Federated Search for Alfresco: Making the ViaWorks Connector
The ability to search and finding the right document is one of the biggest challenges in the ECM industry. The volume of electronic documents grows really quickly and often is stored into a number of different systems and repositories. One solution to this is to use an indexing system like ViaWorks. It is able to index contents from different kind of systems like file servers, messaging tools, CRM and, of course, Alfresco. Once that is done, all of your documents are finally indexed and ready to be found and used by your employees.
Before we get into how this was accomplished, Let’s do a brief introduction of ViaWorks:
So, What is ViaWorks?
It is an enterprise indexing software from VirtualWorks that adds a content layer on top of your content repositories to index all data in your integration systems. It is able to support over 300 file types. Moreover, it integrates an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine that index and makes searchable any document in your company, such as PDF, JPEG, or TIFF.
How have we integrated it with Alfresco?
Alfresco already integrates a search engine to find any documents in your Alfresco repository. But now with the ViaWorks & Alfresco Integration you can search directly through Alfresco Share if a document matches your query anywhere in your information system. No need to connect to any other tools, you can directly search using your favorite ECM.
To use this new feature that we developed, there is nothing simpler. On the top right search box, just select “Federated Search” instead of “Advanced Search” and you’ll access to a page to execute a full-text query.
The search will be done through your ViaWorks instance. Depending of the list of connectors that you installed, the search will be executed against one or more than one Alfresco instance, any fileservers than you connected and even your messaging tools (that index all your emails and attachments). The list of results will be displayed in a unique UI: Alfresco Share.
What to do Next?
Of course, there are several nice features that come as a result of this integration between ViaWorks and Alfresco. One of the most important features is the faceted search. What the faceted search offers is the ability to filter results after the results have returned from the search query. It will be possible to select the source repository, or the document type if you want only PDF document or maybe using the document date to keep only recent documents.
Stay tuned for more information about this exciting connector!! See our presentation on this next week at Alfresco Summit: Boston