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AppleSearch

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

AppleSearch information access and retrieval software provides an easy-to-use, powerful way for users of Macintosh or Windows 3.1 software-based computers (on an AppleTalk network) to find text-based information within documents stored on file servers -- whether they're local servers in your office or remote WAIS servers connected to the Internet. AppleSearch lets users conduct concurrent, personalized searches on a server, and ranks the found documents in order of relevance. User-defined search criteria, called "reporters," track topics of interest -- including on-line news feeds -- and automatically formatted updates. Users can quickly find information on topics they specify, or they can let AppleSearch act as a personal agent that periodically provides updated information. AppleSearch processes natural-language queries, so users can ask for information in their own words.

  • AppleSearch server software. Maintains a feature-rich search engine that processes the queries of AppleSearch client users.
  • AppleSearch client software. Provides electronic reporters and newspaper-like updates as an intuitive way to retrieve information from the server. Lets users work in the operating system environment with which they are most familiar -- whether it's the Mac OS or Windows 3.1.
  • AppleSearch Client Developer Kit. Includes basic software for developers who want to write custom client interfaces to the AppleSearch server or to integrate AppleSearch functionality into other applications.

Overview[edit]

AppleSearch is easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, client/server software designed to be a personal assistant–a knowledge navigator that finds information relevant to users’ needs, prioritizes it, and keeps users updated if information changes. AppleSearch software helps organizations manage and use the growing stockpiles of electronic information; it lets users in a cross-platform network search local servers as well as the vast resources of the Internet from both Macintosh computers and Windows software–based PCs.

A server administrator clicks on a button to index documents that reside on the server or a locally mounted volume, making them available as local information sources. If the server is connected to the Internet, AppleSearch provides a list of all Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) found on directory servers, allowing the server administrator to select those that are most useful to the organization. Selected WAIS servers can be searched as if they were local information sources, with-out being indexed by AppleSearch.

AppleSearch “reporters” are user-defined search agents that look for and retrieve requested information. Reporters can be created either for immediate use or for ongoing scheduled searches; they look for new or recently modified documents relevant to the search request and automatically deliver the findings in periodic newspaper-style updates.

With AppleSearch, users can specify their topic of interest in their own words. And for users familiar with information retrieval, AppleSearch supports the full range of Boolean oper-ators. The feature-rich AppleSearch search engine, from Personal Library Software, processes the request and finds the relevant documents by looking not only for how often the user’s words occur, but also for how close the words appear together.

An easy, cost-effective means of managing and finding information from both inside and outside the organization, AppleSearch is the information-retrieval tool of choice for Apple LANs.

Features[edit]

Powerful information retrieval

  • Helps users take advantage of organizational information stored on local servers, on-line information feeds, and the vast resources of the Internet
  • Searches the full text of documents
  • Provides quick access to the most relevant documents
  • Supports Boolean operators and stemming, proximity, and wild-string searches

Ease of use

  • Allows immediate search results
  • Delivers easy-to-read, personalized updates to the user’s desktop on a periodic basis
  • Allows search requests to be entered in the user’s own words
  • Lets users search for and retrieve information from either Macintosh computers or Windows software–based PCs
  • Allows users to work in the operating system environment with which they are most familiar (Mac OS or Windows)

Efficient administration

  • Makes it easy to monitor the flow of information and take appropriate security measures
  • Indexes local information sources automatically or on a scheduled basis
  • Lets administrators choose Internet WAIS servers that are useful to the workgroup
  • Supports many client users through a single Internet connection on the server

Flexibility

  • Can be customized to meet an organization’s specific needs
  • Supports up to 50 connected users at a time (including remote or mobile users, via Apple Remote Access software)

Compatibility

  • Includes full support for both Macintosh and Windows clients
  • Is compatible with all major brands of PC networking interface cards (via AppleSearch for Windows client software)

Technical Specifications[edit]

Setup and configuration[edit]

  • AppleSearch is quick and easy to install.
  • An AppleSearch server supports 50 concurrently connected users; users connect to one AppleSearch server at a time.
  • To use the Internet capability of AppleSearch, a server connection to the Internet is required. A direct (not dial-up) connection is recommended.

Information sources[edit]

  • An information source can be any shared folder on an AppleSearch server volume and can reside on any locally mounted volume such as a hard disk drive or CD-ROM drive.
  • Incremental indexing can be scheduled on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.
  • Indexing speed is 10 to 30MB/hour, depending on document format.
  • Index files are approximately the same size as the text in source documents.
  • If the server is connected to the Internet, the server administrator can select up to 100 WAIS servers listed on WAIS directory servers to appear to users as information sources. AppleSearch automatically scans for new WAIS servers.

Document format independent[edit]

Apple’s XTND file-format translator technology, in conjunction with MacLinkPlus/AppleSearch, from DataViz, Inc., allows AppleSearch users to view the text of nearly all document types without needing the application that created them.

The following translators are included:

MacWrite 4.5, 5.0, and II; Microsoft Word for Macintosh 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 5.1; Microsoft Works (word processing) 2.0 and 3.0; PageMaker 4.0; Ragtime 3.1; AppleWorks; WriteNow 2.0 and 3.0; Nisus 3.0; PICT (text extraction only); WordPerfect for Macintosh 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1; FrameMaker MIF 2.0 and 3.0; Microsoft Excel; Microsoft Word for Windows 1.0 and 2.0; and Word Perfect for Windows 5.1.

Reporters and updates[edit]

  • Reporters contain search criteria defined by the user. Once saved, they reside on the server and can be scheduled to search and retrieve information relevant to the search request on a periodic basis from both local and Internet information sources.
  • Results found by a scheduled reporter are automatically formatted in an easy-to-read update and delivered to users on the days and times they specify.

Security[edit]

  • Provides password protection to the server.
  • Manages search requests based on user and group access privileges defined in AppleShare or Mac OS file sharing.

Supported platforms[edit]

AppleSearch Server[edit]

  • An Apple Macintosh computer with a Motorola 68040 processor, a Power Macintosh, or a Workgroup Server
  • Mac OS software version 7.0 or later
  • At least 8MB of RAM for use with Mac OS file sharing or with AppleShare 3 software; 12MB of RAM for use with AppleShare 4 software; or 16MB of RAM for use with AppleShare Pro software
  • An Apple SuperDrive floppy disk drive
  • An internal hard disk with available storage space equivalent to 2.5 times the space required for the textual content of the source being indexed
  • An optional CD-ROM drive for use with on-line manuals

AppleSearch Client[edit]

Macintosh

  • An Apple Macintosh computer with an internal hard disk drive and at least 4MB of RAM
  • Mac OS software version 7.0 or later
  • An Apple SuperDrive floppy disk drive

Windows

  • Any IBM or 100 percent compatible computer running Intel processor 386 or greater; ISA, MicroChannel, VISA, and EISA internal buses; 4MB of RAM
  • Windows 3.1, 3.11, or Windows for Workgroups 3.11 software
  • MS-DOS 5.0 or later
  • Ethernet network adapter card
  • NDIS 3.0 or ODI network interface driver

Network requirements[edit]

  • AppleShare or Mac OS file sharing (AppleShare 4 is recommended to provide a higher-performance configuration that allows a larger number of users)
  • An AppleTalk network connection (via LocalTalk, Ethernet, Token Ring, or Apple Remote Access software) between the server and clients; Windows software–based computers must be connected via Ethernet
  • MacTCP (which is included) to run an Internet connection from the AppleSearch server

Technical Notes[edit]

Documentation[edit]

See Also[edit]