Changing Quick Find to perform ‘contains’ search in CRM

OOTB CRM Quick Find automatically appends a wildcard character (*) to the end of your query, and therefore effectively performs a ‘begins with’ search. If you searched for ‘Canberra’ for example, you’d find ‘Canberra Hospital’, ‘Canberra College’, etc., but you won’t find ‘The Awesome Pub of Canberra’.

To perform a ‘contains’ search, you would need to explicitly include the wildcard character at the start of your query, e.g. ‘*Canberra’. I suspect it was done this way for performance reasons. This however may not be the best user experience in some scenarios.

I have added a new feature to the Enhanced Quick Find solution that allows you to automatically add the wildcard character to the start of users’ Quick Find queries. This turns the query to ‘*Canberra*’ for example, and effectively becomes a ‘contains’ search.

What is this Enhanced Quick Find solution?

This is a CRM solution that I have previously developed that allows you to perform Advanced Find-like queries using text in Quick Find. Essentially it allows you to configure an XML that defines how the query should be interpreted and transformed prior to fetching the results. You can read more about this solution here.

So how do I enable this ‘contains’ search thing for Quick Find?

A new attribute, namely prependWildcardToQueryText, has been added to the QueryTransformation element in the configuration schema. Set this attribute to true to have the wildcard character appended to all Quick Find queries for the target entity. Below is a simple example:

	<QueryTransformation prependWildcardToQueryText='true'/>

Where will this work?

This will work in Quick Find for all the entities that you have created a Quick Find Configuration entity for. This will also work when searching within the lookup field/dialog for those entities. This however does not work with the multi-entity search.

Is there any performance impact?

The solution intercepts and transforms search queries. This in its own should have minimal or no performance impact. Depending on the size of your data, and the number of Quick Find columns you have configured for a given entity however, ‘contains’ searches may have some performance impacts comparing to ‘begins with’ searches. You therefore should consider your scenario and deploy this feature selectively.


You can download the solution ZIP here:


About Bernado

Based in Australia, I am a freelance SharePoint and Dynamics CRM developer. I love developing innovative solutions that address business and everyday problems. Feel free to contact me if you think I can help you with your SharePoint or CRM implementation.
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