Custom Search Parameters

Configure Search Parameters

You can control which search parameters are known to Firely Server. This is managed in the same way as all the conformance resources, see Managing Conformance Resources.

Re-indexing for new or changed SearchParameters

Firely Server extracts values from resources based on the available search parameters upon create or update. This means that if you already had resources in your database before adding a custom search parameter, those resources will not be indexed for that parameter. If you on the other hand removed a previously used search parameter, the index will contain superfluous data.

To fix that, you should re-index (repeat the extraction) for these parameters.

In short, both reindex operations below will:

  • Return an Operation Outcome stating that the reindex procedure was started successfully.

  • Run the actual reindex asynchronously, using a configured number of threads, thereby using most of the hardware resources available to Firely Server.

  • Block any other requests for the duration of the reindex.

  • Log progress in the log.


This is a possibly lengthy operation, so use it with care.

  • Always try the reindex on a representative (sub)set of your data in a test environment to assess how long the operation may take in the production environment.

  • Always make a backup of your data before performing a reindex.


During the re-index operation, all other operations are blocked and responded to with response code ‘423 - Locked’.

Reindexing and FHIR versions

Reindexing is also controlled by the fhirVersion parameter (see Multiple versions of FHIR) in the Accept header or the version-mapped endpoint. It will then reindex only for SearchParameters and resources in that FHIR version. So for a full reindex of everything you may need to issue the command twice, once for each fhirVersion.

Rebuild the whole search index

This is only needed if we changed something very significant to the way Firely Server searches, like

  • The way values are extracted for all or many searchparameters.

  • The structure in which Firely Server stores the search index.

To re-index all resources for all search parameters, use:

POST http(s)://<firely-server-endpoint>/administration/reindex/all
Accept=application/fhir+json (or xml); fhirVersion=3.0 (or 4.0)

This will delete any previously indexed data and extract it again from the resources.

Rebuild the search index for specific searchparameters

This is needed if:

  • The definition (usually the expression) of a searchparameter has changed.

  • A searchparameter was added.

  • A searchparameter was removed and you want the search index to be tidy and not have this parameter in it anymore.

To re-index all resources for certain search parameters, use:

POST http(s)://<firely-server-endpoint>administration/reindex/searchparameters
Accept=application/fhir+json (or xml); fhirVersion=3.0 (or 4.0)

In the body of the POST, you put the name of the search parameters to actually re-index as form parameters:,Observation.code

include means that resources will be re-indexed only for those search parameters. You use this if you added or changed one or few search parameters.

exclude means that any existing index data for those search parameters will be erased. You use this when you removed a search parameter.

Remember to adjust the Content-Type header: application/x-www-form-urlencoded.

If you are not permitted to perform the reindex, Firely Server will return statuscode 403.

Re-index Configuration

Firely Server will not re-index the resources in the database all at once, but in batches. The re-index operation will process all batches until all resources are re-indexed. You can control the size of the batches in the Firely Server settings. Besides that you can also control how many threads run in parallel to speed up the reindex process. The configured value is a maximum, since Firely Server will also be limited by the available computing resources.

"ReindexOptions": {
    "BatchSize": 100,
    "MaxDegreeOfParallelism": 10

Use any integer value >= 1.


Every search parameter has to have either:

  • a valid FhirPath in it’s Expression property, or

  • be a Composite search parameter and specify at least one component.