Extend the funtionality through the API

Extend further the funtionality of Forward Search through the 4 included API's

Forward Search is pre-configured to deliver well-working search solutions Out-of-the-box, with just an installation and a very few configurations. Forward Search also provide an easily accessible range of customizations for adapting the system to various search needs, mainly through the Administration client. Situations may arise where more advanced alterations to the default and the configurable behavior of Forward Search. For that purpose, Forward Search is extendable through plug-in architecture and several API’s.

Plug-in filter API

Forward Search natively interprets a large number of documents, like Html, PDF, MS office documents, image files and other media files. If you need to include and index a file type that is not natively supported by Forward Search, you can use the filer API to write a plug-in that does this work for you. Adding the new plug-in to the extension handler specification of the Forward Search configuration makes Forward Search use your new plug-in for all documents with the specified extension. That's all it takes.

Finalizer API

Forward Search processes each discovered document by calling the relevant plug-in and extracting the information needed from the document to the index. It produces an intermediate document object with all the predefined fields and custom fields ready and populated to the best ability of the plug-in and standard processes. Then Forward Search checks if anything else needs to be done with the fields of the document before it is written into the index. At this step, you can write a “finalizer” using the Finalizer API. Forward Search will then call this finalizer with the document object and you can now modify most fields of the document, add more fields, look up new data from legacy systems or other reachable services or calculate new values based on some of the existing contents. Once done, the document is left for Forward Search to actually write to the index, including all the modifications and additions added in the finalizer.

Post Processor API

Forward Search will, if configured for it, launch a post processor each time a contents source has been added to an index. Part of this post processor is to handle needs for distribution of the changed index in a distributed solution, but before this is done, the Index Document Modification System (DocMod) is called, passing along the index and a list of all changed documents. The DocMod Service processes each document from the index, calling filters and processors to change the contents or enrich the document in the index, changing field values or adding more fields to the index. This service operates on the live index and allows for time-consuming alteration code to finish, like calling remote WebServices or OCR scanning image documents. Forward Search is delivered with some ready-to-use modification modules like the “Duplicate-page Remover”, but if needed, you can add functionality to this post processing. Simply use the DocMod API to write a pluggable module or filter and reconfigure the Post Processor configuration file to include your module or apply your filter to the document processing.   

Index manager API

The Forward Search Administration client allows for a gui interface to the search setup. This works fine for most installations, but sometimes, it may be convenient or even needed to take over the control of the search setup, for instance when automatic index creation or run-monitoring is needed. Since the Forward Search Administration client communicates with the search installation strictly using the webservice interface exposed by Forward Search, this can be done by any client code as well. However, writing management code against a webservice interface is cumbersome and therefore, the Index Manager API allows you to skip that part entirely, operating directly on well-designed business object classes, leaving the xml-configuration file editing and the webservice communication to be handled by the manager code.

Document injection

Forward Search WebService API among other webservice has the ability to maintain an index through direct injection. This is useful in integration with solutions which are not traditional website driven. For instance a database repository where content are already maintained. Through the WebService API an index could be synchronized instantly.