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IBM® Lotus® Quickr® for Domino® is collaborative software based on Web 2.0, running on the Lotus Domino server, that helps project teams with document management and content collaboration.
Released by IBM in September 2010, Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Domino (hereafter called “Quickr Domino”) provides a rich set of functions, including libraries, task management, and calendar and other widgets for daily project management. It also offers the forum for improving team communication; the wiki for supporting common, editable content; and the connector for sharing content more conveniently, etc.
As document management software, Quickr Domino stores a large amount of information and, to make it convenient for users to find their targeted content quickly and accurately, Quickr Domino provides a strong search function with a user-friendly UI. This article explains how the Quickr Domino search module works, its specific configuration, and the user interface.
The search function in Quickr Domino is based on the full-text-indexing function provided by the Domino server. Figure 1 illustrates the complete search process in Quickr Domino:
- The user sends an http request to the Quickr server through a browser. The http header includes the key words, search type, content author, and other parameters.
- After the Quickr server receives the http request, it takes out the parameters, uses these parameters to construct the Domino search rules, and sends it to the Domino server.
- The Domino server searches the database according to the search rules sent by Quickr server, and return the results to the Quickr server;
The Quickr server filters the content of system files and the Trash, and returns the rest of the content to users.
Figure 1. Working mechanism of the Quickr Domino search function
Now let's discuss how to configure the Quickr Domino search and update the database index. Before starting the search, you need to configure Quickr Domino. Depending on the search scope, the configuration can be set up for searching the following:
- a single Place
- all Places
- an external server
Searching a single Place
By default, Quickr Domino provides the ability to search a single Place. So in this case the configuration for searching a single Place involves creating an index for content in every single place.
Lotus Domino automatically updates the database index at 2:00 AM every day in default mode. To search for information updated since that time, the Domino server administrator can run the following command at the server console:
Load updall parameter
where “updall” is the latest indexing function provided by Lotus Domino, and “parameter” means the updated object.
If the parameter is a relative path of search.nsf in the installation directory of a Place, such as LotusQuickr\placename\search.nsf, then you create an index for the content of this single Place; if the parameter is “-f”, then you should create an index for the content of all the Places.
Searching all Places
By default, the ability to search all Places is not available in Quickr Domino so, to do this, you must perform the following two configurations:
(1) Modify the configuration file, qpconfig.xml.
This is a configuration file in Quickr Domino, under the Domino Data installation directory, and its path should be <Quickr Domino installation root directory>/data.
In the qpconfig.xml file, all the configuration items for searching all the Places are shown in listing 1.Listing 1. Configuration items of qpconfig.xml for searching all places
<search_places enabled="true" log_level="0" anonymous="true">
Among these configuration items, the three most important are:
- enabled. This parameter decides whether or not the function of searching all Places should be open; if it needs to be open, then set it “true”.
- domino_server_name. This parameter specifies the name of the Quickr Domino server and its domain name.
- Hostname. This parameter specifies the hostname of the Quickr Domino server.
After updating the qpconfig.xml file, restart the Quickr Domino server for the changes to take effect, after which you can see the option, “All Places”, in the search scope on the UI.
(2) Customize the update of the Domino indexer.
To configure the Domino indexer:
a) First, open the Server document in the Domino Administrator, select “Server Tasks…”, select the Domain Catalog tab, and choose “Enabled” in the Domain Catalog field in the Basics section, as shown in figure 2.Figure 2. Create a Catalog in Domino Administrator
b) Then, also under Server Tasks, select the Domain Indexer tab, and customize the time interval and weekly running days for the Domino indexer to update (see figure 3). Save the changes and restart the server for the configuration to take effect. Figure 3. Customize the Domain Indexer schedule
To update the Domino indexer in real time, the server administrator can run the following commands at the console:
- Load catalog: recreate catalog.nsf in order not to miss any newly created places
- Load domidx-s: update the Domino indexer
- Restart server: restart the server for the changes to take effect
- Load updall-f: update all the database indexes
Now you should be able to search all the Places.
Searching external servers
The two configurations above are for searching content on a Quickr Domino server. When you need to search the resources on external servers, such as on the Web or the corporate internal data server, Quickr Domino provides a corresponding configuration interface.
Open qpconfig.xml, to see all the configuration items for searching external servers, as shown in listing 2.
Listing 2. Configuration items of qpconfig.xml for searching external servers
<search_form_label>Company Knowledge Base</search_form_label>
Here, the following parameters are important:
- enabled. This parameter decides whether or not the function of searching external servers should be open; if it needs to be open, then set it “true”.
- url. This parameter specifies the url address of the external server. The url includes a placeholder that is replaced by the key words entered by the user who is searching for something.
- search_term_placeholder. This parameter specifies the placeholder in the url. For example, here we specify a value“<![CDATA[http://database01.cn.ibm.com?key=para01]]>” in the <url> tag, and specify the value “para01”in the <search_term_placeholder> tag. So, when users type in the key word “IBM” to start a search, Quickr Domino will automatically direct to them to “http://database01.cn.ibm.com?key=IBM”. The placeholder “para01” has been replaced by the key word “IBM”.
- search_form_label. After the configuration is complete, a new item appears in the selection box of search scope on the Quickr Domino UI. This parameter specifies the UI displaying text of this item. The UI operation of Quickr Domino search is addressed in detail in the next section.
Using the above configuration interface, you can easily integrate the other search platforms, such as the IBM OmniFind, into Quickr Domino.
The Quickr Domino UI provides users with two searching methods: simple search and advanced search.
If key words are sufficient to find your content, you can use simple search, which does not need any other search parameters configured. On the upper right-hand side of the Place, you can see a search widget that is an entrance to the simple search (see figure 4).
Figure 4. The simple search box in Place
The search widget is composed of a selection box, with a drop-down list to define the search scope, and a text box in which to enter key words. Figure 5 shows the selection box of the search scope when a user enters the “Library” page.
Figure 5. Selection box of the search scope for Library page
Typically the selection box of search scope has the following options:
- This Place. Search in the current place.
- Collection. Search in one explicit collection, such as Library, folder, or forum. When users enter this collection, the selection box will show its name, which means the search scope is limited to this collection. Figure 5 above shows that when a user enters the “Library” component, the selection box will create one option, “Library”; if the user selects it, only the content in Library will be searched on.
- All Places. Search all the places. By default, this option is not shown in the selection box; however, when the qpconfig.xml configuration file is modified, this option will display. For further information about the search configuration, refer to Section 3.2 above, “Searching all Places.”
- External Servers. By default, this option is also not shown in the selection box, but when the configuration file is modified, the option will show up. The “Company Knowledge Base” option in figure 5 is actually the customized search scope. For the corresponding configuration, refer to Section 3.3, “Searching external servers.”
After defining the search scope, you can use the simple search function by entering the key words for searching into the textbox and clicking the search icon
Sometimes searching by the key words is not accurate enough to find the required content. That is why you need advanced search, which provides multiple search parameters such as the author, the date, etc., with which you can find your exact content.
To see the configuration page for advanced search (see figure 6), in the selection box of search scope, select “advanced.”
Figure 6. Configuration page of advanced search
This page includes many customization options for search configuration. Let's discuss these configuration parameters one by one:
- Search in. This is a drop-down selection box that shows the search scope. It's the same as the scope of simple search, except that this selection box lists all the folders (including the “Library”, the user-created “folders”, “forums,” and so on). These options are not listed in the simple search selection box until the user enters the folder.
- Search for. This is a plain textbox, into which the user can directly enter key words.
- Show results that match. This selection box with drop-down list defines the method for matching the key words. It includes the following options:
- Any of the words. When you select this option, any document that has any key word will be returned as the searching result. For instance, if you input the key words “develop” and “test”, then all the documents that have the character string “develop” or “test” will be returned.
- All of the words. When you select this option, documents that have all the key words will be returned as the searching result. For instance, if you input the key words “develop” and “test”, then only the documents that have both “develop” and “test” will be returned. Those that have only either of the key words will not be matched.
- Exact match. When you select this option, the Quickr Domino server will do the strictest match according to the key words. For instance, suppose there are three documents on the server, “yesterday today tomorrow,” “yesterday tomorrow today,” and “yesterday month year”. If you input the key words “yesterday today tomorrow”, the different matching methods will get the following results:
- Any Words. All three documents are found.
- All the Words. The first and the second documents are found.
- Accurate Match. Only the first document is found.
Notes Search Query. When you select this option, the Quickr Domino server will use the Notes search rules to match the key words. For instance, you can find all the documents that have “develop” and “test” by inputting the key words “Develop AND Test”, where “AND” is the search operator customized by Lotus Notes.
For further information about the application of search operators, refer to the InfoCenter topic, “Refining a search query using operators
- Author. If this is a plain textbox, you can input the author name here.
- Date. The date widget consists of two parts. One is the selection box with a drop-down list that includes two options, “Before” and “After”; the other part is the date selection box. Using this combination, you can customize the search scope before or after a certain date.
- Sort results by. This is a selection box with a drop-down list to define the sorting method of the results. It includes two options, “Most matches” and “Newest first”. “Most matches” means that the content that agrees with the most search parameters will be ranked topmost; “Newest first ” means the latest content will be ranked first.
Users can configure multiple parameters on the advanced search page, to find their exact required documents. In the example shown above in figure 6, the user has customized the conditions for searching as follows:
In this place, all the documents include the character string “develop” or “test,” created by the employee user01 before July 1, 2011, and will be sorted based on the creation date after they have been found.
After reading this introduction of the Quickr Domino search module, you should have a better understanding of its features and be able to use it to improve your work efficiency.
- Lotus Domino and Notes 8.5.x Information Center Search topic.
About the authors
Cun Wei Wang
is a Software Engineer based at IBM's China Development Lab in Beijing, where he has worked on the Lotus Quickr for Domino product and was responsible for Quickr 8.5 UI development. Currently he is working on IBM Connections Files UI development. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
is a Software Engineer based at IBM's China Development Lab in Beijing, where she works on the Lotus Quickr for Domino product and is responsible for developing the Quickr 8.5 server backend function. You can reach her at email@example.com
Mei Hua D Duan
is a Software Engineer based at IBM's China Development Lab in Beijing, where she works on the Lotus Quickr for Domino product and Lotus SymphonyTM
project. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.