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Outputting Absolute Paths from Index Report

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  • Outputting Absolute Paths from Index Report

    I apologize in advance for the lack of brevity; this is a very odd query.

    I've been using ZoomIndexer for a couple of years with a "website" which is essentially just a file system. My organization has limited resources and due to security concerns, we are limited in our scope.
    At any rate, due to these restrictions, we output the index files in Javascript. The searches work effectively enough, but are typically slow given the size of the "site". The effect is amplified for users off-site.
    We have recently adopted Sharepoint as a collaboration tool, and I was trying to use this to bridge the gap for our external users. Latency seems to not be a factor for Sharepoint users, at least not nearly as bad using VPN to access the site as it.
    The idea is to have the external users jump to the Sharepoint site where the search files live. Then by use of absolute paths in the generated results, jump back to the file system.
    However in testing this, attempting to follow the returned links doesn't exit the Sharepoint site; the file path keeps being preceded by http://. The file path is otherwise correct.
    When I create a link with an absolute path directly into the HTML search page within Sharepoint, following the link jumps to the linked file outside of Sharepoint as I intended in the first place.

    TL;DR: Why do linked search results returned by Javascript report behave in a different manner than other links on the same page?

    It's very puzzling. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!
    I'm also pursuing leads with Sharepoint evangelists.

  • #2
    I'm not experienced with Sharepoint so keep this in mind.

    But on any HTML web page (shown in a browser), with links crossing between URLs (starting with "http://") and UNCs (network paths such as "\\myserver\myfiles\") or LFS paths ("C:\Myfiles\") you will run into security issues in the browser which consider each of these to be a different "zone". Your browser does this in order to prevent exploits such as third party websites that try to access files on your computer.

    It is somewhat ironic that your organization has chosen to deploy Sharepoint, yet they could not run a web server with PHP or ASP support. Sharepoint is a more complicated platform that is built on top of ASP.NET and still requires a web server as well as SQL and more.

    Regarding the search results being slow in JavaScript, that can't be avoided. Because JS is entirely client side, all the index data must be downloaded by each client (until cached by the browser). Serving the JS results via Sharepoint will not reduce latency for the search results. You will have to switch to one of the server-side platforms for the searching to change this (either PHP, ASP, ASP.NET or CGI).
    Wrensoft Web Software
    Sydney, Australia
    Zoom Search Engine


    • #3
      Thanks for the information!
      The question that still remains for me: why can I jump from a URL to a UNC sometimes but not always?

      Here's the process: I run ZoomIndexer to create the necessary HTML/JS files. I edit the output HTML to include a UNC link to the local file structure.
      The HTML/JS files are then uploaded to Sharepoint. When I then open the HTML file within Sharepoint, I am able to click the link I added to the HTML file and jump from the URL for the Sharepoint page to the desired UNC for the local file structure.
      However, if I run a search using the page, the returned search results do not jump from the URL to the UNC, despite being indexed with an absolute path; it retains "http://" preceding the UNC.

      This is ultimately what I'm trying to understand: why the link I create will work, but the search result links will not. And if there is a way around it.
      I hope this helps clarify. Thanks again for the help!


      • #4
        Are you indexing in Spider Mode or Offline Mode?

        In Offline Mode, the URL formed will be dependent on your Base URL setting. So if your base URL setting begins with "http://" then this will be formed with your final resultant URLs. If it is a UNC then it should come out with a URL that has a "file://" prefix instead of http.

        In Spider Mode, the URL depends on what was indexed. So if you indexed from a http:// URL then it will likewise remain in the resultant URL. Although you could change this with the Rewrite feature ("Configure"->"Indexing options").

        Also what browser (and version) are you using? This behaviour can also vary from browser to browser.
        Wrensoft Web Software
        Sydney, Australia
        Zoom Search Engine


        • #5
          I am indexing in Offline Mode and due to enterprise restrictions, we are using IE8.

          I adjusted the Base URL setting to output all UNCs and it appears to have solved the issue. IE8 still reacts oddly; if the search result link jumps into another window/tab (target="_blank"), the browser resets the tab in which the search results are displaying and often errors out. My thought is that its behavior is due to switching between domains or URLs & UNCs.

          At any rate, I greatly appreciate the guidance.