Integrating Search

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Oracle WebLogic Portal® provides a number of advanced search capabilities. You can implement WebLogic Portal’s search engine to integrate with disparate content management systems, relational databases such as CRM systems, and external web sites. These sources of information can be exposed to your portal users via pre-packaged portlets, and developers can also author new portlets and implement business logic to search content sources.

This chapter includes the following sections:


Introducing Search

Using the search components included with WebLogic Portal, you can enable your portal to incorporate data and information from multiple sources such as databases, other web sites, and file systems.

WebLogic Portal search components work together to aggregate, categorize, and personalize content from different resources in your enterprise and across the internet. For example, when you incorporate search within a knowledge base portal, portal users can search across multiple support databases and view the results.

Once configured, WebLogic Portal’s search tools continuously index content within the sources you indicate and maintain a query-able source for your portal users. You can surface this content through out-of-the-box portlets or write your own portlets to customize search capabilities to suit your needs.

WebLogic Portal utilizes Autonomy® search for its search functionality. See Getting Started for an introduction to the Autonomy components.


Search in the Portal Life Cycle

The tasks in this guide are organized according to the portal life cycle. For more information about the portal life cycle, see the WebLogic Portal Overview Guide. The portal life cycle contains four phases: architecture, development, staging, and production.

Figure 1-1 shows how search fits into the portal life cycle.

Figure 1-1 How Search Fits into the Four Phases of the Life Cycle

How Search Fits into the Four Phases of the Life Cycle

Architecture Phase

During the architecture phase, you determine what enterprise content you want to make available for your portal and who within your portal environment will be able to search this information.

Development Phase

During the development phase, you add search portlets to your portal, use the APIs to retrieve content, and optionally, write portlets to surface search features for your portal users.

Staging Phase

The staging phase is when you prepare your production environment. During this phase, you reconfigure your search configuration to match your deployment configuration and enable tools to configure search when running in a production environment.

Production Phase

After you deploy your application and are running in a production environment, you can adjust how your portal searches for content, including caches and search frequencies.


Getting Started

WebLogic Portal utilizes Autonomy® search for its search functionality. Search features provided by Autonomy include the following:

Table 1-1 lists the components of Autonomy search tools and what each provides.

Table 1-1 Autonomy Search Components Used with WebLogic Portal
Autonomy Component
What It Does:
Autonomy IDOL Server
The Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) server is responsible for indexing content as well as processing content queries made from your portal.
For more information about the Autonomy IDOL Server, see the Autonomy IDOL Server documentation.
Autonomy DiSH
The Distributed Service Handler – DiSH, provides the crucial maintenance, administration, control and monitoring functionality of the Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL). DiSH delivers a unified way to communicate with all Autonomy services from a centralized location.
DiSH can be managed with the Autonomy Service Dashboard. For more information about the Autonomy DiSH, see the Autonomy DiSH documentation.
Autonomy Service Dashboard
The Autonomy Service Dashboard is an stand-alone front-end web application that communicates with one or more Autonomy Distributed Service Handler (DiSH) modules that provide the back-end process for monitoring and controlling all the Autonomy child services, such as fetches.
For more information about the Autonomy Service Dashboard, see the Autonomy DiSH documentation.
Autonomy HTTP Fetch
HTTP Fetch allows documents from internet or intranet sites to be aggregated from remote servers and indexed into Autonomy IDOL server.
For more information about the HTTPFetch, see the Autonomy HTTP Fetch documentation.
Autonomy ODBC Fetch
ODBC Fetch is an Autonomy connector that automatically retrieves data that is stored in ODBC data sources, imports it into IDX file format and indexes it into Autonomy IDOL server.
For more information about the ODBC Fetch, see the Autonomy ODBC Fetch documentation.
Autonomy File System Fetch
File System Fetch analyzes file systems on local or network machines (including Novell, NT, UNIX file systems and Samba-mounted servers) for new documents to aggregate into the Autonomy IDOL server. It keeps the IDOL server’s view of the file system in sync so that files deleted are automatically removed from IDOL server, and modifications to files are reflected automatically.

Note: If a file name contains any Japanese characters using Shift JIS encoding, Autonomy will not index them. This means that if a file with Shift JIS characters in the file name are placed in a directory to be indexed by the File System Fetch utility, it will not be indexed by Autonomy and not be returned within the search results provided by the Enterprise Search portlet. Therefore, you must rename any files that contain Shift JIS characters to a name without any Shift JIS characters.

For more information about the File System Fetch, see the Autonomy File System Fetch documentation.
Autonomy Portlets
Autonomy portlets are designed to integrate search functionality with your portal.
For more information about the Autonomy portlets, see contact Oracle Support.
For additional documentation on the Autonomy portlets, see Autonomy Portlets for WebLogic Guide or the Autonomy Portlets User Guide.

Locating the Autonomy Product

Autonomy is bundled with the WebLogic Portal and WebLogic Platform installers. The files are located in the <WLPORTAL_HOME>/content-mgmt/thirdparty/autonomy-wlp10 directory.

Licensing Autonomy Modules

The license model for Autonomy is one portal to one Autonomy IDOL Server. You can install one instance each on production, development, and a failover instance within your portal deployment. Licensing is paper-based, and all development instances ship with a full production version of Autonomy. A production instance of Autonomy is included with the WebLogic Portal installation.

Note: The evaluation license included with Autonomy allows a document limit of 10,000. On purchase of WebLogic Portal, you will receive a full Autonomy production license that provides a 500,000-document limit. For information about updating your Autonomy license, contact Oracle Support.

Determining the Number of CPUs for Your Search Needs

The number of CPUs that you need for a production instance varies with the number and type of documents you are exposing, as well as the way they are exposed (for example, automated searching, user driven, and so on).

A single instance of one CPU can potentially support tens of thousands of users and millions of documents. Contact your Oracle or Autonomy sales representative for additional licenses, if needed.

Choosing an Operating System

During development mode, Autonomy services are automatically started for the operating system of the host computer, which allows developers to use Autonomy during portal development.

However, when you deploy your portal and install Autonomy within your portal environment, you will need to install the operating system-specific version of Autonomy on your server on which you run the Autonomy services. For more information about installing and deploying the Autonomy services, contact Oracle Support.

Note: Autonomy binary executable files are named with a .exe extension (Windows style) for all operating systems.

System Requirements

When configuring Autonomy search for your portal application, please note Autonomy’s system requirements, see the Autonomy documentation.

Upgrading and Getting Support

Oracle provides front-line support for Autonomy components—contact the Oracle Support Department. Oracle Support will contact Autonomy for additional back-line support as needed. Additional connectors (fetches) and tools are available from Autonomy as well.


Disabling Search/ Search Indexing

To disable search indexing:

  1. Start your portal domain.
  2. Start the WebLogic Portal Administration Console.
  3. Select Content > Content Management from the navigation menu at the top of the console.
  4. Select Manage | Repositories.
  5. In the resource tree, click the repository for which you want to disable search indexing.
  6. In the Summary tab, click Advanced to view the Edit Advanced Properties for Repository dialog.
  7. In the Edit Advanced Properties for Repository dialog, clear the Search Enabled/Search Indexing Enabled check boxes.
  8. When finished making changes, click Save.


Autonomy Documentation

Review this guide to become familiar with how WebLogic Portal uses Autonomy search. For additional information, see the Autonomy documentation.

The Autonomy documentation is included in your WebLogic Portal installation directory at <WLPORTAL_HOME>/content-mgmt/thirdparty/autonomy-wlp10/common/docs.

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