Watchman performs various operations on records prior to their inclusion in the search index and offers some inspection capabilities into the search index.

Setting DEBUG_NAME_PIPELINE=true will enable verbose logging of every text processing step performed on records prior to inclusion in the search index.

ts=2019-12-19T17:11:25.325105Z caller=pipeline.go:84 pipeline=*main.reorderSDNStep result="ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CO., LTD." original="ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CO., LTD."
ts=2019-12-19T17:11:25.32513Z caller=pipeline.go:84 pipeline=*main.companyNameCleanupStep result=ANGLO-CARIBBEAN. original="ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CO., LTD."
ts=2019-12-19T17:11:25.325583Z caller=pipeline.go:84 pipeline=*main.stopwordsStep result=anglo-caribbean original="ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CO., LTD."
ts=2019-12-19T17:11:25.325613Z caller=pipeline.go:84 pipeline=*main.normalizeStep result="anglo caribbean" original="ANGLO-CARIBBEAN CO., LTD."

Note: Some record types are skipped in pipeline steps.

Debugging SDNs

For a more precise inspection of a specific SDN record, call the following endpoint. The debug object is included along with the SDN in question.

$ curl -s localhost:9094/debug/sdn/16016 | jq .
  "SDN": {
    "entityID": "16016",
    "sdnName": "CYLINDER SYSTEM L.T.D.",
    // ...
    "remarks": "Tax ID No. 27694384517 (Croatia)."
  "debug": {
    "indexedName": "cylinder system",
    "parsedRemarksId": "27694384517"

Pipeline steps

Reordering of individual names

This step processes SDN and SSI entries to rearrange their name into a “first middle last” ordering.

Example: MADURO MOROS, Nicolas into Nicolas MADURO MOROS

Company name cleanup

This step strips SDN and SSI company suffixes/titles from their indexed name. The original name from their source file is never changed.


Stopwords removal

This step removes stopwords from SDN and SSI entities. Stopwords are typically the most common words in languages and don’t convey necessary information in a sentence. They are more typically used for grammatical correctness and thus can be ignored in search rankings.

Example: COLOMBIANA DE CERDOS LTDA. into colombiana cerdos ltda Example: Trees and Trucks into trees trucks


This step “normalizes” all text passed to it by converting it to lowercase, removing punctuation, and applying UTF-8 Normalization to support searching non-English names with English letters. Watchman has a primary focus on American business which often performs this same conversion as a result of human or computer systems.

Example: Raúl Castro into raul castro

More information: Why You Need to Normalize Unicode Strings