Operation Basics

Search Cartridge consists of a server application (Search Engine Server, SES) and Autonomy's search engine that add advanced search features to CMS Fiona. It can be used in the editiorial system as well as on the live server in order to give both editors and users of your website the opportunity to search content according to their own criteria.

Due to its architecture, the Search Cartridge can be used very flexibly and may be adjusted to the individual customer’s needs. It has interfaces, for example, that make it possible to pre-process the content to be indexed or to post-process the search results (see Architecture).

Just like the Content Manager and the Template Engine, the Search Engine Server has an XML interface that makes its functions available to the clients. Not only the Content Manager and the Template Engine may act as clients, but also scripts that communicate with the SES using the XML interface.

On the live server, the SES can be used with or without the Template Engine.

Editorial System

In the editorial system, the Search Engine Server receives the data to be indexed from the Content Management Server. The SES optionally processes the data and sends it to the search engine. While users are working with CMS files and contents, the Content Manager makes sure that the indexed data of the Search Cartridge is kept up to date. The users normally do not notice that their creation and deletion operations cause the indexes of the Search Cartridge to be updated in the background.

Content updates and search requests made by the users of the Content Manager are communicated to the Search Cartridge by means of XML documents. These documents are structured according to an XML DTD (Document Type Definition). The protocol is called Method of Interacting with Search Engines (MISE, see MISE as DTD)

The XML documents are transferred using HTTP requests. The Content Manager acts as a Search Engine Server client, i. e. It sends update or search requests to the Cartridge that are executed and answered by the Cartridge.

Live System

On the live system, update and search requests are not initiated by the same client (like in the editorial system). When content has been updated, the Template engine is responsible for sending a corresponding request to the Search Cartridge. In the case of a search request, it is the task of a special application on the live server (a PHP script, for example) to send an appropriate request to the Search Engine Server and to output the search results as an HTML page.

You can use scripts in order to directly communicate with the Search Engine Server from within documents. A Script may be used for generating an XML document from the search query entered in a form and for sending it to the Search Cartridge. The script then receives the search results from the Search Cartridge and uses them to generate the result pages that are to be delivered. Scripts and search forms can be easily maintained as CMS files using the Content Manager.

The Search Cartridge can also be used on live systems based on Ruby on Rails and the Rails Connector for CMS Fiona.