Instant updates

Instant updates are a way of adding and removing content from web or filecopy data sources between full or incremental updates.

Update process

An instant update is initiated in one of the following ways:

  • via the admin UI - selecting advanced update and choosing one of the four available start new instant update options (note: web and filecopy data sources only).

  • running from the command line and specifying an instant update mode.

When the instant update runs new content (generated from one of the add update types) is handled separately to the files associated with the main index. Specifically:

  • Data is downloaded to a secondary-data folder

  • Indexes are written to the live/idx folder with an index stem of index_secondary ($SEARCH_HOME/data/$COLLECTION_NAME/live/idx/index_secondary)

When content is added to a secondary index a check is made to see if it exists in the current live index and is killed if it found to exist.

An instant delete operation is equivalent to killing the document from the live index.

Instant update phases

Instant update

Purpose: Add or re-add a site to the index.

Update phases:

  • instant-gather

  • instant-convert

  • instant-index

Instant delete

Purpose: Remove sites from the index.

Update phases:

  • delete-prefix

Instant document add

Purpose: Add or re-add individual URLs to the index)

Update phases:

  • instant-gather

  • instant-convert

  • instant-index

Instant document delete

Purpose: Remove individual URLs from the index.

Update phases:

  • delete-list

Configuring instant updates


This feature is not available to users of the Squiz Experience Cloud version of Funnelback.

For instant updates to run correctly any workflow commands applied to a normal update need to be configured for the instant update using the equivalent instant update workflow commands applied to the correct instant update phases (as listed above). This means that you will need to add workflow commands for both standard and instant updates.

As a general rule:

  • Convert any pre/post_gather commands to pre/post_instant-gather commands and add these to the collection.cfg (leave the existing pre/post commands as these are still needed for normal updates).

  • Convert any pre/post_index commands to pre/post_instant-index commands (leave the existing pre/post commands as these are still needed for normal updates).

  • Convert any index stems in the added commands to use $SEARCH_HOME/data/$COLLECTION_NAME/live/idx/index_secondary instead of $SEARCH_HOME/data/$COLLECTION_NAME/$CURRENT_VIEW/idx/index.

  • Replace any uses of $CURRENT_VIEW in the instant update commands with live.

  • Post update (and post swap, pre/post meta dependencies etc) workflow should be run as post instant-index, post delete-prefix and post delete-list commands as instant updates only have the phases listed above (there is no swap, meta dependencies and hence no post-update phase).


# Post index command, runs on normal updates
post_index_command=$SEARCH_HOME/bin/padre-gs $SEARCH_HOME/data/$COLLECTION_NAME/$CURRENT_VIEW/idx/index $SEARCH_HOME/conf/$COLLECTION_NAME/gscopes.cfg
# Equivalent instant update command
post_instant-index_command=$SEARCH_HOME/bin/padre-gs $SEARCH_HOME/data/$COLLECTION_NAME/live/idx/index_secondary $SEARCH_HOME/conf/$COLLECTION_NAME/gscopes.cfg

Administration interface

The following administration user permissions are required to provide access to instant updates:

  • sec.instant.update

In addition, instant.update.restrict_urls must be set with appropriate settings. One of the following is required:

  • instant.update.restrict_urls = false, or

  • instant.update.restrict_urls = true and instant.update.allowed_urls = must be set to a list of allowed URLs.

An administration user must be granted these permissions in order to have access to instant updates.

Logs and indexes

  • High level update messages are written to the standard update-<COLLECTION NAME>.log.

  • Detailed logs are written to the collection’s live/secondary-logs folder

  • Indexes are written to the collection’s live/secondary-index folder while being built (a bit like offline) then moved to the live/idx folder with a stem of index_secondary.


  • It is not possible to start an instant update if the data source is already updating.

  • Running an instant update will lock the data source from updating (so a standard update, or other instant updates can’t be run while an instant update is running).

  • Instant updates apply only to web, database, fileshare and matrix data sources.

See also: