Refined Search With Minimal Clicks Toolbar

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Client Requirements

The client required a plugin / add on that was multi platform compatible for users who wanted their search refined with minimal clicks and features for search protection.

This application also offers a variety of services along with serving the main purpose of winning maximum searches along with a strong search protection features.

The plug-in should include the following features:

  • The plugin should enable quick searches with with Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay and Bing.
  • Without user’s knowledge, changing / setting browser home page for New Tab opened in browser which displays clients search engine as home page when user open New Ta in browser, thereby promoting the client’s products and services.
  • Whenever user searches any keyword, the results will be displayed in the default search engine thus promoting the client’s products and services.
  • Search protection for monitoring browser home page and default search settings.
  • Tracking of browser activity and saving details on the server.
  • Allowing saving of information from the websites both automatically and manually.
  • Implementing security that was vital throughout the project.
  • Efficient searching methods.

Challenges

The team faced the following challenges

  • Search protection implementation
  • Keeping track of the browser activity constantly was a challenge.
  • Managing a complex database with continuous saving and data retrieval.
  • Strong search criteria was needed in order to produce maximum results for users.

Technologies Used

Operating System & Server Management Windows OS,Multi-Server Architecture with Staging & Production Environment through Version Controlling releases, Server Optimization, Security & SSL Implementation, Scheduler for Back-ups,Alert Monitoring System Integration, Server Performance Tuning at regular intervals, Software Firewall Configuration & Maintenance
Development Tools & Environments AC, C++, VC++, MFC, ATL COM, COM+, DCOM, ActiveX, BHO, Visual Studio, JavaScript, RDF, CSS, XUL, XPI Creator, Java, NSIS tools etc.
Database MSSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups

Manpower

Project Leader 1
Developers 2
Designers 1
Quality Assurance Testers 1

Planning

  • Graphical representation of the toolbar was the first step towards planning. An easy to navigate design was planned for making it appealing to user.
  • Image that was required by the client had to fit within the restricted space of the toolbar.
  • Extensive research was conducted to include the search feature and all other fields that
    were provided in the toolbar.
  • Installer steps were planned and designed to be simple and easy to use.
  • The toolbar was made compatible with Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers. It was made compatible with all browser and Window’s versions.

Architecture

Taking into account the efficiency that was required by the toolbar, the following development approach was used:

  • User Interface Layer: include the page level layer which will be accessing the other layers beneath to present the data.
  • Business Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the User Interface layer and Database layer.
  • Database Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the Physical Database and the Business Logic accessing the data
  • Physical Database Layer: This includes MSSQL with the tables, views, stored procedures etc.

Development Highlights

Application was successfully developed with highly scalable features and new features were incorporated too. Comprehensive search features were included along with optimized query features. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed and the interface was easily made navigable with the use of CSS and HTML controls. The toolbar was fully developed within a short span of 4 months.

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