Plugin search now uses organizations

Posted on by Mikhail Vink

TL;DR We are going to use organizations in search instead of the vendor field from the plugin descriptor.

Several weeks ago we introduced Organizations. One of the reasons we implemented them was to simplify plugin search for end users. From now on, we are going to use organizations in the search index instead of the vendor field from the plugin descriptor.

Why?

There are several reasons to stop using vendors in search:

  1. There are a lot of vendors (~2816 for IntelliJ IDEA 2020.1) and only 13% of them have more than one plugin;
  2. Vendor is an unmoderated field in the plugin descriptor. The second most popular vendor is an empty string (“”) and the third one is “yourcompany”. Some of them contain non-English words and some of them are really big pieces of text.
  3. Since the vendor field is not moderated, it can be used to abuse the search system (e.g. someone can use a popular word, company name etc., to promote their plugins in search).

How will organizations help?

  1. Plugin authors have to perform some additional actions to create an organization and it’s not something that will be done casually;
  2. We moderate the list of organizations;
  3. Organization admins control the list of their organization’s plugins.

What does it mean?

The search engine will no longer take the vendor field into account. It will use the organization’s public name instead. Any mentions of the vendor field will be removed from the site search and the IDE search. Instead of the vendor, we will show the organization’s public name.

Plugins Repository Search

The <i>/organizations: ...</i> filter can be used to filter by the organization’s public name in the plugins search. It will replace filtering by vendors. These changes will be available in releases from 2020.2 and later.

Plugin Manager

Call to action

Currently, any Marketplace user can create an organization. We recommend you do this if:

  1. You are going to sell a plugin on Marketplace. You cannot sell plugins without an organization;
  2. You already have more than one plugin or you think that in future you will have more than one plugin. Creating an organization will make it easier for users to find your other plugins;
  3. You are a company that develops plugins. Searching for your brand name will be much easier for end users;
  4. You would like to get more visibility for your plugin.
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