Webinar this Thursday! Optimizing e-Commerce Site Search for IBM WebSphere Commerce

Our partners over at Coremedia and NetSphere Strategies will be hosting a webinar about WebSphere Commerce search tomorrow, register for it here.

DATE:  Thursday, October 23, 2014
TIME:  2:30pm Central | 12:30pm Pacific

Solr, an open-source enterprise search platform, is a powerful tool in the hands of business users wanting to maximize the power of search merchandising. Webinar attendees will learn how to:

  • Engage and keep customers on-site longer
  • Provide sorted search results that are most relevant and likely to lead to a purchase.
  • Promote products in search results
  • Minimize dependence on agencies or IT resources for faster marketing turnaround

See practical examples of how to leverage Solr with CoreMedia LiveContext and IBM WebSphere Commerce’s Management Center to:

  • Create auto-suggest lists for keywords, categories, brands, site content and search history
  • Offer automatic search term suggestions, spelling corrections and search term synonyms
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CoreMedia – Combining content and product search results

In this video I close the CoreMedia video series with a customer facing scenario where I show how you can combine content from the CoreMedia system with product results from WebSphere Commerce.

You can learn more about CoreMedia and their LiveContext for IBM WebSphere Commerce at their site, click here.

Don’t forget to schedule a demonstration at this years NRF conference (next week) to see these kinds of demonstrations and a lot more!

Meta tags and WordPress and an interesting answer

metaFirst off, what is a Meta tag???  A meta tag is text that describes your site or individual post inside of the HTML header. It was designed so search engines can quickly index your site and use the “key words” in those tags to provide more relevant results. Here are a couple of examples:

Continue reading

Very Cool – “Google60 – Search Mad Men Style” – IBM Punch Cards

Google60 – Search Mad Men Style

Wow, this actually worked!  I searched “Bob Balfe”, and is it sad that I could actually read the punch card?

SEO made easy with WebSphere Commerce

In this video I show how SEO in WebSphere Commerce is a snap to configure. Short and human readible URL’s can easily be configured using the business user tooling Management Center for static pages, products, and categories. WebSphere Commerce also supports automatic 301 redirection when SEO tags are changed. This preserves the old URL to still work when referenced by search engines like Google.

Searchandizing with WebSphere Commerce

Searchandizing you say? Yep, its when you use a shoppers search terms to display relevant content like other products, specials, advertisements, and content. In this video I show how to do some basic searchandizing using WebSphere Commerce and the business user tooling Management Center. Unlike many other products, WebSphere Commerce allows basic business users to control a lot of their site, including things like search!

 

New search URL for Dojo posts

I have received a lot of positive feedback on this series so I decided to create a new link in my header “28 Days of Dojo”. The link does a tag search and sorts the results in ascending order. So if you want to read the series in order of entry you can. As the month goes I plan on making the posts more and more technical so reading in order is best for anyone just starting this stuff.

You can also bookmark the link here if you want to save it – link.

Extending the Lotus Notes Search bar

With the recently released Multiple Database Search plug-in you will see an example of how to implement the “com.ibm.rcp.search.engines.searchEngines” extension point.  This extension puts a new search entry in the search toolbar dropdown:

You can look at the plugin.xml in the project to see the extension definition.  Let’s walk through how this extension is configured:

//The first extension declares the engine 
<extension point="com.ibm.rcp.search.engines.searchEngines">
 <searchEngine
     data="1073873011"                                // Initialization data given to the class, we dont use this really
     engine="org.openntf.mailsearch.SearchEngine"     // The class name for our engine
     global="true"                                    // We want our engine to always be available
     hasResults="true"                                // We will use the regular search UI page
     icon="icon/dbicon1.gif"                          // Our icon in the drop down menu
     id="org.openntf.mailsearch.SearchEngine"         // the id of our engine
     label="Multiple DB Search"                       // The label for our engine (shows in the drop down)
     type="other"/>                                   // We are not a regular type so just put other
</extension>
//The next extension actually adds the engine to the UI, it is pretty self explanatory
<extension point="com.ibm.rcp.search.ui.searchBarSets">
  <searchBarSet
     id="org.openntf.mailsearch.SearchEngine"
     label="Multiple DB Search"
     visible="true">
     <searchBarItem
        engineID="org.openntf.mailsearch.SearchEngine"
        id="org.openntf.mailsearch.SearchEngine.item" />
  </searchBarSet>
</extension>

The engine parameter is really the key parameter as it points the search framework to our class that does the heavy lifting.  The class is what is responsible for actually executing the search across the selected databases.  Following this sample you can now create a search to essentially anything that Java code has access to.

Our search engine uses multiple threads to search across the databases.  Since the back-end Java API’s can be accessed from multiple threads this makes it a pretty big advantage performance wise.  If your databases are also full text indexed, you will see some pretty impressive performance with this technique.  I will save the threading discussion for another post…

Tracking downloads – Part 2

After a few days with the new download tracking plug-in installed on my blog I am already seeing its value – somewhat.  The release of the Multiple Database Search plug-in for Lotus Notes on OpenNTF shows 35 people have downloaded the source and install site.  The download manager WP-DownloadManager, shows 56 downloads of the widget that installs the plugin.

The problem is the log shows eight of those downloads (of the widget) to be either duplicates or multiple downloads from the same IP address.  This means the net difference is 13.  So even though the numbers are close this does show some people have more interest in just using it versus scanning the source code.

New OpenNTF Project – Multiple Database Search

Myself and Igor have just uploaded a new OpenNTF project – Multiple Database Search!

The new plug-in can be installed using the Widget below – so yes, this is a Widget that installs Eclipse plug-ins!  What we did was extend the current search user interface (the toolbar to be exact) so it looks completely integrated with the Lotus Notes client.  The tool will search specific fields or do a full text search across all of the databases and consolidate the results into a single result set.

You can install the plug-in using the widget below into your My Widgets panel in the Lotus Notes client.  If you want to learn how to enable My Widgets in your Lotus Notes client you can view a video here.

Drag image to your My Widgets panel

As with all Open Source tools and code any and all input is welcome!