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@quenk/search-filters - v2.7.0

Search Filters

Parse and compile a string into usable search filters.

Table of Contents

This library provides a parser and compiler API for converting a string sequence of filter conditions into usable search filters. Use it to build faceted search interfaces in web applications or to provide you advanced users with a DSL for search.


npm install --save @quenk/search-filters


This module by itself only provides a parser in lib/parse and supporting APIs for creating a compiler in lib/compile. To actually generate valid query filters for your target platform, use a supported module or implement your own.

Supported targets:

  1. search-filters-mongodb.


The Source String

A valid source string consists of a sequence of one or more "filters" seperated by the following logical operators:

  1. "and", "," - indicates the filters are chained via a logical "AND".
  2. "or", "|" - indicates the filters are chained via a logical "OR".


let qs1 = 'name:"jon"';
let qs2 = 'name:"jon" or name:"jon\'s" age:>=12';
let qs3 = '(name:"jon" or name:"jon\'s") and age:>=12';

A source string is always parsed and compiled to one filter. That one filter may be optionally composed of other filters via the use of logical AND or OR.

Filters can be grouped together via parenthesis "(" ")" to ensure precedence is kept during parsing as shown above.


A filter consists of a field name part, colon, optional operator and a value part:

<field> <colon> <operator>? <value>

Examples: status:=1 or status:1.

The field name is any valid ECMAScript identifier or sequence of valid identifiers seperated via "." (period).

A colon is used to indicate the end of the field name and is followed by the operator or value if none specified. If the operator part is ommited, the default operator is assumed. The default operator is determined by the policies set for the field.


The following operators are recognised by the parser:

  1. ">" Greater than.
  2. "<" Less than.
  3. ">=" Greater than or equal to.
  4. "<=" Less than or equal to.
  5. "=" Equal to.
  6. "!=" Not equal to.
  7. "in" Value is in a list.
  8. "!in" Value is not in a list.

The validity, actual implementation, accepted value types of these operators, depends on the policies set for the field. Compilation fails if the wrong operator or type is used on a field.


The value part can either be one of the following values:

  1. String - A sequence of one or more unicode characters surronded by double quotes.

            Example: "my string"
  2. Number - Any number that can be represented in the IEEE 754 double format.

  3. Boolean - The literal value true or the literal value false.

  4. Date - YYYY-MM-DD

  5. DateTime - A subset of the ISO8601 extended format supporting the format of

            `Date#toISOString()`. The time part may be excluded (smallest to largest)
            but fractions are only supported on seconds.
  6. List - A comma seperated sequence of the above values surronded in "[" "]".

A compiler impelmentation only needs to support those values that are valid for the underlying query language.


In lib/compile of this module a function compile is exported that does most of the compilation work. Compilation works by first converting the parsed AST into an intermediate representation via the Term interface. Term#compile() is then called on the top level Term. Users are required to supply implementations for Term.

The compile function takes 3 arguments. The first argument, the Context which contains the TermFactory for constructing logical Terms, the second is an EnabledPolicies instance and the last the source string to parsed.

EnabledPolcies is what determines what fields can be included in the source string and their policies. EnabledPolicies supports either a literal Policy definition or a string pointing to one in the policies key of the Context.

Policy pointers that cannot be resolved will result in a failed compilation.


A Policy has the following main fields:

  1. type - Indicates the value type allowed for the field.
  2. operators - A list of supported operators for the field.
  3. term - A function that will produce a Term instance of the filter.

Value Types

A policy's type field can have one of the following values (without quotes):

  1. "number" - A number.
  2. "boolean" - A boolean value.
  3. "string" - A string value.
  4. "date" - A date value.
  5. "list" - A list of any values.
  6. "list-number" - A list of numbers only.
  7. "list-boolean" - A list of booleans only.
  8. "list-string" - A list of strings only.
  9. "list-date" - A list of dates only.
  10. "list-datetime" - A list of datetimes only.


API documentation is generated and made available here.


Apache 2.0 (SEE LICENSE) file. (c) 2020 Quenk Technologies Limited.

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