Can you do an exact text search in CA Agile Central?

  • Is there a way in Rally to do a general search for an exact text match? My specific example is that I searched for the word windows but the results include items which only have window. I've tried putting the search word in quotes, which has no effect. How can I narrow this down to the exact term?

    I have of course tried a web search for this information, but it was not productive. (Possibly I am just not sure where to look for info being somewhat of a novice to this tool!)

    GUI search field

  • Fun with Word Stemming

    Search is always a little idiosyncratic between applications, so documentation can be invaluable. Rally's documentation isn't easy to find online, but the topic is covered even though it's not really as clear as it could be.

    Confusingly, Rally doesn't do substring matches, but it does do word stemming and provides no way to disable it. The search documentation says:

    | Tip                                | Description                              |
    | Search for phrases and similar     | Keywords enclosed in double quotes       |
    | matches by enclosing them in       | are treated as phrases, and displayed    |
    | quotation marks.                   | together in search results. The search   |
    |                                    | returns exact matches of what you typed, |
    |                                    | plus various forms of the phrase, based  |
    |                                    | on the stems of each word. For example,  |
    |                                    | a phrase of "test search" returns        |
    |                                    | results for "testing search", "testing   |
    |                                    | searches", "test searching" and so on.   |
    | Partial string (substring) matches | Example, if you search for *arm*,        |
    | are not supported.                 | you will not get results for *charm*,    |
    |                                    | *army*, or *alarm*.                      |
    | Matching occurs on expanded forms  | The search finds work items containing   |
    | of keywords.                       | various forms of the keywords you enter  |
    |                                    | in the Search field. Examples: *edit*    |
    |                                    | returns results for *edit* or *editing*  |
    |                                    | or *editor*, *child* returns results for |
    |                                    | *child* or *children*.                   |

    The triple net here is that, even with quoting, you can't easily differentiate between terms like window and windows. You'll probably need to use a more useful phrase like "Windows 10", or a specific field like Tags:windows to get the behavior you're looking for.

    Rule Out Potential Bugs

    While I believe your problem to be related to word-stemming, there's also the possibility of other issues that can only be addressed by your software vendor. For example, on December 13th CA Agile Central had a known search issue:

    We are aware of and researching in-app text searches which are not returning results or complete lists in Rally.

    Even if this isn't directly relevant to your current search problem, it's another avenue to explore for related issues you may experience in the future. Especially when using a SaaS solution, it can be very helpful to rule out transient issues first.

    Additional Data Cleansing and Support Options

    As a commercial product, Rally comes with a support contract. If you're still unable to get the behavior you need, you should contact your vendor's support team to go over your options within the dual constraints of your data and the vendor's product.

    If your data isn't structured to be easily retrieved through the available search tools, then that's a problem you'll need to take up with your team (from a process/workflow perspective) or with the vendor (from a tooling perspective). Data cleansing and data quality management are large topics, but ones that you should certainly look at if you're relying on a particular tool that doesn't suit the way your project expects to track or retrieve data.

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