Issue: Unable to find workitems when searching in Agility

This feature is available in all editions


When I search for a workitem that I know exists, why doesn't it display in search results?


There are two possible things could be happening:

The workitem you are searching for is closed and you are using Quick Search. Quick Search only returns open items. Use Advanced Search to find open, closed, and deleted items.

Your search string includes a stop word, which is a word that is ignored by the search system. Include additional terms in your search to minimize the effect of a stop word. Refer to the Stop Words List for more information.

SQL Full Text Search (FTS)


On-Demand (Hosted) systems are configured to ignore stop words in search results, meaning you will not see matches when searching on these terms, but they will not prevent other terms in the query from matching. The impacts described below are primarily for locally run On-Premise systems.

The Advanced Search feature in Agility utilizes Microsoft SQL's Full Text Search (FTS) engine. This brings many benefits in search capabilities such as AND, OR, and the use of synonyms (e.g. a search for 'backlog item' will also match items with 'backlog items').

FTS also uses a Stop Words List to prevent the search index from being overcrowded by overly common terms. Stop Words are not indexed by FTS, so any queries that require a stop word will yield zero results. Included in the Stop Words list are single-character terms. Therefore, when performing a search, be sure to exclude single-character terms from your search query. This includes any standalone letter or number.

Here are some examples of search queries that would return no results. In each case, the stop word is highlighted.

Query Reason for No Results
Sprint 1 single-character term
A Book single-character term
Page 18 of 42 stop word
1.2.3 ABC three single-character terms - treated as 1 AND 2 AND 3 AND ABC


Here are some tips to help expand your search results. See Searching Agility for more details.

  • Eliminate single-character terms from your search query. This includes terms separated by delimiters such as 1.2.3 because the search engine treats it the same as 1 2 3.
  • Use OR between search terms. The system treats multi-term search queries as AND queries.
  • Use an * (astrisk) as a wildcard for a partial search term such as Sto* to match "Story", "Stories", and "Stonybrook".
  • Place your search term in quotes to look for phrasal matches so single-character terms won't prevent matches on other terms from being included in the search results.


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