Provide a uniform way of searching for things within a product with the goal of expanding the search to work across products (federated search). We want to reserve the concept and term "search" to only be used in the header. Everything else in the UI should use the term "filter". For example, we have page level filters (they restrict the display in the page to only contain things that match the filter) or we have grid "quick filters" (the restrict the content of the grid to only those things that match the filter).
The pattern we've chosen is essentially to do a "google search" like interface where you type something into the search box and a set of results appears below. Initially, Search finds "things" the user can see (and not things the user is not privileged to see) which have some attribute that contains the search string. It only searches for things within the product's inventory of "things". Eventually, the search can be expanded to search for things across products. And, subject to usability study, search could be further expanded to find more than just things, including searching product documentation and information on the CA website.
To search for something, click on the search icon. The search box appears covering the "middle" of the header. Focus is moved to the search box. If there was a previous search, the search box is populated with the previously entered search term.
The user enters the word(s) to be searched for and presses ENTER or clicks the search icon to perform the search. Initially no "search syntax" will be supported. Search simple finds all things that contain all the words in the search field. If this proves to be insufficient, we can add the basic Google operators that are of value such as OR, exact match (quoted words or phrases), and attribute specific search (only find things where the specified attribute contains the word or words).
If the user clicks the X icon, the search box is cleared and closed. If the user clicks outside the search box, the search box is closed (the entered term is preserved).
After clicking Search (or pressing Enter), search results are shown below the header in a full width, full-height overlay with a close button. In other words, the user's context (the page they were on) is left as is so that if they dismiss the search results, they return to exactly where they were.
Clicking either X in the search box or the X in the page closes the search results (clicking the X in the search box clears the search value as well).
Search results are divided up into blocks of "like things" (akin to Google separating video results from image results). Within each block of like things, the results should be sorted by relevance if that's possible, otherwise sorted by name. Each result should include a link in its entry (in "link blue"). Clicking on the link goes to the thing referenced by the result.