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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? 



15 Replies 15

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

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