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How do I best expose my information silo to Enterprise Search Engines?

Posted on 2004-10-09
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My application is going to end up being an information silo, with many kinds of data in it that enterprises may want to have accessible via their enterprise search engines.  I'm looking for the most strategic and forward-looking method of doing so.  Are there any emerging standards beyond "make it look like web content served by a web server?
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Question by:sniles
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by:margant
ID: 12268376
I suggest using web services. U will have to find the places that want to use ur information, but at least on ur side you dont have to custumize an feeds of ur own because everything is in one format.

Research heavily on RSS (XML) implementation of webservices in the language/platform of your choice.

Best of luck,
AM
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by:aspmaestro
ID: 12270820
Syndicating Web site content with RSS

http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/webtech/031303-1.shtml
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by:sniles
ID: 12279370
Is it, then, the concensus that RSS is what forward-looking Enterprise Search tools are using as the standard for accessing searchable information from applications?  None of the material referenced in these posts really says that.....
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margant earned 1000 total points
ID: 12279656
Sniles,
You have to understand that "Enterprise Search tools" is a tremendously general term.
The way search engines, like Google or Yahoo and mane others work is that they send a spider (or crawler) which traverses the web and indexes your web pages into their hard drives, some algorithm is applied (they never exactly say how they do it) and then people can search like they do typing in the google.com and getting results.

When you say you have an information silo and you want to expose it to Enterprise search engines you have to realize that -
1. your site will be crawled. This brings many problems of optimizing for search engines to get good rating and if you are using password protected areas where you need to create account to access the site - those parts are almost never scanned at all unless you strike a deal with the search engine.
or
2. you can provide web services way show your information. This way you will have to implement RSS and unless search engines of your choice have a way to read XML - you will have to individually ask them to include you in their search banks.

The benefit of RSS is a little different however. If implemented your information can be searched with RSS search engines  (www.feedster.com). and RSS news sites. As well as your article headers can be integrated to any site that wishes to have it with minimal implementation. Look at how www.news.com do it. Or pcmag.com - check out the small XML or RSS signs on most of the news sites - they show summaries of their recent articles. Readers who like their content can just "tune in" to the RSS feed and check for updates daily. Search engines can tune in and update as well so people will search your content.

XML/RSS is providing easier content distribution platform rather then simple HTTP/HTML way. There are tools reading XML/RSS and integrating data into their mechanisms of operation, thus avoiding the need to parse out content out of HTML - where is that - say you need a real time stock quotes - u can a) parse it out of finace.yahoo.com/?stk=YHOO or get their XML/RSS feed which will be less in data throughput and less time to implement and maintain.


Now if you are inticed to get noticed ONLY by search engines - you have to find out how they index your pages and how to make sure you will get the best rating possible. Some of that will require putting <META> tags in the HTML, some will require ur site to be linked by thousand of other sites (popularity factor). If you want - list the engines here, maybe some of the experts already optimized for those engines so they will offer more advice about how to "work them".

Hopefully that clears a bit,
AM
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