We are building a plugin that uploads content via a cron and updates the database. However because of the volume of data involved we decided against using the channel data tables, where we have quite a lot of valuable data and created a unique table for it instead.

Does anyone know if it is possible to create a low search collection from data other than that in the channel data table?


  • 1
    Since you are creating a farely complex plugin, i guess you know a bit of programming. You have several options. You can take a look at the source code of the add-on, to see if you can modify it to suit your needs, or you can contact the developer for options.
    – GDmac
    Feb 27, 2013 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


First of all, you should know this:

Low Search will always return channel entries.

If you're using a dedicated table to store your data, you might also be using your own set of template tags to display the output of that data, circumventing the exp:channel:entries tag. If that is indeed the case, and there is no relation between your custom data and channel entries, then you can't use Low Search to search/display your data.

One way of creating such a relationship is to build a custom fieldtype that relates a channel entry with the data in your custom table. You can then use the search index API to generate custom data that is used in the Low Search index.

But the easiest route is probably changing your approach and do store the data in the exp_channel_data table. This makes things much easier to integrate. You can use the Channel Entries API to create/update/delete entries, extension hooks will be triggered when you do, so indexes are kept up to date automatically. Or you could use the same cron job to automatically re-index the Low Search collections.

  • ...we are in the middle of doing it so currently just using exp:query to display the data. Realise that everything would be easier with the data in the channel entries, but long term am much more comfortable with the data in a separate table. Like the idea of the suggestion of generating the custom field, allowing the search to access the data this way, and generate the data as you want it through the index api. Will be looking into this, cheers.
    – Jamesaa
    Feb 28, 2013 at 10:49

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