experience has also led to some engineering complications. We apologize for the inconvenience. We are on top of it and would like to assure that SearchUnify will continue meeting your search goals to your utmost satisfaction. Your CSM will reach out to you immediately and ensure a prompt resolution.


Our support sites are all using Coveo now, so we have started testing their Khoros Connector. If we select Lithium Thread no description is included, only the subject line. 

Coveo connector.png








From looking at the examples shared here I suspect most are indexing (Lithium)messages and then filtering by or the board name, but I'm hoping someone could confirm I am correct?


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