Skip to main content

About Search Basics

Our Search Syntax is based on a funnel or "pipeline" concept. The wide mouth of the funnel begins with all your current Sumo Logic data, and you narrow the funnel by entering keywords and operators separated by pipes (|). Each operator acts on the results from the previous operator so that you can progressively filter and pinpoint your search until you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Micro Lesson

How to search data using the Basic Search Mode in Sumo Logic.

In the Search tab, a search query is typically formatted something like this:

keyword search | parse | where | group-by | sort | limit

Start with a basic search:

  1. Click the + New button at the top of the screen and select Log Search.
  2. Enter a simple key term like "error" in the search field, or type an asterisk wildcard (*) to find all messages. 
  3. Hit Enter or click Start.
  4. Sumo Logic returns all the log entries containing the search term in the Messages tab below the histogram.

Review a slightly more complex search query to see how queries are formed.

All queries begin with a keyword or string search. Wildcards are allowed including an asterisk (*) for zero or more characters and a question mark (?) for a single character. Strings can be parsed based on start and stop anchor points in messages, and then aliased as user-created fields. All operators are separated by the pipe symbol (|).

Here's an example:

_sourceCategory=apache | parse "* --" as src_ip | count by src_ip | sort _count

This query means:

query syntax

As queries get longer and more complex, it is a best practice to format your queries by using a soft return before the pipes, such as:

| parse "* --" as src_ip
| count by src_ip | sort _count

This method lines up the pipes and makes your query much easier to read.


Searches can be long and complex, but they are limited to a maximum of 15,000 characters.

Default data scope

The data that is used to execute the query when there is no _index, _sourcecategory, _view , or metadata fields in the source expression of a query is called Default scope data.

  • For data-tier customers, the data in continuous tier is considered as default scope. For queries relying on default scope, example, _index, _sourcecategory, _view , or metadata fields, for example error | count or *, only continuous tier data will be considered for the query, as frequent and infrequent data is excluded from the default scope.
  • For flex customers, you can modify the default scope by selecting or deselecting the Include this partition in default scope checkbox when creating/updating the partition. For example, consider you have three partitions namely, Partition A (Excluded), Partition B (Included), and Partition C (Included). When you run the query without referring to _index, for example error | count or *, only Partition B and Partition C will be considered for the query, as Partition A is excluded from the default scope.

See also

Privacy Statement
Terms of Use

Copyright © 2024 by Sumo Logic, Inc.