Use Zendesk As a Content Source

This article explains how to index the posts, articles, and tickets stored in your Zendesk instance. If you have admin access to Zendesk Community and/or Zendesk Guide, then you can link Zendesk to SearchUnify.


  • SearchUnify supports ticket, article, and post permissions from Zendesk pages.

  • Enable the help center. It is necessary to crawl data.

  • Only administrators in Zendesk have the necessary permissions to generate API credentials.

  • Responses from Zendesk are subject to rate limits. Check out this doc for the current Rate Limits in Zendesk.

Establish a Connection

  1. Navigate to Content Sources.

  2. Click Add New Content Source.

  1. Find Zendesk from the search bar and click Add.

  2. Enter a value in Name.

  3. Insert your Zendesk instance web address in Client URL.

  4. Select an authentication method. For assistance, check out Which Authentication Method to Select for Zendesk?.

  5. Press Connect.

Set Up Crawl Frequency

The first crawl is always manual and is performed after configuring the content source. In Choose A Date, select a date to start crawling; the data created after the selected date will be crawled. For now, keep the frequency to its default value Never and click Set and move to the next section.

Select Fields for Indexing

You can index your entire Zendesk data, or only a subset of it. SearchUnify supports three content types out-of-the-box: posts, articles, and tickets.


  • SearchUnify does not crawl data stored in Zendesk custom fields.

  • Deleted posts are removed from the SearchUnify index using webhooks.

  • Permissions are only updated for articles, posts, and tickets during frequency crawls

  • Tickets can be crawled even in the absence of spaces for articles and posts

  1. Click to select a content type.

  2. Add content fields one at a time. Each field is a property of posts, articles, and tickets. SearchUnify assigns each field a label, type. The values don't require a change, but advanced users can edit them.

  3. Press Apply.

  4. Repeat the steps 2-4 for the remaining two content types.

  5. Navigate to By Topics.

  6. Use the index to find your topics and check enable for each one of it.
  7. Press Save.

Find and Replace

Those on the Q2 '24 release or a later version will notice a new button next to each object on the Rules screen. It resembles a magnifying glass and is labeled "Find and Replace." You can use this feature to find and replace values in a single field or across all fields. The changes occur in the search index, not in your content source.

Find and Replace proves valuable in various scenarios. A common use case is when a product name is altered. Suppose your product name has changed from "SearchUnify" to "SUnify," and you wish for the search result titles to immediately reflect this change.

  1. To make the change, click .

  2. Now, choose either "All" or a specific content source field from the "Enter Name" dropdown. When "All" is selected, any value in the "Find" column is replaced with the corresponding value in the "Replace" column across all content source fields. If a particular field is chosen, the old value is replaced with the new value solely within the selected field.

  3. Enter the value to be replaced in the Find column and the new value in the Replace column. Both columns accept regular expressions.

  4. Click Add. You will see a warning if you are replacing a value in all fields.

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Run a crawl for the updated values to reflect in search results.

After the First Crawl

Return to the Content Sources screen and click in Actions. The number of indexed documents is updated after the crawl is complete. You can view crawl progress in in Actions. Documentation on crawl progress is in View Crawl Logs.


Review the settings in Rules if there is no progress in Crawl Logs.


For Mamba '22 and newer instances, search isn't impacted during a crawl. However, in older instances, some documents remain inaccessible while a crawl is going on.

Once the first crawl is complete, click in Actions open the content source for editing, and set a crawl frequency.

  1. In Choose a Date, click to fire up a calendar and select a date. Only the data after the selected date is indexed.

  2. Use the Frequency dropdown to select how often SearchUnify should index the data. For illustration, the frequency has been set to Weekly and Tuesday has been chosen as the crawling day. Whenever the Frequency is other than Never, a third dropdown appears where you can specify the interval. Also, whenever Frequency is set to Hourly, then manual crawls are disabled.

  3. Click Set to save crawl frequency settings. On clicking Set, you are taken to the Rules tab.

Data Deletion and SU Index

All the data deleted from Zendesk is removed from the SearchUnify index within seven days. The articles are deleted from the index on Saturdays and the posts are deleted from the index on Sundays. To find out the redundant posts and articles, SearchUnify uses Zendesk API. Each API call goes through up to 1000 articles or 1000 posts. The new articles and posts are added into the index. At the same times, articles and posts that are in the index but not in Zendesk are removed from the index.

This process doesn't interfere with crawling but it may slow it down. Search and any other Zendesk integrations may be impacted because of the rate limits (check Permissions).

Search Permissions

Search permissions refer to access control on results from a Zendesk content source.


There is no access control when a Zendesk content source is set up with "No Authentication."

Search permissions work when the search user is logged in. Their email is used to identify the user's Ticket group, Article segment, and Post segment. A search user can see all the tickets, articles, and posts in their group or segment. A ticket is visible to a search user outside their group only when the search user is the requester.

When the search user is a Zendesk admin, then all tickets, articles, and posts are visible to them.