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Novell Open Enterprise Server 2

QuickFinder Server

Overview

If your company's Web site is like most, it's not lacking in information. While your site's visitors have access to massive amounts of data, they may benefit from a faster, more efficient way to pinpoint what they're looking for: QuickFinder Server (formerly NetWare® Web Search) from Novell.

Unlike all-Web search engines, QuickFinder is targeted at the Enterprise. General Internet search engines index many Web sites and their component pages, but they either cannot or do not index all available content. Perhaps that's the reason more than 75 percent of Web-site visitors use site-specific search functionality when it's available to them. In fact, for many Web sites, the search-results page has more hits than does the home page. Yet more than 50 percent of large Web sites (over 500,000 pages) and 70 percent of moderately sized Web sites (up to 5,000 pages) do not offer search functionality to their visitors.

QuickFinder is a site-specific search engine that allows your users to search (depending on the configurations you set) your public and private sites, your partners' sites and any number of additional Web sites across the Internet, all from a single search interface on your Web site. You can also tell QuickFinder to index any of the attached file servers throughout your enterprise.

One of its newest features allows QuickFinder to optionally follow "off-site" links, but limits these links to going only one or two levels deep; this lets you include content that relates to your Web site and products-anywhere on the Internet. Your employees, customers and partners will be far more effective when they have access to fast searches with broad and accurate results.

Site Distinction

As a shipping component in Novell NetWare and Novell Open Enterprise Server (and soon to be the search-service component in other key Novell technologies), QuickFinder gives your site a professional look and feel. You can easily personalize QuickFinder by modifying the results pages to match your corporate design. In addition, its functionality helps your employees stay at peak productivity and has the capacity to spotlight products or promotions for marketing purposes.

But it's even more helpful to the people who matter most to your organization: your customers. Because QuickFinder gives them more control in navigating your site, they're apt to stay on the site longer. It's hard to find a more enticing combination: QuickFinder can save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars and your customers hundreds of thousands of hours.

Easy Administration

In addition to its intuitive navigation for your end users, QuickFinder is also easy to administer. QuickFinder Server Manager is a browser-based utility you use to create and manage all virtual search servers, their indexes and all other QuickFinder Server configuration settings. Using the fully Web-based QuickFinder administration module, you can configure and maintain your indexes remotely from anywhere on the Web. Finally, it gives administrators accurate customer metrics, helping them more concisely identify customers' needs. QuickFinder is simple to set up and even simpler to use.

Finding Data

The latest release of QuickFinder, available in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2, has simplified the setup process and made it easier to locate data on local and remote Novell Client Protocol (NCP) servers. With the new version, you can index local NSS volumes on Linux and remote NetWare volumes from the same machine. You can also limit searches based on a user's eDirectory rights in the NCS server.

File Access

After you index your remote servers, you need a way to give users easy access to their files. With Novell Open Enterprise Server 2, there are many options: you can set up a Web server on the remote server, or you can use QuickFinder to encode file URLs to access the files using UNC paths (see Creating Indexes in QuickFinder, Open Enterprise Server 2 documentation). Another option is to configure NetStorage to facilitate file access (see the Cool Solutions article Combining Rsync, Quickfinder and NetStorage for Fun and Profit).

What's New in Version 2

With the release of Novell Open Enterprise Server 2, the QuickFinder server features enhanced search capabilities. These new capabilities include:

  • Indexes all local and remote NCP, NSS, and NetWare volumes
  • Filters search results based on NCP server rights
  • Encodes file URLs so they can open directly through a file browser. For example, the following UNC path will open the file in OOO: file://///servername/path/filename.odt
  • Enables indexing of large amounts of data per index (over 1 million files)
  • Dynamically loads new external file readers, making it easier to update and add new file readers
  • Displays arbitrary, admin-specified meta data from indexed documents on search results page
  • Displays hits per index on the results page (see sample ResultListTemplate.html for example
  • Searches filenames by default with every query
  • Delivers enhanced search results

Features

QuickFinder delivers robust, feature-rich search capabilities ranging from file systems and Web sites to providing search services in hosted ASP/ISP environments. The following are some of its features:

  • Provides a simple, powerful search syntax supporting common booleans, phrases, proximity, logical groupings, wildcards, "within these," and date-based and multiple-query searches
  • Provides "field searching," which limits results to specific document properties and meta-tags
  • Indexes HTTP and HTTPS and password-protected Web sites
  • Indexes any attached file system (NFS on NetWare and any on Linux)
  • Indexes over two dozen file formats, including Word, PDF, HTML, Open Office, and XML
  • Indexes files in almost any language and character set
  • Filters search results using eDirectory™ rights
  • Highlights search terms within the context of the original documents
  • Detects a wide variety of duplicate URLs and files
  • Promotes specific search results (relevance adjustments, best bets indexes, keyword redirection and more)
  • Supports synonym-based searches
  • Suggests spelling alternatives (in up to 15 languages)
  • Uses e-mail to send out periodic status reports and error messages
  • Provides highly customizable HTML output (XML and other formats also)
  • Lets search administrators and end-users select any level of detail for search results
  • Allows printing of the search-result documents as a single, coherently organized print job
  • Provides "not-found" search expansion (secondary searches in additional indexes)
  • Skips content-specified portions of files (headers, tables of contents, navigation bars, etc.)
  • Hosts search services for ASP/ISP environments (virtual search servers)
  • Synchronizes indexes, configuration settings, and templates across multiple physical search servers
  • Provides specifiable variables in search returns, including date range, detail level, language, title, description or URL

File Reader Updates

The file reader has undergone improvements to enhance support for PDF, OpenOffice, HTML, ASCII and Microsoft Office files. The most significant enhancements include:

  • PDF files:
    • Detects more text in PDF files
    • Supports compressed Adobe 6 & 7 files
    • Supports a wider range of fonts (such as Asian, double-byte fonts)
    • Enables improved handling of descendant fonts.
  • OpenOffice files:
    • Supports unknown field names)
    • Detects specific OpenOffice file types using the "mimetype" file within the ZIP
  • HTML:
    • Improved handling of entity references within meta tags and in general
    • Added “NoFollow to Robots” comment tags
  • ASCII:
    • Supports more encodings for ASCII files (UTF8, UNICODE, big- & little-endian, etc.)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Enables better support for embedded documents.
    • Supports more meta data (including Unicode meta data)

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