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Area: Episerver Commerce Applies to versions: 10 and higher
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Searching for orders

This topic describes how to work with the order search API in Episerver Commerce, including:

  • The capabilities and limitations of Episerver Commerce order search
  • API classes and properties
  • Code examples of different scenarios
  • Description of the search stored procedure

How it works

Searching for orders is a common part of e-commerce solutions, such as when you integrate with ERPs and custom administrative interfaces where orders are exported, filtered, or edited. You often need to load orders based on submission date, status, or particular properties or meta-field properties of the order or cart, including properties of its child objects (for example, shipments or line items).

Classes in this topic are available in the Mediachase.Commerce.Orders namespace.

Search pattern

The following pattern is the simplest way to execute order search in Episerver Commerce using the API.

Begin the search code with:

OrderSearchOptions searchOptions = new OrderSearchOptions();
searchOptions.CacheResults = false; //or true if the results may be recalled shortly
searchOptions.StartingRecord = 0; //or whatever you want to specify for paging purposes
searchOptions.RecordsToRetrieve = 10000; //or whatever you want to specify for paging purposes searchOptions.Namespace = "Mediachase.Commerce.Orders";

Then continue with:

OrderSearchParameters parameters = new OrderSearchParameters();
searchOptions.Classes.Add("PurchaseOrder"); //this returns only purchase orders, for shopping carts, specify ShoppingCart parameters.SqlMetaWhereClause = "";
parameters.SqlWhereClause = sqlQuery.ToString();
PurchaseOrder[] purchaseOrderCollection = OrderContext.Current.FindPurchaseOrders(parameters, searchOptions); //If you are searching for shopping carts, you would call the FindCarts method and return an array of Cart objects

The sqlQuery above is of the form OrderGroupId IN (SELECT OrderGroupId FROM .).

How to use order search

The order search returns arrays of OrderGroup objects: ShoppingCart, PaymentPlan, PurchaseOrder.

The order search is only intended to return shipments, line items, payment objects or any other objects/data, in the context of the whole order. The Order Search API does not conduct an order search for those types of objects alone. The API lets you search for carts/orders/payment plans based on properties, including meta-fields associated with any of the objects in an OrderGroup and any outside database tables you may want to use for filtering/joins.

The search pattern implemented in the API has two parts:

  1. Get a list of OrderGroupIds as search results using the stored procedure ecf_OrderSearch. Insert those values into a database table OrderSearchResults (with a GUID that separates it from other search results). This is the search phase, based on criteria passed to the search.
  2. The OrderGroupIds are loaded from OrderSearchResults, and the corresponding array of ShoppingCart/PurchaseOrder/PaymentPlan is loaded and returned.

Note: You can sort based on OrderGroup table fields only.

Primary classes and properties

This class lets you specify the number of records to return, if results are to be cached, the type of OrderGroup data to be returned (for example, ShoppingCart/PurchaseOrder/PaymentPlan), and the starting record number (for paging).


CacheResults. Boolean. Set to true if results may need to be re-retrieved soon.

StartingRecord. Integer. Use these fields to page search results.


StringCollection. This lets you specify the order metadata object on which you want to create a subquery. For example, to find all shipments where a shipment meta-field value is a particular value, specify ShipmentEx for the classes property. This is a string collection. In most cases, only one class needs to be specified.

You can specify the following classes with the corresponding database table that is queried:

  • CashCardPayment (OrderFormPayment_CashCard)
  • CreditCardPayment (OrderFormPayment_CreditCard)
  • ExchangePayment (OrderFormPayment_Exchange)
  • GiftCardPayment (OrderFormPayment_GiftCard)
  • InvoicePayment (OrderFormPayment_Invoice)
  • LineItemEx (LineItemEx)
  • OrderFormEx (OrderFormEx)
  • OrderGroupAddressEx (OrderGroupAddressEx)
  • OtherPayment (OrderFormPayment_Other)
  • PaymentPlan (OrderGroup_PaymentPlan)
  • PurchaseOrder (OrderGroup_PurchaseOrder)
  • ShipmentEx (ShipmentEx)
  • ShoppingCart (OrderGroup_ShoppingCart)

Note: You must specify at least one class, even if you don't specify a SQLMetaWhereClause in the parameters object. If you do not specify SQLMetaWhereClause but do specify an OrderGroup (PurchaseOrder, ShoppingCart, PaymentPlan), it filters the results for that OrderGroup type only.


For order searches, this should always be Mediachase.Commerce.Orders.

This class lets you specify where clauses necessary to narrow the order search.


OrderByClause. This clause can use only OrderGroup table fields. If this field is not set, OrderGroupId is used.

SqlMetaWhereClause. This field matches up with the OrderSearchOptions.Classes field to form a subquery based on an OrderGroup meta-class. This clause looks like this: "META.CardType = 'Visa'" (where the option classes collection contains "CreditCardPayment"). That returns all orders/carts/payment plans with visa payments. META is the SQL alias for the table associated with the class you specify (see options Classes property above).

SqlWhereClause. A SQL WHERE clause that lets you specify additional order search criteria to form a subquery in the search stored procedure (see the stored procedure breakdown later in this topic).

Using the META keyword here refers to a different alias than using it in the SqlMetaWhereClause, where it is an alias for the table associated with the class specified in the options object. In the SQLWhereClause, it refers to a table in memory that has two columns:

  • Key. The OrderGroupId.
  • Rank. Part of the meta WHERE clause subquery. (You probably do not want to use META here.)

Only the the OrderGroup table is referenced directly in the SQL WHERE clause. So, you could have a clause like: OrderGroupId IN (SELECT OrdergroupId FROM Shipment WHERE NOT ShipmentTrackingNumber IS NULL).

Note: You cannot add an ORDER BY clause here, because it is part of a subquery.

AdvancedFreeTextSearchPhrase and FreeTextSearchPhrase. These fields do not work. Leave them blank.

The following fields are NOT used for order search:

  • JoinSourceTable
  • JoinSourceTableKey
  • JoinTargetQuery
  • JoinTargetTableKey
  • JoinType

Mediachase.Commerce.Orders.OrderContext. This class is a singleton with several methods to find orders:

  • FindActiveOrders(). Retrieves PurchaseOrders where the OrderGroup.Status is either InProgress or PartiallyShipped.
  • FindCarts(). Finds shopping carts based on parameters and options specified with the two other classes.
  • FindPaymentPlans(). Finds PaymentPlans based on parameters and options specified with the two other classes.
  • FindPurchaseOrders(). Finds PurchaseOrders based on parameters and options specified with the two other classes. 
  • FindPurchaseOrdersByStatus(). Retrieves orders with particular order statuses.

Code examples

The code is common and first defined for all of the following code examples.

The following examples have code that follows the code above.

Example 1

Retrieves purchase orders with a tracking number that is like a particular pattern, and with a tracking number (a meta-field) assigned to at least one shipment in the purchase order.

Example 2

Retrieves purchase orders that contain line items that have an RMANumber (a meta-field) associated with them.

Note: The SqlWhereClause is used to ensure that only purchase orders are returned. If you do not do this, you may get carts (or payment plans, if they exist in your system) also in the dataset, and you will get errors like: Index 0 is either negative or above rows count.

This is because the metadata object load is getting confused by the different meta-fields in a purchase order vs a cart. In cases where you are querying orders using the API, and do not specify which OrderGroup object as the meta-class you are seeking, you need to add this where filter in the SQLWhereClause. Of course, you can make a compound where clause including this filter.

Example 3

Retrieves shopping carts where line items have an expiration date (a meta-field) greater than a particular value.

Example 4

Retrieves purchase orders that have shipments with a particular a shipping status (a meta-field).

Example 5

This is a more complex SQL where clause to return all orders that contain SKUs whose name contains a substring by using a join with the CatalogEntry table.

Note: You do not have an SqlMetaWhereClause but do specify a PurchaseOrder class.

You can add any subquery, allowing the most flexibility.

Example 6

Joins several order metadata tables in the SQL where clause. This is a better, easier way to do more complex order searches with multiple order meta-classes (rather than using the options Classes collection for filtering order meta-classes).

Note: The following query appears to have the potential to return duplicate ordergroupids as an order can have multiple shipments or line items. However, the order search stored procedure ensures that only distinct order IDs are returned.

Note: Always test queries in SQL Management Studio first, and remember the closing ) for your SqlWhereClause property value.

Stored procedure breakdown

The first part of the order search is to perform a dynamic search for orders based on the OrderSearchParameters and OrderSearchOption properties set in code.

This is the final query built based on settings you specify. This is assuming that the AdvancedFreeTextSearchPhrase and FreeTextSearchPhrase properties are left blank (see above). The stored procedure that uses these properties to create a list of order ids is ecf_OrderSearch.

Note the following:

  • The query for metadata is built using the class you specify and the SQLMetaWhereClause you specify (already mentioned above). The META where clause "inside" the SQLMetaWhereClause is different from the META alias available to the SQLWhereClause.
  • If no SQLWhereClause is specified, the query executes without the AND [SQLWhereClause] portion. The same goes for SQLMetaWhereClause.
  • The Application ID is managed internally by Episerver Commerce.