Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Innovative Millennium Search Widget Code

After trying unsuccessfully to obtain Search Widget Code from Innovative Interfaces for our Millennium ILS, today I sat down to figure it out - or die trying!

We have had our Millennium ILS for three years now, and for the last couple of years, I occasionally do a search for this code. Absolutely nothing comes up. Many web 2.0 companies nowadays will give you the option to copy the 'Embed Code' (think YouTube or SlideShare), and VoilĂ ! your new-found widget works.

So, today, instead of doing a random search, I actually decided to call Innovative directly. When asked where I could find the Embed Code for a search widget, the very nice customer support person said "Millennium does not support code written for use outside its' OPAC; you might try the users group!".

I of course then asked why Innovative does not provide embed code for their own product, and her response was, "I'm not quite sure." When even the employees wonder why their company doesn't offer this, it is pretty sad!!

As directed, I visited the Innovative User's Group website, and searched the archives (something you can do even if you don't pay to join the group) for 'search widget code'. I immediately stumbled on several search widget conversations, and found enough code to come up with our own - turns out, it is a simple HTML form.

<form action="http://205.201.213.234/search/X"; name="mainwebcatalog">
<select name="searchtype">
<option value="X">Keyword</option>
<option value="t">Title</option>
<option value="a">Author</option>
<option value="d">Subject</option>
</select>
<input name="searcharg" type="text" size="25" title="Enter your search query." />

<input class="searchBtn" name="submit" type="submit"value="Search" />

<br /><a href="http://205.201.213.234/search/X" title="External link" target="_blank">more search options</a>

</form>

There are more things that you can add to this - I also found code for Popular Searches and more. At first, I struggled with the very first link; when I did a search, it would take me to our OPAC - the main page, not one with results. Turns out, I needed to add 'search/X' after our catalog's domain ["http://205.201.213.234/search/X"].

I'm about to add it to our website - all I've had is a link to connect the two. I have also seen some libraries that insert the OPAC directly into their website, and that is next on my agenda.

At this time, I have added a tab to our Facebook Page called "Search Catalog". Sweet.

9 comments:

Joe said...

Hi, You can have lots of custom made search boxes. I put a bunch on my switchboard page to the main catalog, Encore version, Prospector, Amazon, Google and Google scholar, etc. http://mysite.du.edu/~jokraus/s.html

Victoria said...

Joe, these are great search tools! Thank you for sharing.

A couple questions:

1. Do you know if the Option Values are pretty much standard for all catalogs? (i.e. X=Keyword, T=Title)

2. It looks like the Encore search is an app - did Innovative make that available to you?

Now that I *kind of* know what I'm doing, I'm raring to go!!

Take Care, Joe, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

Sarah said...

Thanks!!! Awesome!

Molly said...

Thanks heaps for sharing. This code worked beautifully first time! :)

Nina said...

Hey, Victoria! Just searching to see if the way I did my widget code three years ago still works, and came across this! Delighted to find it was your site. The answer III gave me in the past when I contacted them directly was what they told you: they don't support "third-party" servers. I was furious; I wasn't asking for SERVER support, just the damn search box code! It's especially frustrating, since like you mention, other companies provide excellent documentation on how to do this. Even more so frustrating that I'm trying to make it EASY for users to get to your product!!! :D

Victoria said...

Nina, I was furious as well - as you said, I was attempting to get more people to use *their* product! In hopes of making it easier for other library folk to get the code - I posted it here. Sharing is GOOD. :-)

Devin said...

You just made my life better. Thanks for this!

L said...

Hi, Victoria - I realize it's been awhile since you did this, but there still doesn't seem to be a widget available from Innovative, so I used this as well.

Unfortunately, when I put this through the WAVE accessibility tool, it returns an error that there is no label tag in the form. Have you had the same experience and do you know the fix? From my reading it seems that the label tag makes it easier for people using screen readers to access the drop down menu.

Thanks -

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Way to go.