MetaLink (and More) in Your Browser Search Bar

July 10th, 2007 28 Comments

Do you use the search box in your browser? If you’re not familiar with it, here’s what it looks like in Firefox 2:

ff2.jpg

And in Internet Explorer 7:

ie7.jpg

If you don’t use these boxes, you should. They save loads of time. Surprisingly, both use a standard called OpenSearch that allows for quick and easy development of new search engine plugins. OpenSearch standardizes how these plugins behave and how web sites install them.

I’m happy to provide a MetaLink OpenSearch plugin for Oracle customers. This page shows how to install the plugin using Autodiscovery, another sweet OpenSearch feature. The Mozilla Mycroft Project has a ton of OpenSearch plugins, as well as instructions on how to develop new ones. A tip: typing Alt+Enter when you enter the keyword opens the results in a new tab.

If you use Firefox 2 and E-Business Suite (11.5.9, 11.5.10 or 12), you have a bonus feature. Firefox allows you to send a selected string on a web page directly to the active search engine (i.e. the one showing in your search box) by right-clicking. So, if you hit an error or find a term you don’t know in EBS, simply select it, right-click it and send it to the MetaLink search plugin. I suggest setting your Firefox to open search results in a new tab (a change documented by Lifehacker). This will allow you to see the search results on MetaLink in a new tab, without disrupting your EBS session.

What about Firefox 1.5? If you’re still using 1.5, you won’t be able to use the Autodiscovery goodness, but I included an installable search engine (scroll all the way down on the page) for you to use. You also won’t be able to use the native Firefox 2.0 feature described in the last paragraph, but never fear. Check out the ConQuery Add-On, which works for both 1.5 and 2.0; this extension adds a right-click menu item called ‘Query to . . .’ which lists all your installed search engines.

Here’s a screencast showing ConQuery and the MetaLink search plugin in action for EBS 12.

If you use IE 7, you don’t have as many cool options. There are some registry hacks you can make to get equivalent functionality, but they are risky.

I hope you enjoy this little productivity tool. We use search plugins a lot to search internal systems (e.g. bug database, TAR/SR, documentation, content management, people directory). Any suggestions on other Oracle-related search engines?

Now, for thanks:

Eddie Awad: Eddie has a lot of information about search engine plugins, including a list of Oracle-related plugins (+ MetaLink), Autodiscovery, and most recently, the native Firefox 2 feature that sends directly to the active search engine. Many of you may already already be using his plugins, and I doubt mine are very different. I’ve been working for several months through red tape to get this approved for external distribution. So, kudos to Eddie for his more timely information.

Thank to internal folks: Cheryl Baggitt, Joe Gum, Jiri Klouda, Ian McIlwain, Dave Muirhead, Peter Ondrejka, Graham Palmer, Scott L. Sullivan, Terrance Wampler.

Updates: MetaLink note 443723.1 references the search plugin. If you installed the plugin, test it out on the note ID. Thanks to Steven for his post over at Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog. Other mentions that I know of: Sven’s Tecknik-Blog (auf Deutsch) and bosvark.com. Thanks to all.

Another Update: A few people have asked about this, so FYI, the plugin is product independent. All you need is any Oracle product (database, middleware, any application family) that is browser-based, a valid MetaLink account and a browser that supports search, i.e. Firefox 1.5, 2 or IE7. Enjoy.


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28 Responses to “MetaLink (and More) in Your Browser Search Bar”

  1. ArKZoYd Says:

    ce post glané sur OracleAppsLab Blog, j’ai développé une version améliorée de Google (Difficile à croire non ?). Google (O!Safe) est le moteur de recherche qui garde le meilleur de vos recherches à propos d’Oracle sur Google. Pour l’installer, naviguez

  2. ORCLville Says:

    Catching up on my research last night, I noticed an article at Steven Chan’s blog about a new search browser plug-in for Oracle Metalink users. Steve’s article pointed me to the Oracle AppsLab blog, where Jake Kuramoto has written about a nifty Metalink search plug-in for Firefox and IE. Why do I think so highly of Jake’s plug-in? Three reasons: It’s built on the OpenSearch standard, which means it will behave just like the other search tools in my browser’s search box. Because my browser is

  3. In Depth Apps - Oracle eBusiness Suite Says:

    the OracleAppsLab blog page. Credit to the creators!

  4. Sven’s Technik-Blog Says:

    Kann durchaus interessant sein für alle die, die öfters mal etwas im Metalink suchen müssen. Die Installation ist trivial und hier gut beschrieben. Ein paar mehr technische Background-Infos gibt es im OracleAppsLab Blog.

  5. Oracle E-Business Suite Technology Says:

    [...] Jake Kuramoto, my colleague over at the rapidly-growing Oracle AppsLab blog, has just unveiled a cool little seach plug-in for Oracle Metalink.  This search plug-in allows you to search Metalink for Notes, error messages, and anything else you choose to query on.  It works with Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers.  For full details, including a nifty screencast, check out:MetaLink (and More) in Your Browser Search Bar [...]

  6. Metalink search from your IE and FF search bar : bosvark.com Says:

    [...] Oracle releases something very useful but it usually does not get all the attention it deserves. Matalink searches in your browser search bar for IE and FF2.0 developed by the Oracle Apps Lab team is one that will definitely be overshadowed [...]

  7. Frank Says:

    The OraFAQ has a similar plug-in that works in Firefox and IE. For details, see http://www.orafaq.com/about/search#searchplugin

  8. Frank Says:

    The OraFAQ has a similar plug-in that works in Firefox and IE. For details, see http://www.orafaq.com/about/search#searchplugin

  9. Jake Says:

    Frank: Thanks for pointing to your tools. You stuck with the old-school engine, I see, i.e. not OpenSearch. Less work and no duplication, but we like standards at ORCL. So, I had to do both. Jake

  10. Jake Says:

    Frank: Thanks for pointing to your tools. You stuck with the old-school engine, I see, i.e. not OpenSearch. Less work and no duplication, but we like standards at ORCL. So, I had to do both. Jake

  11. Floyd Teter Says:

    Very nice…the freebies don’t get much better than this! Thanks for sharing your work. –Floyd–

  12. Floyd Teter Says:

    Very nice…the freebies don’t get much better than this! Thanks for sharing your work. –Floyd–

  13. Sam Says:

    Thats kool
    I made one for my blog ..simpler :)
    BTW i enjoy he posts
    Good Luck

    Sam
    http://www.appsdbablog.com

  14. Sam Says:

    Thats kool
    I made one for my blog ..simpler :)
    BTW i enjoy he posts
    Good Luck

    Sam
    http://www.appsdbablog.com

  15. Gregory Says:

    Unfortunately, the Google Toolbar doesn’t use the OpenSearch standard. I’ve written an XML file to add Metalink Search Engine from their “non standard” XML.

    Click on this URL if you use Google Toolbar to add Metalink Search Engine : http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=http://arkzoyd.free.fr/metalink.xml

  16. Gregory Says:

    Unfortunately, the Google Toolbar doesn’t use the OpenSearch standard. I’ve written an XML file to add Metalink Search Engine from their “non standard” XML.

    Click on this URL if you use Google Toolbar to add Metalink Search Engine : http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=http://arkzoyd.free.fr/metalink.xml

  17. Jake Says:

    Gregory,
    Good stuff. I don’t use the Google Toolbar, but merci bien for porting the idea over for us.
    Jake

  18. Jake Says:

    Gregory,
    Good stuff. I don’t use the Google Toolbar, but merci bien for porting the idea over for us.
    Jake

  19. UKOUG : E-Business Suite hints from Oracle Says:

    [...] EBS and other product lines. For example, recently posted about Firefox support and a new plug-in to search MetaLink without leaving your EBS [...]

  20. StumbleUpon » Your page is now on StumbleUpon! Says:

    [...] Your page is on StumbleUpon [...]

  21. OTN - Blogs Says:

    [...] Oracle Search Plug-ins Aditya Agarkar 2007-07-10 The Oracle Appslab crew have just posted an excellent plugin for searching Metalink content directly from your Application Browser. This MetaLink OpenSearch plugin adds a MetaLink search box on your browser enabling you to do a quick search for Metalink content. This plug-in will be “auto-discovered” from this blog (Firefox 2 or IE7). You need to look for the search box on your browser and add “Search Oracle Metalink”. 2007-06-12 This is part 3 of the blog entry on Stocking Policy for the Warehouse Pick Face. Part-1 was about parameters that influence stocking policy in your pick face and in Part-2, a simple approach to formulating stocking policy for the pick face was discussed.How does it all fit in if you are using Oracle WMS to manage your distribution centers? 2007-05-16 Stocking policy for an item dictates the location and desired inventory levels in the pick face. If you think about it, where you store an item in the warehouse can actually make a profound impact on warehouse efficiency. Just imagine, if a frequently picked item is stored in a location that is further along from the shipping area, how much time would be spent in a non-valude added activity such as extra travel time. How about placing a frequently ordered heavy item in  a lower rack wher…     [...]

  22. Raj Says:

    I have facing following error during the installation of oracle 9i on linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS v4.0

    “Error occurred during initialization of VM
    Unable to load native library: /tmp/OraInstall2007-12-03_07-52-36PM/jre/lib/i386 /libjava.so: symbol __libc_wait, version GLIBC_2.0 not defined in file libc.so.6 with link time reference”

    please help me out there at the earliest
    thanks

  23. Raj Says:

    I have facing following error during the installation of oracle 9i on linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS v4.0

    “Error occurred during initialization of VM
    Unable to load native library: /tmp/OraInstall2007-12-03_07-52-36PM/jre/lib/i386 /libjava.so: symbol __libc_wait, version GLIBC_2.0 not defined in file libc.so.6 with link time reference”

    please help me out there at the earliest
    thanks

  24. Jake Says:

    Raj: You should direct your question either to MetaLink, if you are an Oracle customer, you’ll have access via your CSI, or to the OTN forums at technet.oracle.com. This blog does not provide technical assistance.

  25. Jake Says:

    Raj: You should direct your question either to MetaLink, if you are an Oracle customer, you’ll have access via your CSI, or to the OTN forums at technet.oracle.com. This blog does not provide technical assistance.

  26. counter +oracle ebs +wms - Eniro Says:

    [...] Oracle AppsLab

  27. muffin9129 Says:

    Yeah search bars are great, but I use an air miles one where i get free air miles so it would be hard for me to make a switch. Great post though.

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