Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Combined Notes and File System searching

To provide a combined Notes & File System "Desktop" search, allowing users to search their Mail, Archives and local PC at the same time as other data such as Notes Apps, Document Libraries, mapped File Systems and Quickr, the FT Search Manager utilises a separate Notes database, the File Indexer database.

This File Indexer database contains various Java agents, which trawl the defined file systems, either server-based or locally, then uses the Apache open-source POI libraries ( and to extract text from the specified files, add it to dedicated Notes storage databases, and Full-Text index these. So far, it indexes file types doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, vsd, pdf, txt, htm and html.

These Notes based storage databases are reasonably small (think of them as part of the index) and added automatically to the FT Search Manager. The result allows a Full Text search of the File System contents, including field-level searches on the meta-data, and also use of custom operators, such as "near" ("java near 20 apache" would find documents where 'java' appears within 20 words of 'apache').

Clicking a result opens the file in it's native application, not in Lotus Notes (although if searching via Browser and the Browser supports the application, it will open in a Browser window).

This makes it easy to locate (and process) information, regardless of it's actual location, and even allows iPad, iPhone and other Smartphone users to search File Systems at the same time as Notes-based data.

Here's an iPad user running a search. The various search filters such as 'Person Contains' can be mapped to meta-data from each data source, shown/hidden etc.

Searching is also available from various integration points in the Notes Client, Browser, iNotes or Web Service, including Discovery/Compliance searching (Admin, Power User or User) and Notes & Web Portal searching. 

For example, you could use the Web Service to search server-based File Systems, returning results as XML and bypassing the Notes/Domino UI altogether.

For more detail, demonstrations or an obligation-free trial of the Search Manager, please visit

For a copy of the File Indexer database, please contact us via

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