July 23rd, 2014 by Aaron Maenpaa
In April, I talked about how we’re trying to make our axis search more discoverable, and ultimately, more widely used. Our first step was to introduce the search guide, which brought our axis documentation directly into FogBugz where it’s more relevant and contextual. The next step (which I hinted at), was to more actively help you create axis queries via auto-complete:
… wait, what? What are axis queries?
In addition to supporting run-of-the-mill “full-text” search (e.g., “bob widget bug”), FogBugz also supports axis queries which let you filter cases based on criteria that apply to specific case fields. You probably know that you can specify exact values for fields in a filter, but it can be slow to click around for a one-time need to find a case. Instead of choosing between specific but slow and fast but vague, try an axis query. Compared to full-text search, axes can greatly reduce the number of matching results you need to scan over (or worse yet click and view). If you know a case was about a crash and there was an email in the case mentioning “I tried reinstalling”, you could simply search for those words, but if you know that “crash” was in the case title, using the title axis could make finding the case much faster:
title:"crash" "tried reinstalling"
On my FogBugz installation, that’s 239 cases down to 4! If you also know the case is in your “Support” project and had a tag “regression”, add project:Support tag:regression to your query. Avoiding scanning over a long result list just saved enough time to watch at least 29 cat gifs, and that’s just scratching the surface! So far, axis auto-complete has been really well received in our internal testing. On the second day of our Summer 2014 internship, I observed one of our interns doing an axis search using the new auto-complete feature… which is something I would have never expected even a few months ago. Axis search has gone from a largely hidden power-user feature to a productivity booster that’s discoverable enough for brand new users to find it.
… so what does this auto-complete…uh…complete?
When you start typing any axis name, you will see a list of potential matches. Typing a value for an axis will auto-complete possibilities (for example, your list of project names after the project: axis). Auto-complete also knows how you can sort your cases, suggesting sortable column options when you start to type them after “orderBy:” Finally, it lists past queries from your search history in case you’re just trying to make the same search you made the other day.
Our favorite searches:
With all this talk about axis searches, it seems like we should share some of the searches we run frequently to help get you started:
editedby:me edited:“this week”
— Michael: “What was that case again?”
openedby:me opened:“last week”
— Justin: “Cases I’ve assigned out.”
— Adam: “I put this on everything.”
project:Fogbugz status:active orderBy:assignedTo
— Aaron: “Who’s doing what?”