Global Search in Moodle 3.1 from Developers perspective #Moodle 3.1

May 13th, 2016

Moodle 3.1 is just about to release in next days and is now having 96% of QA tests passed out of total 528 issues; contains a lot of new and interesting features like Global Search, Competency Based Education and many more. (Read 14 interesting new features coming in Moodle 3.1).

But how these features will impact the Moodle Plugins developers especially features like Global Search. In the recently concluded Moodle Developers Meeting on 11th May 2016, Eric Merrill – Moodle system administrator for Oakland University and Maintainer of many Moodle plugins shared the presentations about the impact of Global search in Moodle core.

Global search in Moodle 3.1

The Moodle core will allow users to search activities and content within Moodle course, Offloads search to an engine and will be efficient. Also it will add a new plugin type for Moodle named ‘Search Engine’. So, all Moodle plugins must implement search areas to be indexed.

The currently included search areas are:

  • All core mods:
    • All – Title
    • All – Description
    • Page – Includes page content
    • URL – Includes URL
    • File Resource – Includes main file*
    • Folder Resource – Includes all files*
    • Assign – Includes description attachments*
  • Glossary entries
  • Book chapters
  • Wiki collaborative pages
  • Forum posts, including attachments*
  • User’s own courses

At present Global Search requires Apache Solr to be configuredĀ  with pecl-solr in PHP. You can download the presentation shared by Eric Merrill from this link and start preparing your Moodle plugins to implement search areas which can be indexed by Global search.

If you are a Plugin maintainer then you can also participate in Moodle Plugins triathlon and release your plugin before the initial release of Moodle 3.1. Read more about plugin triathlon in this post.

  • Sharon Mott

    Hi Jaswinder – you seem to be a bit of an expert when it comes to Global Search. It is not 100% clear to me (as a non technical person) if Global Search can actually search inside files, such as docx, pptx, pdf’s for keywords – do you know?

    Also if content is restricted in anyway, such as role, group my assumption is these will not show up in the search results, unless the user has the correct access.

    Thanks in advance


    • Thanks Sharon for your appreciation.
      As far as I know, Global search in Moodle 3.1 doesn’t search for keywords in course resources like docx, pptx and others. However it can search through some moodle activities like forums, books, wikis etc. It is still very new feature which will be expanded later to other areas of Moodle also in future versions.

      And, yes the restriction based on the Access level will also imply for the search results. Let me know if I am not clear with anything.