A typical Ontolica Search Center nearly always includes a default simple search form and a default advanced form. It will usually also have a simple form for each search tab and possibly also advanced forms for one or more search tabs. Each of these exists as its own ASPX page. A typical configuration includes:
• A simple form that acts as the default front page of the Search Center. It normally provides a single input field, a link to the advanced search form and search tabs for navigating to other types of search forms. This form targets the standard result-list page.
• A default advanced search-form page, which includes many more input fields and search options, but does not also act as a result page (instead, it targets the default page).
• One or more result-list pages (a default and one for each search tab). Each of these usually includes both a simple search form at the top of the page and a collection of Web parts that display a result list when a query exists (but which do nothing when there is no query); these simple forms, therefore, target themselves.
• A default search-form page for each search-tab configuration that requires one. These usually include several property-search fields and other options. Each of these normally targets the standard result list configured for the matching search tab.
We recommend a similar configuration in your final design as well. Our research shows that most users get the best results from using a simple search form, though advanced users can sometimes also benefit from an advanced form. The simple form should, therefore, be the default for each search tab, with the advanced available as an option where appropriate. See also “Search Tab Properties” for details about how to configure the default search and result page URL for each search tab.
In terms of Ontolica Web Parts and settings, simple and advanced forms differ as follows:
• Simple forms are created by a single Ontolica Search Dialog Web Part configured to use an XSLT template that produces only a simple input form. It can also be configured to create a link to its related advanced form.
• Advanced search-form pages typically contain several instances of the Search Dialog Web Part, each configured to provide a different type of input control. The first one creates a complete set of input fields for building up a complex Boolean query for searching for key words in document content. Each of the additional Web Parts creates input controls for searching various types of metadata (using custom search properties). Each of these Web Parts is also configured to use an XSLT template that generates advanced search-form input. All Ontolica Web Part will automatically cooperate and function together.