I'm always looking for a way to keep up with stuff
and frankly Windows search doesn't cut it. Even the indexing service
in NT/200x/XP is, as far as I'm concerned, miserable.
I've been aware of dtSearch for quite some time;
they've been around since 1991, but I'd lost track of them until I
ran into a new version of their
dtSearch Desktop product. It came at just the right time, I was
pretty much unable to find anything in my archived email and it did a great job
of indexing my 10,000 plus emails to the point where I can find
that critical email in a couple of seconds.
Search features are robust and you can use fuzzy,
phonic, wildcard and more in your searches. But most of all it's
blazingly fast. It supports just about any file format as well;
HTML, ZIP, PDF, XML, Access and more.
But I had a bigger problem, I needed a search
engine for PCNet. The aforementioned index server was getting more and more cranky and
even though I had written custom code for the output I still wasn't
happy with it.
I figured if dtSearch Desktop did such a great job
why not try dtSearch Web? It's not cheap, but hey, a good search
tool that's easy to use is indispensable and a trail version is
I was more than a little hesitant, typically I get
involved in a server project and, given my lack of skills, it's a
major undertaking involving installs, uninstalls, restores and lots
of expletives but given the huge growth in the download area I was desperate.
I installed the package, no problems there, and
started up the index wizard. Figuring I'd start with the most
critical area I
selected the PCNet download area.
I selected the pages I wanted to index, told the wizard where I wanted them
stored and bang, it did it and did it FAST.
Even though the numbers looked good I still didn't quite believe it so I
created another index for another area. It went even faster.
Next I fired up the search page generation wizard. I selected
the index (the downloads area, but I could have included as many
indexes as I had
created), told it where I wanted them placed and bang, the
download area search form was
Nah, it couldn't be that easy. I fired up my
browser, navigated to the search form and fed it a query that I knew
the results of. Everything turned up.
Here are some of the features of dtSearch Web:
- Windows GUI administration interface.
- Uses the Windows Task Scheduler.
- Simple configuration to connect to IIS web
server via ASP and ISAPI
- Spider for web site robot indexing comes with
all versions of the software
- Also indexes local file systems and mounted
- Can include based on URL path and exclude based
on file type extension
- Can exclude text between <!--BeginNoIndex-->
and <!--EndNoIndex--> tags.
- Incremental index updates.
- In addition to English supports French, German, Italian, Spanish,
Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese (Brazilian/European), Finnish
- Unicode support, including Arabic
- Indexes and searches nested XML fields
- ODBC interface to databases
- Indexes HTML, Outlook email directories, PDF,
Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Microsoft Access, PowerPoint, RTF,
ZIP archives and XML.
- Supports multiple indexes, each containing 4 to
8 gigabytes of text
- Search type option for forms, selecting
among "all words", "any words", "exact phrase", and "boolean"
- Searching using phrases, Boolean operators,
natural-Language queries, fuzzy logic, stemming and phonetic
- Can search specified fields and meta tags.
- Advanced search interface lists search zones,
query options, fuzziness, number of results and sorting options.
- Default search result (wizard generated) page shows results in side
- Match word highlighting in search results
- Can display web pages and office documents in
browser with match words marked.
- Extensive customization, including ASP
- Customizable logging of search requests (very
handy for seeing what people are looking for!).
- API supports Java JNI, C++, Visual C++, Visual
Basic, .NET, and Delphi
Now I'll probably not use even half of these
features, but who knows, I might grow a brain but until then I have
a world class search engine, all in less than 10 minutes.
If only writing these articles was so easy.