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Using Custom Searchable Attributes in Go


Search Attributes enable complex and business-logic-focused search queries for Workflow Executions. These are often queried through the Temporal Web UI, but you can also query from within your Workflow code.

Many Search Attributes are added to Workflow Executions by default. But these are necessarily focused on Temporal internal state tracking.

For more debugging and monitoring, you might want to add your own domain-specific Search Attributes, such as customerId or numItems, that can serve as useful search filters.

The Go SDK Client offers APIs for configuring Search Attributes. There are also APIs on the SDK client for listing Workflows by status. Go samples for Search Attributes can be found at temporalio/samples-go.

Value types

Here are the Search Attribute value types and their corresponding types in Go:

  • Bool = bool
  • Datetime = time.Time
  • Double = float64
  • Int = int64
  • Keyword = string
  • Text = string

Tagging Search Attributes at Workflow creation

You can provide key-value pairs as Search Attributes in StartWorkflowOptions. In Go, Search Attributes are represented as map[string]interface{}. The value provided in the map must be the same type that was added to a Cluster.

This can be useful for tagging executions with useful attributes you may want to search up later. For example:

func (c *Client) CallYourWorkflow(ctx context.Context, workflowID string, payload map[string]interface{}) error {
// ...
searchAttributes := map[string]interface{}{
"CustomerId": payload["customer"],
"MiscData": payload["miscData"]
options := client.StartWorkflowOptions{
ID: workflowID,
TaskQueue: app.MyTaskQueue,
SearchAttributes: searchAttributes
we, err := c.Client.ExecuteWorkflow(ctx, options, app.YourWorkflow, payload)
// ...

Upsert Search Attributes during Workflow Execution

In advanced cases, you may want to dynamically update these attributes as the Workflow progresses. UpsertSearchAttributes is used to add or update Search Attributes from within Workflow code.

UpsertSearchAttributes will merge attributes to the existing map in the Workflow. Consider this example Workflow code:

func YourWorkflow(ctx workflow.Context, input string) error {

attr1 := map[string]interface{}{
"CustomIntField": 1,
"CustomBoolField": true,
workflow.UpsertSearchAttributes(ctx, attr1)

attr2 := map[string]interface{}{
"CustomIntField": 2,
"CustomKeywordField": "seattle",
workflow.UpsertSearchAttributes(ctx, attr2)

After the second call to UpsertSearchAttributes, the map will contain:

"CustomIntField": 2, // last update wins
"CustomBoolField": true,
"CustomKeywordField": "seattle",

Removing Search Attributes

There is no support for removing a field.

However, to achieve a similar effect, set the field to some placeholder value. For example, you could set CustomKeywordField to impossibleVal. Then searching CustomKeywordField != 'impossibleVal' will match Workflows with CustomKeywordField not equal to impossibleVal, which includes Workflows without the CustomKeywordField set.

Retrieving Search Attributes

Use the SearchAttributes property of workflow.GetInfo to get a specific Search Attribute:

// Get search attributes that were provided when workflow was started.
info := workflow.GetInfo(ctx)
val := info.SearchAttributes.IndexedFields["CustomIntField"]

Querying Search Attributes within a Workflow

You can programmatically retrieve attributes from a Workflow Execution with GetSearchAttributes, and log out all fields with GetIndexedFields:

searchAttributes := workflowExecution.GetSearchAttributes()
var builder strings.Builder
for k, v := range searchAttributes.GetIndexedFields() {
var currentVal interface{}
err := converter.GetDefaultDataConverter().FromPayload(v, &currentVal)
if err != nil {
logger.Error(fmt.Sprintf("Get search attribute for key %s failed.", k), "Error", err)
return err
builder.WriteString(fmt.Sprintf("%s=%v\n", k, currentVal))

Testing Search Attributes

The Go SDK's test suite comes with corresponding methods for mocking and asserting these operations:

func Test_Workflow(t *testing.T) {
testSuite := &testsuite.WorkflowTestSuite{}
env := testSuite.NewTestWorkflowEnvironment()

// mock search attributes on start
_ = env.SetSearchAttributesOnStart(map[string]interface{}{"CustomIntField": 1})

// mock upsert operations
attributes := map[string]interface{}{
"CustomIntField": 2, // update CustomIntField from 1 to 2, then insert other fields
"CustomKeywordField": "Update1",
"CustomBoolField": true,
"CustomDoubleField": 3.14,
"CustomDatetimeField": env.Now().UTC(),
"CustomStringField": "String field is for text. When query, it will be tokenized for partial match. StringTypeField cannot be used in Order By",

attributes = map[string]interface{}{
"CustomKeywordField": "Update2",

// mock activity
env.OnActivity(ListExecutions, mock.Anything, mock.Anything).Return([]*workflowpb.WorkflowExecutionInfo{{}}, nil).Once()

require.True(t, env.IsWorkflowCompleted())
require.NoError(t, env.GetWorkflowError())

Full Search Attributes example code

You can find full example Search Attributes sample code in the Temporal samples-go repo.