Zoom Front End - CD & Desktop searching without a web server
For advanced users and software developers
Wrensoft has a number of different technical options that are available for adding a search function to a CD, DVD. So you should check that you are using the CD Search solution best suited to your project before starting.
There are two solutions for running the CGI version of Zoom on a CD / DVD. The 1st solution requires the use of a webserver. See this page for use details about using a webserver on a CD. The 2nd solution is by wrapping the CGI with some front-end software that can provide a user interface for the CGI. It is this 2nd option that is discussed on this page, along with an example application and source code.
How the CGI version normally works
Normally the user enters their search request into a HTML form. This information gets sent to the web server software which in turn passes on the encoded data to the search.cgi executable file.
The Zoom search.cgi software looks into the index files and creates the search result, then sends it back to the browser via the web server. This solution can't work on a CD or on the Windows desktop because there is normally no web server available to get the input from the browser and pass the information to Zoom.
The Zoom CGI Front End
The Zoom CGI front end (Zoom FE) is a software application that shows how it is possible to remove the need for a web server. It is mainly aimed at the software developer that wants to include Zoom as part of their solution for CD / DVD searching or developers wanting to build a desktop search solution. However it is functional enough for people to use it directly, without the need for customization. There are enough details for 3rd party developers to build a solution around Zoom or we can customize the solution to meet your exact requirements. Using this front-end, the new diagram will look something like this.
Comparing the two diagrams you will note that the index files remain the same and the search.cgi file remains the same. The browser has been removed and replaced by Zoom FE and the internet is not present becuase we are doing a local search on a CD.
Zoom FE Screen shot (V1.x)
Clicking on the search button will cause Zoom FE to pass the search words and other parameters to the search.cgi executable and then collect the search results in HTML format and display them in a window.
Hint: In V1, You will need to use the search box at the top of the window, and you will need to disable the "second" search form which is normally generated as part of the results page. You can do this from the Indexer's Configuration window (under the "Search Page" tab, select "Do not generate" for "Search form").
How Zoom FE works (the technical details)
Zoom FE simulates the workings of a web server and provides an API interface to the search function by,
The two sets of example source code provided (below) shows how this can be done. We have written the same code twice. Once in C/C++ and once in VB.NET. In both cases a Windows executable is produced. These are just example and the same concepts could be used in just about any programming language, on any platform.
The Zoom Indexer is still required to create the index files. This 'front end' software (Zoom FE) can then be used to call the search.cgi executable supplied with Zoom and collect the results for display.
The following files should be placed in the same directory
Limitations of the Zoom FE demo
This package is only meant to be a demo to show how 3rd party developers can interface with Zoom. It is not a full search solution. It has the following limitations:
Download Zoom FE with C++ Source Code, V2.1.1000 (For Zoom 7 & VS2010)
Download ZoomCGIFrontEnd Version 2.1 (293 KB Zip file)
Download Zoom FE with VB.NET Source Code, V1.0
Download ZoomCGIFrontEnd Version 1.0 (708 KB Zip file)
Note: Both the above packages will build similar executables. Only the programming language differs.