Making special operator search certain fields?

Hi all,

In our RT setup, we have a custom field for the order number. Any ticket related to an order must have a number in that field. I’d like to let users search by order number without typing out the syntax to do a custom field search.

In RT, if you type just a number by itself, you get the ticket that corresponds to that number, or an error if no tickets match. What I’d like to do is to choose a character, say a comma, which would make RT search our custom field for everything after the comma. That is, a search like


would run a “like” search in the order number field of all tickets, just like simply looking for “357” would run an “equals” search in the ticket ID field by default.

I can probably work out the SQL and Perl I’d need. What I don’t know is where to start looking in RT’s code. Where could I add this functionality, if I can at all? Thanks for any ideas.