Writerside Help

Algolia search

Algolia is a search-as-a-service API that Writerside supports out of the box.

Create Algolia application and search index

  1. Sign up for an Algolia account.

  2. On the Algolia applications page, click Create Application.

    Configure application parameters, select a region for your datacenter, and create the application.

  3. On the Algolia application page, go to Data sources | Indices and click Create Index.

    Provide an informative name and create the index.

  4. On the index page, go to Configuration | Facets, and click Add an attribute under Attributes for faceting.

    Add two attributes: product and version.

  5. Click Review and Save Settings and confirm.

Add Algolia parameters to Writerside build configuration

  1. In your documentation project, open buildprofiles.xml.

  2. Under <variables> , specify the following:


    Algolia application ID


    Algolia index name


    Algolia Search-Only API Key

    For example:

    <variables> <algolia-id>TGW4GIW73X</algolia-id> <algolia-index>index_name</algolia-index> <algolia-api-key>29effd68f91893202311a653263f1fb8</algolia-api-key> </variables>
  3. Commit and push these changes, then build and publish the help instance with these configuration parameters.

Publish your search index to Algolia

To reply to search requests from your help, Algolia needs the search index from the build artifact that you published. Depending on the CI/CD that you use, follow the instructions for TeamCity or GitHub Actions.

  1. If you do not yet have a TeamCity configuration for building your help artifacts, set it up as described in Build on TeamCity Cloud.

  2. Create a separate build configuration for publishing search indexes to your Algolia application.

    Configure it to use the following Docker image:


    This image will run the help-publication-agent script.

  3. Create a Command line type step with the following command:

    env "algolia-key=${'$'}ALGOLIA_KEY" java -jar /opt/builder/help-publication-agent.jar \ update-index \ --application-name ${'$'}ALGOLIA_APP_NAME \ --index-name ${'$'}ALGOLIA_INDEX_NAME \ --product ${'$'}CONFIG_JSON_PRODUCT \ --version ${'$'}CONFIG_JSON_VERSION \ --index-directory algolia-index/ \ 2>&1 | tee algolia-update-index-log.txt
  4. In General Settings, in the Artifact path field, add algolia-update-index-log.txt to write logs.

  5. In Dependencies, add artifacts produced by your help build configuration: webhelp.zip and algolia-indexes-*.zip!** => algolia-index. This action unpacks the ZIP archive with indexes to algolia-index.

  6. In Parameters, add the following environment variables:


    Algolia application ID


    Name of Algolia index


    Algolia Admin API Key.

    This is a private key. Set the type of this parameter to Password, so that users without proper permissions will not see its value.


    Help instance ID from the tree file or the value of the web-path attribute specified in writerside.cfg if it is different from the ID


    Help instance version (usually the same as the branch name) specified in writerside.cfg

  7. Save the build configuration settings and click Deploy. After it finishes successfully, go to the index in your Algolia account and make sure that the index records have really been uploaded.

  1. In your repository on GitHub, go to Settings | Secrets and variables | Actions, and add a New repository secret called ALGOLIA_KEY with the Algolia Admin API Key from your Algolia account.

  2. Set up a GitHub Actions workflow that builds your help artifacts as described in Build and publish on GitHub. More specifically, make sure that you add a publish-indexes job to the workflow as described in Upload search indexes.

After you run this workflow successfully and the publish-indexes job finishes, go to the index in your Algolia account and make sure that the index records have really been uploaded.

After you upload the index records to Algolia, you can check that search works in your published help. You will need to upload new search index records every time you publish a new help build.

Last modified: 18 July 2024