Response Parameters

This section describes many of the most important parameters for the Query action that you can use to modify the query response.

For more information about each of these parameters, refer to the IDOL Server Reference.

Predict and TotalResults

The TotalResults parameter allows you to find out how many query results exist in the IDOL Content component (when this values is higher than MaxResults). To return this information, set TotalResults to True.

For performance reasons, when there are a large number of results, the IDOL Content component does not normally compute the exact number. Instead, Content makes a guess at the total number of results, based on the distribution of the results that it has already found. This guess is almost always of the right order of magnitude, and is usually within 20% of the exact number.

To make Content compute the exact number of results, you can set the Predict parameter to False. However, this might incur a significant performance penalty. When you set TotalResults to True and Predict to False, Content also returns a breakdown of the available query results by database.

Print and Printfields

The Print and Printfields parameters control the information from result documents that returns. The most important values for Print are Fields, All, None, and NoResults.

The default value for Print is Fields. In this case, the IDOL Content component returns metadata, and either any fields in the document that are configured as PrintType, or the fields that you list in the PrintFields parameter. If you set PrintFields, only the specified fields return.

For example, the following query returns the PrintType fields of the results:


The following query returns the FIRMNESS, WEIGHT, and STUFFING fields of the results, along with the document metadata. No other fields return.


When you set Print to All, Content returns all fields in the results documents (except for hidden fields).

When you set Print to None, Content prints metadata such as the reference, document ID, and date for each result, but not the document content or fields.

When you set Print to NoResults, Content does not print any information about results at all; it returns only the number of results. This option is often used with the QuerySummary parameter (see QuerySummary) to return just the summary terms and phrases.


The QuerySummary parameter allows you to extract important common words and phrases from result documents. When you set QuerySummary to True, the IDOL Content component returns a list of these summary words and phrases at the top of the response (above the results).

You can use the collection of words and phrases as query guidance, where each phrase is a potential search that you can use to refine the original query. The query summary results might also expose aspects of the result set that you might not have known about originally.

For more information about using query summaries, refer to IDOL Expert, and the IDOL Server Administration Guide.


The ResponseFormat parameter is available for all ACI actions. By default, all IDOL responses are in XML format. You can set ResponseFormat to JSON to return JSON, or to config to return results in IDOL configuration file format (a series of lines in field=value format).


The Sort parameter controls the order in which results return. There are many options for sorting, but the most important ones are Date, Relevance, and field sort. For field sort, you specify the name of the field whose value you want to sort by, and a sorting method (for example, alphabetical, or numberdecreasing).

For example:


This example sorts the query results by relevance. If two or more documents have the same relevance score, the IDOL Content componentsorts them by the document date.

For a full list of the available sort and field sort options, refer to the IDOL Server Reference.

Highlight, StartTag, and EndTag

The Highlight parameter controls how the IDOL Content component highlights match query terms and phrases in the result documents. For example, you can set Highlight to Terms to use highlight tags to surround each instance of a query term in the content of the result documents. You can use the StartTag and EndTag parameters to specify the tags that surround matching terms.

For example:

action=Query&Text=quickly jumping&Highlight=Terms&StartTag=<strong>&EndTag=</strong>

If this query matches a document with the content the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, the IDOL Content component returns the following modified content in the query response:

the <strong>quick</strong> brown fox <strong>jumps</strong> over the lazy dog

For information about other available highlight options, refer to the IDOL Server Reference.

Summary, Sentences, and Characters

The Summary parameter allows you to automatically create a summary of result documents. The main options for Summary are Quick, Concept, and Context. A quick summary is just the first few sentences of the result document. A concept summary contains sentences that are typical of the content of the result document. A context summary contains sentences from the document that contain words and phrases that match the query text.

You can use the Sentences and Characters parameters to control the maximum length of a summary.


The IDOL Content component can dynamically cluster the results of a query, grouping similar results together, by including a cluster id with each result document. To turn on dynamic clustering, set Cluster to True.