Macrobyte Resources AttSearchEngine
Object Indexing and Retrieval
for Radio UserLand and UserLand Frontier

What is the AttSearchEngine?


What is the AttSearchEngine?

AttSearchEngine stands for Attribute Search Engine.

It's a tool for indexing the attributes, or properties, of objects in a database, and for searching the indices that it creates. Use it as the engine behind a Frontier- or Radio-based web search engine, or for performing queries on databases which are completely unrelated to the web.

Let's make this really simple! When we say "attribute" or "property", you think "any field in a Frontier or Radio Table". Okay?

Macrobyte has been developing and fine-tuning the AttSearchEngine for over two years. You'll be surprised at it's flexibility and how easy it is to start using. A software module wouldn't do you (the developer) any good if it was difficult to learn, made you jump through lots of hoops, or had poor performance or stability. AttSearchEngine is none of those things.

The AttSearchEngine doesn't do much on its own, though. This is a developer's tool, one which can be included with other tools to provide powerful data searching and retrieval services.

The AttSearchEngine makes you look good, because it gives you tools you didn't have, and helps you do things you probably hadn't considered before. For example, it's built from the ground up to support indices that are much larger than you might try to work with otherwise.

What Isn't It?

The AttSearchEngine isn't a web crawler or spider. It isn't a full database management system. Nor is it a can opener, a lawn mower, a refrigerator, or a vial of Dapper Dan's Hair Tonic for men.

Actually, we're not sure about that last one. It might be Dapper Dan's in disguise.

Who Uses It?

Macrobyte Resources uses the AttSearchEngine in Conversant. It's responsible for much of Conversant's impressive web site search capabilities.

A company in France uses the AttSearchEngine to track information about thousands of airline flights all around the world.

John VanDyk has licensed the AttSearchEngine for inclusion in an upcoming release of his MetaData plugin for Manila.

Features and Details

The most important feature of the AttSearchEngine is that it indexes more than just text! It can also index booleans, dates, numbers, lists, email addresses (as single entities).

Finally, the AttSearchEngine is very, very flexible:

  • Queries support many different search operators and functions (like ranges for numbers and dates, for example)

  • Need a new type of index? All index types are plug-ins! You can write your own indexer for a particular type of attribute, or have one written for you by Macrobyte Resources or any other experienced Frontier developer.

  • Working with a very large number of objects? The AttSearchEngine's data storage system is designed with this in mind. The plug-in storage "methods" are defined by very simple API entry points, and the three storage systems that are provided support progressively larger data sets.

Last update: 5/15/2002; 11:39 PM

© 2002 Macrobyte Resources. All rights reserved.