The search plugin
The search plugin extends the joomla core search. It allows to search the items database.
For joomla 1.7+ see this article
The item links
The joomla search results page links back to the dataitems menu, the parameters 'Add to...' allow to customize the link:
This will add the unique item id to the link, the target page will only show this single item. This option has a drawback: the item id is not preserved when the item changes, for example one of the Select fields gets a different value.
This adds the title to the page url, displaying possibly multiple items.
This selection field as defined in the menu configuration. The next parameter (Menu levels) defines how menu fields are shown.
Link to merchant
This option allows to use the affiliate link, redirecting directly to the merchants store
Setting the target menu Menu Id
The items in the database do not have a structure, the structure is defined in the menu configuration. Therefore a target menu id must be set in the plugin configuration.
Searching multiple menu's
There is a catch here, assuming a site has multiple menu's each with a different main selection ( the first selection in the menu configuration), for example:
menu - 1 has a Select0 on 'Widgets'
menu - 2 has a Select0 on 'Gifts'
So you can't use the (single) search plugin to search both menu's structures.
If a site as multiple datafeed menu's you might want to define an extra menu without a main selection, pointing the search plugin to this menu
searching the title and description
By default the plugin will not search the title and description of the items, since this might be an expensive operation. On small sets of items or a proper server you can enable the search in the plugin configuration: 'Search Title' and 'Search Description'