Stored procedures: Implement full text search

Enabling full text search in T-SQL is not as popular as doing it with the Enterprise Manager. Nonetheless, it can be useful in certain situations. Here are the steps to implement FTS in T-SQL.

  1. Enable full text on the database by executing the following SP:
    EXEC sp_fulltext_database  'enable' 
  2. Create the catalog (if it does not exist):
    EXEC sp_fulltext_catalog   'MyCatalog','create'  
  3. Add a full text index on a table:
    EXEC sp_fulltext_table     'Products', 'create', 'MyCatalog', 'pk_products'
    EXEC sp_fulltext_table     'Categories', 'create', 'MyCatalog', 'pk_categories'
  4. Add a column to the full text index:
    EXEC sp_fulltext_column    'Products', 'ProductName', 'add' 
    EXEC sp_fulltext_column    'Categories', 'Description', 'add' 
  5. Activate the index:
    EXEC sp_fulltext_table     'Products','activate'
    EXEC sp_fulltext_table     'Categories','activate'
  6. Start full population:
    EXEC sp_fulltext_catalog   'MyCatalog', 'start_full' 

Here are some examples on how to use this procedure:

  1. USE Northwind
    SELECT ProductId, ProductName, UnitPrice
    FROM Products
                        ProductName, ' "sasquatch " OR "stout" '
  2. USE Northwind
    SELECT CategoryName
    FROM Categories
                        Description, 'sweetest candy bread and dry meat'

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About the author

Eli Leiba works at the Israel Electric Company as a senior application DBA in Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server systems. He has certifications from Microsoft and BrainBench in Oracle and SQL Server database administration and implementation. Mr. Leiba holds a B.S. in computer science and has 11 years of experience working in the database field. Additionally, Mr. Leiba teaches SQL Server DBA and development courses at the Microsoft CTEC and serves as a senior database consultant for several Israeli start-up companies.

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This was first published in February 2005

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