Creating a Guestbook Indexer

Enabling Search and Indexing for Guestbooks
Step 2 of 3

First, update your build.gradle to have all of the necessary imports.

  1. Open the build.gradle file in your guestbook-service project.

  2. Add the following line below the other imports:

    compileOnly group: "com.liferay", name: "com.liferay.registry.api", version: "1.0.0"
    compileOnly group: "javax.portlet", name: "portlet-api", version: "2.0"
    compileOnly group: "javax.servlet", name: "javax.servlet-api", version: "3.0.1"
  3. Save the file and run Refresh Gradle Project.

Now that you have the additional dependencies configured, follow these steps to create the indexer for guestbooks:

  1. Create a new package in the guestbook-service module project’s src/main/java folder called In this package, create a new class called GuestbookIndexer that extends with Guestbook as a type argument. Add an @Component annotation to declare that the GuestbookIndexer class provides an implementation of the Indexer service. Also, define the CLASS_NAME variable by getting the name of the Guestbook model class. This is necessary to override the getClassName method from BaseIndexer. Liferay DXP uses this method to determine the object this Indexer indexes:

        immediate = true,
        service = Indexer.class
    public class GuestbookIndexer extends BaseIndexer<Guestbook> {
        public static final String CLASS_NAME = Guestbook.class.getName();
  2. Add the GuestbookIndexer constructor:

    public GuestbookIndexer() {
            Field.ASSET_TAG_NAMES, Field.COMPANY_ID, Field.CONTENT,
            Field.ENTRY_CLASS_NAME, Field.ENTRY_CLASS_PK, Field.GROUP_ID,
            Field.MODIFIED_DATE, Field.SCOPE_GROUP_ID, Field.TITLE, Field.UID);

    This constructor does several things:

    • Sets the default selected field names. These fields are used to retrieve results documents from the search engine.
    • Sets the default selected localized field names. This ensures that the localized version of the field is searched and returned.
    • Makes the search results permissions-aware at search time, as well as in the index. Without this, a search query returns all matching guestbooks regardless of the user’s permissions on the resource.
    • Sets filter search to true, enabling a document-by-document check of the search results’ VIEW permissions. This is redundant most of the time, but safeguards against unexpected problems like the search index becoming stale, or if permission inheritance doesn’t happen fast enough. Most of Liferay DXP’s internal apps use this setting. If not set, the indexer relies on the permissions information indexed in the search engine.
  3. Since you extend the abstract class BaseIndexer instead of implementing the Indexer interface directly, you must override its abstract methods. In the getClassName method, return the CLASS_NAME constant defined at the top of the class:

    public String getClassName() {
        return CLASS_NAME;

    This returns

  4. Next, you must override hasPermission. Call the contains method of the GuestbookPermission helper class that you created in an earlier Learning Path section:

    public boolean hasPermission(
            PermissionChecker permissionChecker, String entryClassName, 
            long entryClassPK, String actionId) 
        throws Exception {
        return GuestbookPermission.contains(
            permissionChecker, entryClassPK, ActionKeys.VIEW);

    Here, you ensure that the VIEW permission on guestbooks can be used to find and display appropriate search results.

  5. Override the postProcessContextBooleanFilter method:

    public void postProcessContextBooleanFilter(
            BooleanFilter contextBooleanFilter, SearchContext searchContext)
    throws Exception {
        addStatus(contextBooleanFilter, searchContext);

    This method is invoked while the main search query is being constructed. The base implementation of addStatus in BaseIndexer adds the workflow status to the filter. This ensures that entities with the status STATUS_IN_TRASH aren’t added to the query. You’ll learn more about workflow later.

  6. Override postProcessSearchQuery to add clauses to the ongoing search query. It’s best to add the localized value of any full text fields that might contribute to search relevance. By specifying the localized search term, you ensure that the regular search term has the locale appended (e.g., title_en_US). For the guestbook entity, add the title field (Field.TITLE):

    public void postProcessSearchQuery(
        BooleanQuery searchQuery, BooleanFilter fullQueryBooleanFilter,
        SearchContext searchContext)
        throws Exception {
        addSearchLocalizedTerm(searchQuery, searchContext, Field.TITLE, false);
  7. Override the doDelete() method, which deletes the document corresponding to the Guestbook object parameter. Call BaseIndexer’s deleteDocument method with the guestbook’s company ID and guestbook ID:

    protected void doDelete(Guestbook guestbook) throws Exception {
        deleteDocument(guestbook.getCompanyId(), guestbook.getGuestbookId());
  8. Implement the doGetDocument method to select the entity’s fields to build a search document that’s indexed by the search engine. The main searchable field for guestbooks is the guestbook name, which is stored in a guestbook search document’s title field:

    protected Document doGetDocument(Guestbook guestbook)
        throws Exception {
        Document document = getBaseModelDocument(CLASS_NAME, guestbook);
        document.addDate(Field.MODIFIED_DATE, guestbook.getModifiedDate());
        Locale defaultLocale =
        String localizedField = LocalizationUtil.getLocalizedName(
            Field.TITLE, defaultLocale.toString());
        document.addText(localizedField, guestbook.getName());
        return document;

    Because Liferay DXP supports localization, you should too. The above code gets the default locale from the site by passing the Guestbook’s group ID to the getSiteDefaultLocale method, then using it to get the localized name of the guestbook’s title field. The retrieved site locale is appended to the field (e.g., title_en_US), so the field gets passed to the search engine and goes through the right analysis and tokenization.

  9. Implement the doGetSummary method to return a summary. A summary is a condensed, text-based version of the entity that can be displayed generically. You create it by combining key parts of the entity’s data so users can browse through search results to find the entity they want. Call BaseIndexer’s createSummary method, then use summary.setMaxContentLength to set the summary content’s maximum size. Most Liferay DXP applications use a value of 200, so it’s a good idea to use the same to ensure uniform result summaries:

    protected Summary doGetSummary(
        Document document, Locale locale, String snippet,
        PortletRequest portletRequest, PortletResponse portletResponse) {
        Summary summary = createSummary(document);
        return summary;
  10. Override the overloaded doReindex method, which gets called when an entity is updated or a user explicitly triggers a reindex. The first doReindex method takes a single object argument. Retrieve the associated document with BaseIndexer’s getDocument method, then invoke IndexWriterHelper’s updateDocument method to update (reindex) the document:

    protected void doReindex(Guestbook guestbook)
        throws Exception {
        Document document = getDocument(guestbook);
            getSearchEngineId(), guestbook.getCompanyId(), document,
  11. The second doReindex method takes two arguments: a className string, and a classPK long. In this method, you retrieve the guestbook corresponding to the primary key by calling GuestbookLocalService’s getGuestbook method, passing in the classPK parameter. Then pass the guestbook to the first doReindex method (see above):

    protected void doReindex(String className, long classPK)
        throws Exception {
        Guestbook guestbook = _guestbookLocalService.getGuestbook(classPK);
  12. The third (and final) doReindex method indexes all entities in the current Liferay DXP instance (companyId). It takes a string array (ids) as an argument. GetterUtil.getLong(ids[0]) retrieves the first string in the array, casts it to a long, stores it in a companyId variable, and passes it as an argument to the reindexGuestbooks helper method:

    protected void doReindex(String[] ids)
        throws Exception {
        long companyId = GetterUtil.getLong(ids[0]);
  13. To reindex guestbooks, provide the helper method reindexGuestbooks. In this method, use an actionable dynamic query helper method to retrieve all the guestbooks in the Liferay DXP instance. Service Builder generated this query method for you when you built the services. Each guestbook’s document is then retrieved and added to a collection:

    protected void reindexGuestbooks(long companyId)
      throws PortalException {
      final IndexableActionableDynamicQuery indexableActionableDynamicQuery =
        new ActionableDynamicQuery.PerformActionMethod<Guestbook>() {
          public void performAction(Guestbook guestbook) {
            try {
              Document document = getDocument(guestbook);
            catch (PortalException pe) {
              if (_log.isWarnEnabled()) {
                  "Unable to index guestbook " +
  14. Get the log for the guestbook model and add the necessary service references at the bottom of the file:

    private static final Log _log =
    protected IndexWriterHelper indexWriterHelper;
    private GuestbookLocalService _guestbookLocalService;
  15. Organize your imports ([CTRL]+[SHIFT]+O), and save the file. It will have errors.

  16. Export the package in the guestbook-service module’s bnd.bnd file. The export section should look like this:


The guestbook indexer class is complete! Next, you can update the service layer.

« Understanding Search and IndexingHandling Indexing in the Guestbook Service Layer »
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