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You do get a file created and persisted inside the Workbench. However, it's not the easiest thing to find/open and I would not attempt to modify it directly.
Go to your Installation under:
(Windows ex: C:\Endeca\ToolsAndFrameworks\3.1.0\server\workspace\state\emanager\instances\Discover\resources)
At that location, you will see a list of files (Cartridge Templates, Pipeline configuration, etc.) for your Endeca application. Here's the tricky part: They all have a suffix of .xml but they are not actually .xml files. They are zip files with an XML extension. If you open them as zip archives, you'll see they contain a text file corresponding to the name of the original file. For example THESAURUS.thesaurus.xml is actually a zip file containing a single text file (THESAURUS.thesaurus). If you extract that file and open it, you can see Workbench's "view of the configuration".
Hope this helps, I wouldn't attempt to modify these files (I doubt Workbench would even "respect" the edits) but it can be useful as a reference. If you need help setting the thesaurus programatically, the Deployment Template components are definitely the way to go.
Starting in 3.1, Workbench has it's own storage of some of the configuration. Thesaurus entries is one of these types of configuration. You should no longer edit Thesaurus in developer studio - the Endeca Configuration Repository running in Workbench is the master for that now. There are scripts provided that allow you to import and export configuration from the repository.
Hi Kristen, thanks for the answer. We understood that setting on DevStudio is not needed.
However, do we need to run the script in order to reflect the workbench change into xml ? Previous answer seems to be point out where thesaurus setting on workbench is reflected, but this is empty. Also, I could not find any such script to import/export the thesaurus setup on workbench, where as I read through workbench guide.