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Creating the Front End of a Search Engine with AJAX

Welcome to the first part of a three-part series that will show you how to create a search engine that fetches content from a database. We will use PHP and AJAX to create this engine. This article will focus on creating the search engine's front end.

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By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 20
November 15, 2006
  1. · Creating the Front End of a Search Engine with AJAX
  2. · Creating the search engineís user interface
  3. · Creating the applicationís look and feel
  4. · Programming the behavioral layer of the application
  5. · Putting the pieces together

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Creating the Front End of a Search Engine with AJAX
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When it comes to developing AJAX-driven applications, certainly thereís a plethora of possibilities that can be considered as potential targets. This is especially true if the web project that is going to be deployed may gain some kind of benefit from using this type of technology.

In fact, thereís no point in using AJAX only because itís cool, or because in the last few months it has became your favorite web development toy. Logically, there must be a strong reason for utilizing it, particularly considering that the most critical parts of your application shouldnít depend on JavaScript to work properly.

However, with the huge proliferation of AJAX-based programs, there are specific situations where this technology can greatly improve the functionality of a given application, and at the same time provide users with a richer experience when theyíre using it. Of course, if youíve already tasted the neat capabilities that come bundled with AJAX, then quite possibly youíll be excited about them and want to expand your own boundaries as a web developer.

Among the variety of web applications that can be created using JavaScript HTTP requester objects, thereís one that Iím sure youíll find quite useful. In this case, Iím talking specifically about building a expansible search engine which can use HTTP requests triggered in the background to fetch content from a database, according to a specified search criteria.

Considering that the core module of the search engine that I mentioned before can be implemented with PHP, while all the client-side programming can be reduced to sending HTTP requests with AJAX, in this three-part series, Iím going to show you how to create such a system, which can be included in any web site with minor problems.

More specifically, the two first parts of this series will be focused on creating the search engineís front end, in conjunction with the corresponding server-side module (using PHP). The third tutorial will be dedicated to improving the overall application by introducing full-text capabilities and Boolean searches.

Ready to learn how to build a search engine with AJAX? Okay, letís get going!

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