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Using findinsite-cd and Dynamic-CD together


Standard Behaviour
Mixed mode CD - 1
Mixed mode CD - 2
Use FindinSite-JS

Introduction


PHD's Dynamic-CD is Windows program that provides a web server on a CD.  Dynamic-CD serves files from a local web address and port such as http://127.0.0.1:8080/default.htm.

Please contact us for FindinSite-CD and Dynamic-CD bundle pricing.  If you already own a FindinSite-CD licence then you can get the equivalent Dynamic-CD licence at 20% off.  Or vice versa.

FindinSite-CD runs in a slightly differently way when run online on a standard website or an intranet. And this includes when run from a CD web server, such as PHD's Dynamic-CD, or Ximati from Imatix.

When run online, FindinSite-CD will take longer to startup, but will do searches more quickly. In addition, FindinSite-CD will need more memory to run. This page explains what is going on, and suggests alternative configurations. If you want to use word highlighting in the two main alternative configurations, then see below.

If you run FindinSite-CD under Dynamic-CD then you may see an error when reading huge search database files. This appears to be a problem in Dynamic-CD which we are trying to resolve.

To be updated: these solutions may not work under Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).


FindinSite-CD Default Behaviour

The index information used by FindinSite-CD is stored in a search database that consists of 14 or 15 different files.

When FindinSite-CD runs directly from a CD, the browser lets it access the search database files very quickly. FindinSite-CD does not load all the search database files.  Instead, it just loads the most crucial files and accesses the other files when it needs to, ie during a search.

However, when FindinSite-CD runs on a web site, file accesses are much slower. Therefore FindinSite-CD loads all the search database files at startup. This means that startup times are longer and FindinSite-CD uses up more memory in the browser. However, once started, searches run from memory and are therefore very fast.

We recommend displaying results in a new window (or use a frameset) so that FindinSite-CD is always present while one or more searches are carried out.  Otherwise when a user returns to the FindinSite-CD search page, a full index reload is done.

See the full index loading page for full details of this behaviour and how to adjust it.

For large search databases, the startup times and memory requirements may mean that FindinSite-CD becomes unwieldy to use. Therefore you might like to consider one of the three alternative suggestions outlined below.


Alternative 1: Mixed mode CD: Dynamic-CD base

In this solution, FindinSite-CD has to be running directly from the CD, ie not through Dynamic-CD.

Run Dynamic-CD as normal.  Put the FindinSite-CD search page in the CD image, eg at \fiscd\search.htm.  Amend the search page to specify a Base URL of http://127.0.0.1:8080/ so that Dynamic-CD displays the results, eg change each index parameter so it looks like this:

<PARAM NAME=index1 VALUE="MySite@http://127.0.0.1:8080/,en">

Your CD has to provide a link to the FindinSite-CD search page directly on CD.  This link should be file:///D|/fiscd/search.htm if a user has inserted the CD into Windows drive D:.  However, other users may have a different CD drive letter, so you must generate the link to the search page dynamically.

The Dynamic-CD server variable ROOT_DIR_FILE_URL is the file URL of the Dynamic-CD server root directory, eg file:///D| for a typical CD on CD drive D.

You could you the following Dynamic-CD ASP script to provide a link to the search page:

<%
searchFile = Request.ServerVariables( "ROOT_DIR_FILE_URL") & "/fiscd/search.htm"
%>

 
<A HREF="<%=searchFile%>"Search</A>

For other CD based servers, you will need to use a similar trick to provide a link to the direct FindinSite-CD search page.  You may need to use a different link if running a CD based server on a non-Windows system.


Alternative 2: Mixed mode CD: File base

This solution is similar to Alternative 1. This time, most accesses are direct to the CD with only those necessary coming through Dynamic-CD. In particular, FindinSite-CD must be run direct from CD so that it can access its search database very quickly.

Dynamic-CD must be run at startup so it is ready to serve files. However, use the Dynamic-CD Advanced option to set a "CD File" so that the user is shown a startup file directly from the CD. Dynamic-CD remains running in the background.

  • Links to any files that need to be served by Dynamic-CD must explicitly include the full URL, eg http://127.0.0.1:8080/script.asp.
  • Links in pages served by Dynamic-CD back to direct files must use the ASP technique given above.

FindinSite-CD must be told to use the Dynamic-CD full URL where appropriate. If all possible results are to be shown using Dynamic-CD then you can set the Base URL to be http://127.0.0.1:8080/. This can be done in FindinSite-CD-Wizard or in each index parameter in the search page, eg:

<PARAM NAME=index1 VALUE="MySite@http://127.0.0.1:8080/,en">
If only some files are to be shown by Dynamic-CD, then you will need to ensure that FindinSite-CD has the correct file links. This can either be done manually in the FindinSite-CD-Wizard editor or using the PHD custom META phd-spy-rebase tag in each affected file.

This alternative has the advantage that no ASP scripting is required and therefore can be used where script support might not be available by default, eg in Windows 95. Dynamic-CD could be used only to provide password-protection of content for example.


FindinSite-CD Word Highlighting

If you use the standard "default behaviour" configuration, where FindinSite-CD and the results pages are at the Dynamic-CD address, then word highlighting will work.

However, if you use one of the above mixed-mode CD alternatives, the standard FindinSite-CD word highlighting will not work. Standard word highlighting will not work if FindinSite-CD or fisLight is running on one "site" and the page to be highlighted is on another "site". So if FindinSite-CD is running direct from CD at a file URL and the page to be highlighted is being shown by Dynamic-CD at a localhost web URL (eg http://127.0.0.1:8080), then highlighting will not work.

It is possible to get highlighting to work using the popup window approach. Highlighting must be done to the same window, ie the "target" window parameter must be "_self".

  1. First, change the FindinSite-CD search page to include the PopupWindow and PopupUsingURL parameters, eg:
    <PARAM NAME=PopupWindow VALUE="http://127.0.0.1:8080/fiscdpop.htm">
    <PARAM NAME=PopupUsingURL VALUE="yes">

  2. Next, make sure that popup window page is on the destination site, eg so it can be found at http://127.0.0.1:8080/fiscdpop.htm. Make sure that the fisLight file (fislite1.jar) is there too.

  3. Alter the popup window page to use the "useURL" parameter. It is also recommended that the fisLight "die" parameter be set to "30" so that has 30 seconds to do its job:
    <PARAM NAME=useURL VALUE="yes">
    <PARAM NAME=die VALUE="30">

Note that this method does not work if you use the Sun VM 1.4.1 in Internet Explorer - your users must upgrade to version 1.4.2.


Alternative 3: Use FindinSite-JS

You could use FindinSite-JS instead of FindinSite-CD.

FindinSite-JS is the companion product for FindinSite-CD that is designed specifically to run on web servers.  FindinSite-JS is a Java servlet and needs a server with a Java servlet engine.  Unfortunately Dynamic-CD does not currently have a Java servlet engine, but we hope to provide one in future.

Other CD based servers may have a Java servlet engine and so can run FindinSite-JS.  For example, Xitami has Java servlet engine called Servlet Runner which has been in beta since 1999.  This has been checked and will run FindinSite-JS.  However, you will need to set up your CD carefully because you need to provide a Java runtime on the CD as well as the Servlet Runner.

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Last modified: 8 February 2006.

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