Add or edit an RSS source

A Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed is a file that includes information about content that a site has published, and will allow a user to keep track of the updates to those sites. An RSS source allows members with the required privileges to add the content of an RSS feed to a Coveo organization.

The availability of old and new RSS feed items depends on the RSS feed configuration contained in an XML file.

  • If the XML feed file contains OpenSearch information, your RSS source uses it to include all available items in the feed as far in the past as possible.

  • If the XML feed file doesn’t contain OpenSearch information, the RSS source doesn’t retrieve old feed items, only new ones that are published.

  • The indexing process of RSS sources keeps items in your source even when they’re filtered out of the RSS feed as new items are published. The filtered-out RSS feed items are however deleted from the source when you perform a source rebuild or rescan.


A technological website RSS feed is configured to provide only the last 100 articles, therefore previous articles aren’t accessible. When you create, rebuild, or rescan your RSS source, you get the last 100 RSS articles available on this site at that time. The next day, five articles are published and your source ends up containing 105 articles.

Six months later, it may contain a thousand articles as long as you don’t rebuild or rescan the source, in which case it will only contain the last 100 articles.

Leading practice

The number of items that a source processes per hour (crawling speed) depends on various factors, such as network bandwidth and source configuration. See About crawling speed for information on what can impact crawling speed, as well as possible solutions.

Source key characteristics

Features Supported Additional information

RSS feeds version

RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom 1.0

Indexable content

RSS feeds (or channels) and RSS items.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


Available at an extra charge. Contact Coveo Sales to add this feature to your Coveo organization license.

Content update operations



Takes place every hour by default. A rescan or rebuild is required to take account of deleted items.

The last update time of each RSS feed item must be available for indexing. Without it, the source sets the default minimum value, making a rescan or rebuild necessary to retrieve item changes.

Depending on the RSS feed format, the following property must be defined for each item:

  • Atom 1.0: <updated>

  • RSS 2.0: <a10:updated>





Authentication methods

Basic authentication


Content security options

Same users and groups as in your content system


Specific users and groups




Add or edit an RSS source

When adding or editing your RSS source, follow the instructions below.

Leading practice

It’s best to create or edit your source in your sandbox organization first. Once you’ve confirmed that it indexes the desired content, you can copy your source configuration to your production organization, either with a snapshot or manually.

See About non-production organizations for more information and best practices regarding sandbox organizations.

"Configuration" tab

On the Add/Edit an RSS Source subpage, the Configuration tab is selected by default. It contains your source's general and content information, as well as other parameters.

General information


Enter a name for your source.

Leading practice

A source name can’t be modified once it’s saved, therefore be sure to use a short and descriptive name, using letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Avoid spaces and other special characters.



Feed URL

Enter the web addresses of RSS feeds that you want to index in the http:// or https:// format.


Content and images

If you want Coveo to extract text from image files or PDF files containing images, enable the appropriate option.

The extracted text is processed as item data, meaning that it’s fully searchable and will appear in the item Quick view. See Enable optical character recognition for details on this feature.

"Authentication" section

If basic authentication is required, enter the Username and Password of the RSS feed website account that has access to the RSS feed content you want to include. See Source credentials leading practices.

"Content security" tab

Select who will be able to access the source items through a Coveo-powered search interface. For details on this parameter, see Content security.

"Access" tab

In the Access tab, set whether each group (and API key, if applicable) in your Coveo organization can view or edit the current source.

For example, when creating a new source, you could decide that members of Group A can edit its configuration while Group B can only view it.

See Custom access level for more information.


  1. Finish adding or editing your source:

    • When you want to save your source configuration changes without starting a build/rebuild, such as when you know you want to do other changes soon, click Add source/Save.

    • When you’re done editing the source and want to make changes effective, click Add and build source/Save and rebuild source.


      On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, you must click Launch build or Start required rebuild in the source Status column to add the source content or to make your changes effective, respectively.

      Back on the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, you can follow the progress of your source addition or modification.

      Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

  2. Once your source is done building or rebuilding, review the metadata Coveo is retrieving from your content.

    1. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > View metadata in the Action bar.

    2. If you want to use a currently not indexed metadata in a facet or result template, map it to a field.

      1. Click the metadata and then, at the top right, click Add to Index.

      2. In the Apply a mapping on all item types of a source panel, select the field you want to map the metadata to, or add a new field if none of the existing fields are appropriate.

        • For details on configuring a new field, see Add or edit a field.

        • For advanced mapping configurations, like applying a mapping to a specific item type, see Manage mappings.

      3. Click Apply mapping.

    3. Depending on the source type you use, you may be able to extract additional metadata from your content. You can then map that metadata to a field, just like you did for the default metadata.

      More on custom metadata extraction and indexing

      Some source types let you define rules to extract metadata beyond the default metadata Coveo discovers during the initial source build.

      For example:

      Source type Custom metadata extraction methods

      Push API

      Define metadata key-value pairs in the addOrUpdate section of the PUT request payload used to upload push operations to an Amazon S3 file container.

      In the JSON configuration (REST API | GraphQL API) of the source, define metadata names (REST API | GraphQL API) and specify where to locate the metadata values in the JSON API response Coveo receives.


      Add <CustomField> elements in the XML configuration. Each element defines a metadata name and the database field to use to populate the metadata with.



      Some source types automatically map metadata to default or user created fields, making the mapping process unnecessary. Some source types automatically create mappings and fields for you when you configure metadata extraction.

      See your source type documentation for more details.

    4. When you’re done reviewing and mapping metadata, return to the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page.

    5. To reindex your source with your new mappings, click Launch rebuild in the source Status column.

    6. Once the source is rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

Required privileges

You can assign privileges to allow access to specific tools in the Coveo Administration Console. The following table indicates the privileges required to view or edit elements of the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page and associated panels. See Manage privileges and Privilege reference for more information.


The Edit all privilege isn’t required to create sources. When granting privileges for the Sources domain, you can grant a group or API key the View all or Custom access level, instead of Edit all, and then select the Can Create checkbox to allow users to create sources. See Can Create ability dependence for more information.

Actions Service Domain Required access level

View sources, view source update schedules, and subscribe to source notifications







Edit sources, edit source update schedules, and view the View Metadata subpage






Source metadata




What’s next?