Methods for searching and filtering records in Odoo

In Odoo can be found multiple different methods for filtering and searching records. Each of them is designed with their own uniqueness which makes it more useful in certain cases than others, even though sometimes it may be confusing which one is the right to use. In this post we will go through some of the most used lookup methods and focus on when each of them should be used.

We will cover the following methods:

  • browse
  • search
  • filtered
  • filtered_domain


The method browse​returns a recordset for the provided IDs​ in the current environment. In case the method is called without any ID​ it will return an empty recordset. This method creates recordset for the IDs without fetching the actual data immediately from the database. It is useful to use when list of IDs need to be converted into recordset.


The search​ method can accept multiple arguments:

  • domain​: A list of domains to be searched by. An empty list will return all records
  • offset​: Number of results to ignore. Usually used during page pagination
  • limit​: Maximum number of results to return
  • order​: Specified order of records

This method based on the provided arguments creates a search query that is executed in the database and the result from it are stored in memory.

The return from this method is recordset as well. The difference between this recordset and the one from the browse​ method is that this method is doing immediate query to the database and retrieves the data for the selected records, which means when a field is accessed, the value is taken from the memory instead of doing read in the database. The search method has a few additional optimization methods such as search_count​, search_read​ and search_fetch​.


The filtered​ ​method as an argument accepts a function or a dot-separated sequence of field names. This method filters records on an already existing recordset, which is one of the differences compared to the previous two methods. The filtering in this method is done on python level and does not use database queries. 

Filtered Domain

Similarly to the filtered​ method, the filtering is done on the existing recordset. The difference is that in this case the argument is a domain, the same format as the one for search​, instead of a function. Depending on the complexity of the domain, the method may execute an actual search to do the proper filtering. However in most of the cases it filters the records in python by evaluating the domain. This is good in case the recordset is already fetched from the database and it is needed some additional filtering which is easier to express in a domain format.


To sum up, the browse​ method is used when there is list of IDs​ but we need a recordset for more convenient handling in the rest of the codebase. 
In case we have some parameters on base of which we need to query the database and get recordset then search​ method is the one that should be used. 
However, if we already have the recordset and need to do some additional filtering on it the filtered​ and filtered_domain​ methods are the right choice. Which one of these methods needs to be used mostly depends on the conditions that need to apply. In case of a simpler condition filtered would be more convenient to use but in case the conditions are more complex can be easier to translate them in a domain format and use filtered_domain​.

These suggestions are based on the assumption that the amount of data handling is moderate. In case of complex domains and bigger amounts of data may need to be done additional evaluation which method would perform the best for such case.