Incremental Indexing

Indexes can be configured to rebuild incrementally, when product or category assignments are updated or on a schedule. If you enable incremental indexing for an index, then the index is automatically updated whenever a change is made to the products, content, or search configuration underlying the index. Changes to the index are available 30 seconds after a merchant makes a change. Incremental indexing can be enabled or disabled for each index type on each instance, but applies to all locales on the instance.

Incremental indexing is useful in development for seeing changes to the index immediately, because you don't have to manually trigger a rebuild or wait for the full index to rebuild.

If incremental indexing is disabled for an index, then the index must be manually rebuilt when changes are made to the products, content, or search configuration. Because search performance can be affected if indexes become too fragmented, it's recommended that you rebuild indexes regularly, even if you enable incremental indexing. It's best practice to rebuild indexes daily.

Note:

Incremental search availability indexing is automatic. It can't be enabled or disabled.

When search index related data is locked, for example, during import, the search index incremental update is skipped and postponed until the other locking process has finished. This prevents unnecessary incremental updates when a significant amount of data changes during a mass operation.

Unlike a full index rebuild, not all search features are updated by incremental indexing. B2C Commerce updates an index when the object being indexed is modified, added, or deleted.
Important: Even if incremental indexing is enabled, we recommend that you regularly rebuild your indexes, to prevent fragmentation and performance degradation.

Data Updated by Incremental Indexing

If incremental indexing is enabled for a specific index, changes to data made in Business Manager or imported into B2C Commerce are detected and the index is updated.

Index Object indexed Details of incremental indexing
Product Index Product If product attributes, variation assignments, or category assignments are modified, the index is updated.
Content Index Content Asset Index updated when modified, added, or deleted.
Synonym Index Synonyms, Hypernyms Index updated when modified, added, or deleted.
Suggest Index Search Suggestions Index updated when modified, added, or deleted.
Availability Index Product Inventory Record

Index updated when modified, added, or deleted.

When performing an inventory import with REPLACE or MERGE, which removes inventory records, the availability index rebuild that is executed immediately after the import detects those removals and purges the respective entries from the index.

Active data Index Active Data record The active data record is imported via feed. Changes to products are identified and cause an update to the active data record if the product was modified after the latest rebuild of the active data index.

Data Not Updated by Incremental Indexing

To allow for high performance in incremental indexing, there are several objects that are not updated when they are modified, added, or deleted. These objects are only updated in the search index when a full index rebuild is performed.

Data Details of incremental indexing
Prices and Price book site assignments Prices and price book site assignments are not updated.
Catalogs Catalog structure, catalog site assignments, and catalog online attributes with impact on assigned products are not updated.
Search refinement definitions Search refinement definitions are not updated.
Searchable attributes Searchable attributes are not updated.
Index settings Index settings are not updated.

Tips and Tricks

If you plan to import many product or category structure changes, we recommend that you disable incremental indexing and rebuild the product index at the end of the import, because this is less costly to overall performance.

The incremental indexing updates indexes when the first changes are available from an import. We recommend that import pipelines configure imports in a single transaction so that all changes are visible at once. This ensures that no partial catalog updates are published into an index.

Set Up Incremental Indexing

  1. Select site > Merchant Tools > Search > Search Indexes.
  2. On the Search Indexes page, click the index type you want to configure.
  3. Select the Incremental Index Update box for the index you want incrementally updated.
    This function isn't available for the search availability index, which is updated automatically and incrementally.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Click << Back to List to return to the Search Indexes page.
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