Overview - Enhanced Search


Launched in June 2015, Enhanced Search is a custom, in-house developed management tool used to manage search instances on www2.gov.bc.ca and other CMS Lite-based sites.

This article has been written to help you understand how Enhanced Search, CMS Lite, gov.bc.ca and your content come together to provide the high quality search experience B.C. residents and all site visitors expect.

Article Features:

Ministries and Topics

Using your evidence-based research and working with COS, we can assist you in determining the best location for your content in the site’s IA. By doing so, we can provide you a secure area within CMS Lite, where you and your web team can exclusively manage your content. We can also help make connections for you with other ministry content authors if you require content to appear in existing topics not managed by your security group.


Features of the tool for CMS Lite users provide the following functionality:

  • New! Ability to expand or collapse left pane.
  • New! Ability to configure the "page size" which controls the number of search results per page returned by the application for a given search query.
  • New! Functionality has been added to Enhanced search so author now has the ability to configure individual Tabs (Web, News, Services...)
  • New! Ability to add a custom Sort by Metadata label.
  • New! Enhanced Search author now has the ability to clone a search configuration.
  • New!  Enhanced Search results page now inherits IA and breadcrumb from a sub theme or topic page where an Embedded Search request originated.

Developed for Mozilla Firefox; Certified with Google Chrome

You must install the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to your workstation to use CMS Lite/ Enhanced Search. COS will only support clients who use these browsers. Please ensure you upgrade your browser(s) frequently, so that you have the most stable and reliable application running.

Internet Explorer is not a supported browser for CMS Lite/ Enhanced Search

Currently, no version of MS Internet Explorer/Edge or Apple Safari is certified to work with CMS Lite/Enhanced Search. Therefore, you must install the latest version of Firefox or Chrome to your workstation/PC to use CMS Lite/ Enhanced Search.

Note: Mobile devices are not certified to work with CMS Lite and Enhanced Search.

Save = QA; Publish = Production

When you build a search instance in Enhanced Search, you are using the production version of the tool. When you create a instance and save it, the instance is stored to a database table which will allow you to view it on the QA (Quality Assurance) web server—a pre-production, secure website that only individuals with security can access. The QA environment allows you to preview production content search results, and allows you to test your search instance configuration and features prior to you committing the search results page to production (gov.bc.ca). When all mandatory fields are filled in, you can publish the page immediately to production.

You will not be provided a test or development CMS Lite/Enhanced Search environment (or access to any test or dev websites). The environments we provide you are the only ones you need to manage your content and search instance.

Future development

CMS Lite/Enhanced Search is an evolving application with many features still to come, including requests from both COS and the Internet Advisory Council (IAC). The IAC recommends features it would like to see in CMS Lite, Enhanced Search gov.bc.ca.

If there is a feature or functionality you want, let the IAC know. If the idea is scalable, meets the business needs of other CMS Lite/Enhanced Search users and aligns with Government Communication and Public Engagement (GCPE) Strategic Initiatives Division (SID) strategic web objectives, and has the backing of the IAC, it may get developed.

Further reading

Please continue to read through this manual, which will help you develop your Enhanced Search instance. You can also search the CMS Lite Manual or search the Enhanced Search Manual.