Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 SP11 Administrator's Guide

Customizing Search Pages

Sun Java System Web Server includes a default search application that provides basic search query and search results pages. These web pages can be used as is, or customized to meet your specific needs. Such customizing might be as simple as rebranding the web pages with a different logo, or as complex as changing the order in which search results are displayed.

Pattern files are no longer used to customize the search interface, as they were in Sun Java System Web Server 6.0. Instead, customizing is now done using a set of JSP tag libraries included with Sun Java System Web Server 6.1. The default search application provides sample JSPs that demonstrate how to use the search tag libraries to build customized search interfaces. You can take a look at the default search application located at /bin/https/webapps/search as a sample application that illustrates the use of customizable search tags.

The default search interface consists of four main components: header, footer, query form, and results.

These basic elements can be easily customized simply by changing the values of the attributes of the tags. More detailed customizing can be accomplished using the tag libraries.

This section includes the following topics:

Search Interface Components

The Search interface consists of the following components:


The header includes a logo, title, and a short description.


The footer contains copyright information.


The query form contains a set of check boxes representing search collections, a query input box, and submit and Help buttons.


The results are listed by default in 10 records per page. For each record, information such as the title, a passage, size, date of creation, and URL are displayed. A passage is a short fragment of the page with matched words highlighted.

Customizing the Search Query Page

The query form contains a list of checkboxes for search collections, a query input box, and submit button. The form is created using the <s1ws:form> tag along with <collElem>, <queryBox>, and <submitButton> tags with default values:

    <s1ws:queryBox> <s1ws:submitButton>

The query form can be placed anywhere in a page, in the middle, on a side bar, and so on. It can also be displayed in different formats such as with a cross bar where the collection select box, the query string input box, and the Submit button are lined up horizontally, or in a block where the collections appear as checkboxes, and the query input box and Submit button are placed underneath.

The following examples show how the <searchForm> set of tags may be used to create query forms in different formats.

In a horizontal bar

The sample code below would create a form with a select box of all collections, a query input box and a submission button all in one row.

    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" border="0">
    <tr class="navBar">
        <td class="navBar"><s1ws:collElem type=”select”/></td>
        <td class="navBar">
            <s1ws:querybox size="30"/>
            <s1ws:submitButton class="navBar" style="padding: 0px; 
margin: 0px; width: 50px"/>

In a Sidebar Block

You can create a form block in which form elements are arranged in a sidebar, and has the title "Search", which uses the same format as other items on the sidebar. The effect of such an arrangement is as shown in the following figure:

Figure 18–3 Customized Query Page with Form Elements in a Sidebar

Customized Query Page with Form Elements in a Sidebar

In the sample code given below, the form body contains three checkboxes arranged in one column listing the available search collections. The query input box and the Submit button are placed underneath:

<!--... other sidebar items ... -->
    <tr class="Title"><td>Search</td></tr>
    <tr class="Body">
        <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" border="0">
        <tr class="formBlock">
            <td class="formBlock"> <s1ws:collElem type="checkbox" 
cols="1" values="1,0,1,0" > </td>
        <tr class="formBlock">
            <td class="formBlock"> <s1ws:querybox size="15" 
maxlength="50"> </td>
        <tr class="formBlock">
            <td class="formBlock"> <s1ws:submitButton class="navBar" 
style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; width: 50px"> </td>

Customizing the Search Results Page

Search results are generated as follows:

You can customize the search results page simply by changing the attribute values of the tags.

The following sample code starts with a title bar, and then displays a number of records as specified, and finally, a navigation bar. The title bar contains the query string used in the search along with the range of total records returned, for example, 1– 10. For each record, the records section shows the title with a link to the file, up to three passages with keywords highlighted, the URL, the date of creation, and the size of the document.

At the end of the section, the navigation bar provides links to the previous and next pages, as well as direct links to eight additional pages before and after the current page.

<s1ws:formAction >
<s1ws:formSubmission success="true" >
    <s1ws:search scope="page" >
    <!--search results-->
    (...html omitted...)
        <s1ws:resultStat formId="test" type="total" ></b> Results 
Found, Sorted by Relevance</span></td><td>
        <span class="body"><a href="/search/search.jsp?">Sort by 
        <td align="right"><span class="body">
        <s1ws:resultNav formId="test" type="previous" caption="<img 
border=0 src=\"images/arrow-left.gif\" alt=\"Previous\">" >
        &nbsp;<s1ws:resultStat formId="test" type="range" >
        &nbsp;<s1ws:resultNav formId="test" type="next" caption="<img 
border=0 src=\"images/arrow-right.gif\" alt=\"Next\">" >
        &nbsp; <!img alt="Next" src="images/arrow-right.gif" 
border="0" WIDTH="13" HEIGHT="9">
            (...html omitted...)
        <table border=0>
        <s1ws:resultIteration formId="test" start="1" results="15">
            <tr class=body>
                <td valign=top>
                <s1ws:item property=’number’ >.&nbsp;&nbsp;
                    <b><a href="<s1ws:item property=’url’ 
>"><s1ws:item property=’title’ ></a></b>
                    <s1ws:item property=’passages’ >
                    <font color="#999999" size="-2">
                    <s1ws:item property=’url’ > -
                    <s1ws:item property=’date’ > -
                    <s1ws:item property=’size’ > KB
        (...html omitted...)
        <s1ws:resultNav formId="test" type="previous" >
        <s1ws:resultNav formId="test" type="full" offset="8" >
        <s1ws:resultNav formId="test" type="next" >
    (...html omitted...)

The following figure shows the customized search results page:

Figure 18–4 Customized Search Results Page

Customized Search Results Page

The basic search result interface can be easily customized by manipulating the tags and modifying the HTMLs. For example, the navigation bar may be copied and placed before the search results. Users may also choose to show or not show any of the properties for a search record.

Besides being used along with a form, the <search>, <resultIterate> and related tags may be used to listed specific topics. The following sample code lists the top ten articles on Java Web Services on a site:

<s1ws:search collection="Articles" query="Java Web Services" >
<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" border="0">
  <tr class="Title"><td>Java Web Services</td></tr>
<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3" border="0">
<td><a href="<s1ws:item property=’URL’ >"> <s1ws:item property=’Title’></a></td>

Customizing Form and Results in Separate Pages

If you need the form and results pages to be separate, you must create the form page using the <form> set of tags and the results pages using the <formAction> set of tags.

A link to the form page needs to be added in the results page for a smooth flow of pages.

Tag Conventions

Note the following tag conventions:

Tag Specifications

Sun Java System Web Server includes a set of JSP tags that can be used to customize the search query and search results pages in the search interface.

For a complete list of JSP tags that you can use to customize your search pages, refer to the Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 Programmer’s Guide to Web Applications.