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How to customize a Search API filters in Drupal 7

By Eduardo García ● CTO | June 10th, 2015

Last week I showed you How to add customs fields to SOLR index using Entity API & Search API, continues with that line of concept I will show you how to manipulate a Search API query to include a custom logic in your queries.

Firstly, let imagine a hypothetical scenario when we need to run a different query for anonymous and registered users.

Using the custom fields created in previous referenced above we will show today’s list of events, in the other hand for registered users we will show events in progress (including multi-day events) and events coming soon.

Alter Search API query.

To modify our queries, we will use hook hook_search_api_query_alter() as you can see in the following example

function MYMODULE_search_api_query_alter(SearchApiQueryInterface $query) 
  global $user;
  // Filter from where the Search API query will be trigger 
  if(arg(0) == 'events' && arg(1) == 'list') {

    $start_day = strtotime(date('Y-m-d'));

    if($user->uid == 0 ) {
      $query->condition('event_start_day', $start_day, '<=');
      $query->condition('event_end_day', $start_day, '>=');
    else {
      // Select events in progress
      $left_filter = $query->createFilter('AND');
      $left_filter->condition('event_start_day', $start_day, '<=');
      $left_filter->condition('event_end_day', $start_day, '>=');

      // Select events with a start date in the future
      $right_filter = $query->createFilter('AND');
      $right_filter->condition('event_start_day', time(), '>=');

      $main_filter = $query->createFilter('OR');


Let dissect the previous piece of code. If the user is anonymous, we will SearchApiQueryInterface::condition method to include new filters to determine events which are happening today, even though if those events are multi-day events.

In the case of registered users, the same method is used but with a subtle variation. By default, all conditions are added using an AND operator which is fine most of the times. However, in our case is required include to groups of validation in the same query for that reason an OR operator is needed.

Using the SearchApiQueryInterface::createFilter is possible to create groups of filters using AND or OR operator.

Also, using SearchApiQueryInterface::filter is possible to include those group of filters inside a SearchApiQueryInterface object.

In summary, the snippet of code above creates a filter similar to

  event_start_day <= time() AND event_end_day >= time()) 
  (event_start_day >= time()

You can create any combination of filters required in your logic.

I hope you found this article useful.