Search Attributes task

The Search Attributes task allows a user to enter some text that will be used to search the attributes of the layers on the map. This kind of search is similar to the simple Web search that sites like Yahoo! and Google provide. After searching for something, the user can then select, zoom to, or pan to any features in the list of results.

Additionally, the Search Attributes task supports relates and stand-alone tables. Relates simply define a relationship between two tables without appending the associated data in each table. In many cases, the relates point toward stand-alone tables, which lack geometry but often contain valuable attribute information. For example, if you published a map service that contained relates between city parcels and a stand-alone table of parcel owners, you could utilize the Search Attributes task to display the owners and location of the parcel in the search results.

To configure the Search Attributes task, you'll need to specify the display settings, the search fields, and how you want the results to appear. You can do this on the Tasks panel by choosing your Search Attributes task from the list and clicking the Configure button.

Choosing the text to appear in the task

The General tab allows you to fine-tune the wording that users will see when they run your task. You can change the following:

Choosing what users will be able to search for

Use the Settings tab to determine which fields and layers in your map will be searchable. A list of the layers and fields in your map appears on the left. Choose which fields you want to be searchable and click the right arrow (>) button to move them to the list on the right.

The best fields for the Search Attributes task are usually nominal fields where most records have a unique value, for example, the name of the feature. When working with ordinal, interval, or ratio fields—for example, the average temperature or the cost of a feature—consider using the Query Attributes task instead.


When you select the layers and fields to search, if any of the layers share the same field name, that field will also be searched regardless of the layer you selected it with.

Choosing how results will be displayed

Use the Results tab to configure how task results will appear. It's helpful to know the following: