What can Search Boost do for you?
The list below is not meant to be exhaustive, there are lots of more applicabilities for Search Boost.
Search Boost uses DNN interfaces to retrieve searchable portal content.
Search Boost can be configured to index documents from portal directories. This is achieved using IFilter interface, so for this to work you need to install IFilter packages from Adobe (for PDFs) and Micrsosoft (for Word Documents).
Search Boost can be configured with a list of URLs to index. It also knows to consume URLs that are XML Sitemaps or RSS feeds and index all web pages they contain. This is very powerful feature to displayed unified results from multiple sources.
Search Boost comes with 20 templates for the input box and 2 for the search results. The templates are based on XSL transformation and CSS files which makes it very powerful to create your own that can be as simple as changing a few styles from a pre-built template or define a whole new html structure by creating new XSL template.
Search Boost extends capabilities of DNN search with cool new features such as Fuzzy Search, Exact Phrase search and it allows configuring the precision of how these works. Furthermore, there's also an option to configure the default operator for multi word searches (AND, OR, Exact Phrase)
- Control Results Relevance
Search Boost has a number of options that allow boosting certain results. Not all results are created equal, boosting basically lets portal administrators control which results should rank higher based on last modified date, their type or where the terms appears inside the result.
Defining modules/tabs/portals to search is as easy as navigating a tree and checking in appropriate items.
Just to name a few scenarios when this is needed:
§ There are modules that implement ISearchable, but they don't offer a built-in search input. To get around this limitation, add a SearchBoost module to the page, open the Settings window and select the module you want this specific instance to search into.
§ Sometimes searches need to be restricted to sections that are made up of multiplied modules from different tabs. For example: search manuals, search products, search services, etc. To accomplish this, simply instantiate a SearchBoost module, open the Settings window and select all the modules/tabs/portals that fall under that specific section.
§ There are DNN installations that serve as hosting for multiple businesses of the same kind. For example, some sites sell hosting to restaurants and offer related functionalities. In this scenario, most likely there's a central portal that is like a directory. How cool would it be to search inside all the restaurants hosted on that server? Or maybe only certain restaurants based on cuisine? SearchBoost can accomplish this.
- Index modules that are not otherwise searchable
ISearchable is the interface required by DotNetNuke in order to be able to index content. There are modules out there that don't implement this interface, so they can't be searched.
SearchBoost fixes this by allowing you to define rules for indexing tables in the database that are behind that module.
- Index content in custom created tables
There are plenty of modules out there that let you create and manage tables (physical or virtual). What if the module doesn't support searching or you need to define custom rules about how the content should be indexed?
This is when SearchBoost comes into play, it allows you to define search rules against the tables using joins and advanced extraction techniques (for example, you can select a column to be sent as a GET parameter when the search result is clicked)
- Search in multiple portals from the same DotNetNuke installation
You can define search criteria to expand to any number of portals (or tabs and modules from different portals). Note that to maintain security, you can only accomplish this when logged in as Super User.
In some cases, there is a main portal and lots of child portals that need to be searched from the main portal. This is when SearchBoost comes into play, you can define search targets across multiple portals and also display a dropdown with portals so users can filter search results to what they're interested in.