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Alan K Holden

Accomplished Internaut

Anxiety in the I.T. Department
Mass Anxiety in the I.T. Department

I'm not a doctor, but I played one once. That means I totally know what I'm talking about...

Google Mini Integration

Perhaps from the outcry of doctors and nurses who could not find the specification or protocol they needed, or due to the fact that Google put a free T-shirt in every box; DaVita purchased a Google Mini Search Appliance to crawl our Intranet and provide search results.

After installing and unleashing the device, management quickly decided that they did not like the traditional Google search results page at all. It had none of our Intranet navigation, and left users feeling even more lost than before. Even worse, Google's 'search extract' text was mostly unusable because the bulk of our content was in spreadsheets, powerpoint and pdf files with a lot of unprintable characters within.

But the Google Mini (and the real Google, for that matter) is capable of providing search results in a XML format. So, I built a ColdFusion parser to take Google's raw xml search results, extract the identifying information and square that against our own content database to get far better descriptions:

Using this custom parser, Google results could easily be rendered in the context of our own Intranet shell. Plus, I was able to mash-in another ColdFusion object I has already created, which computed the 'breadcrumb' or click path one would take to locate any content we had (in orange text above).

The original application is owned by DaVita, hosted behind a firewall, and can be verified by my former supervisors. But if you have a Google appliance or API account, I'll be happy to do something similar for you!

Plus, I got to keep the Google T-shirt.

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