The advanced search in Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2) documentation library gives you the option to format search results into a virtual book.
This is a nice little feature that formats your search results as a single combined table of contents, making it easier to scan through similar topics from different books. For example here is a virtual book about materialized views. It took about 15 seconds for the search engine to return results formatted as a virtual book, not very fast.
What about Oracle Database 11g?
It seems that the virtual book option is missing from the Oracle Database 11g Release 1 (11.1) documentation library. I could not find it on the advanced search page. If it is there and I missed it, please let me know. Until then, I figured out a simple way to transform an 11g search result into a virtual book. Just append “&vbook=1″ to the end of the search results URL. For example:
Even though the virtual book format option is not exposed on the advanced search page, it is mentioned and explained on the 11g search help page. Hmm!
You could also bookmark this page http://www.oracle.com/pls/db111/vbook and use it whenever you want to generate a virtual book for any search term.
A new search plugin
Finally, the easiest option of all is to install the Oracle DB 11.1 Virtual Book search plugin in your browser (Firefox or IE7). If you use Google Chrome, here are the instructions on how to add a new search engine.
So, I went ahead and created a new AskTom search engine plugin.
If you are browsing this page in Firefox 2 or above or IE7 or above, click here to install the AskTom search plugin.
Check out this page for more Oracle related search engine plugins.Comments Off | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: Firefox, plugin, search
Whether you use Firefox or Internet Explorer, you probably know about this handy search box usually located at the top right corner of your browser window. This search box puts search engines at your fingertips and makes them easily available to you whenever you need them.
I have recorded a short three and a half minute screencast, with voice, that shows you how you can add any search engine to your browser’s search box, in just four clicks: Continue reading…4 Comments | Filed in Extensions, Firefox, Oracle, Plugins, Tips
The following now support Oracle Database 11g Release 1:
Moreover, the index of What’s New since Oracle Database 9i Release 1 now includes 11g Release 1.
(Thanks Yas)Comments Off | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins
Whether you use Firefox or Internet Explorer, you probably know about this handy search box usually located at the top right corner of your browser window.
And if you are a long time reader of my blog, you probably know about the handy Oracle related search plugins that allow you to search Oracle documentation, sites, forums and blogs.
But, what you probably do not know is that any active search engine you set in the search box will be automatically added to your mouse context menu that pops up when you highlight and right-click text on a web page. This is all done by default and without requiring any additional Add-on like ConQuery for example.
I noticed this Firefox-only feature by coincidence the other day. So here is an example of how it works:
Select a search type from the list of search engines, for example Oracle 10.2 Docs:
Right-click a highlighted text on any web page:
Notice the search Oracle 10.2 Docs for “the highlighted text” option. Very handy indeed.
Now, change the search type to Oracle Blogs for example:
Highilight and right-click text to read what the Oracle bloggers have written about it.
One other way to accomplish a similar functionality for Oracle specific searches is to use these Oracle bookmarklets that work in both Firefox and Internet Explorer.1 Comment | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins, Tips
Since the introduction of the first Oracle search plugins for Firefox, a few things have changed:
So, what does this have to do with search plugins? Read on and you will know:
Both Firefox 2 and IE 7 browsers now support the OpenSearch description format (XML) for search plugins. Which means that if you develop a search plugin for Firefox, that exact same search plugin can also be installed and used in Internet Explorer.
Using auto-discovery, a web site that offers a search plugin can advertise it so that Firefox 2 and IE 7 users can easily download and install the plugin. This is similar to the RSS auto-discovery of feeds.
In IE 7, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:
And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:
If you click on that small orange down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:
In fact, if you are using IE 7 to browse this very page, you will be able to see it in action in your browser right now. Just look at your search bar.
Note: I have noticed that IE 7 does not discover more than 3 search plugins using auto-discovery.
In Firefox 2, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:
And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:
If you click on that small blue-ish down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:
In fact, if you are using Firefox 2.0 to browse this very page (or Wikipedia for example), you will be able to see it in action in your browser. Just look at your search bar.
I have created three Oracle custom search engines powered by Google.
The second search engine is for Oracle-related forums and mailing lists. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:
Let me know if you have other Oracle-related forums you want to include in this search engine.
The third search engine is for Oracle-related websites. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:
Let me know if you have other Oracle-related sites you want to include in this search engine.
These search engines, and more, are now available to you right from your browser’s search bar.
Just click on a search plugin below to add it to the list of engines available in your browser’s search bar:
(Firefox 2 or IE 7 and above only)
Oracle Custom Search Engines:
Oracle Documentation Search Engines:
Here are four search bar keyboard shortcuts that will make using the search bar even faster:
And here is a bonus tip to change the width of the search bar in Firefox.
6 Comments | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: Documentation, Firefox, internet-explorer, plugin, search
I’m in San Francisco now. Here is a short video about my short trip from Portland. I’m planning on posting a few more Oracle OpenWorld videos during the next few days (in other words, I’ll be video blogging).
Yesterday, Justin announced that a new way for searching the documentation has just gone live.
For example, to see the new Oracle Docs search in action, here is the search result for “merge”.
Check it out at search.oracle.com.
To make searching easier:
Even though the “Format results into a virtual book” has always been an option for displaying Oracle documentation search results, I have never paid attention to it until Tom Kyte mentioned it in his latest podcast. After trying out this option a couple of times, I noticed that it could easily be converted to a Firefox search plugin. Unlike my other Oracle documentation search plugin, this one is version specific. I have created three search plugins, one for Oracle DB version 8.1.7, one for 9.2 and another for 10.2. The result of the search is directly formatted into a virtual book.
I successfully tested the Oracle documentation search plugins on both Firefox 1.0.7 and 1.5 (Beta). I noticed one difference though, which is not related to how the search plugins work but to where each FF version installs them. the plugin files in FF 1.0 were stored in the FF installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins), whereas in FF 1.5 they were stored in the user’s profile directory (usually C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles...).
Back to the Oracle documentation search. Here are a couple of tips. You can refine your search results by using boolean operators and wildcard characters. Very helpful sometimes. Also note that searches are case insensitive.
Finally, it seems to me that if I use the same search string to search the documentation for versions 8.1.7, 9.2 and 10.2, version 9.2 always produces fewer (virtual book) results than the other two. Consider the following examples: Continue reading…5 Comments | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: Documentation, Firefox, plugin, search