Using Search for Currency Conversion

July 14th, 2007 2 Comments

A friend of mine saw the MetaLink plugin post I did and asked about currency conversion with a plugin. Many people may already know that Google does conversions if you pass it a certain sequence of keywords. Both IE7 and FF2 ship with a Google OpenSearch plugin, and the FF one implements search suggestions. Typing “100 usd” in FF gives you the following suggestions:

g_suggest.png You can then choose the corresponding currency, for example euro, and get this page. The disclaimer tells you not to rely on the conversions provided, probably a good idea, although apparently Google buys them from Citibank. I compared Google with Bloomberg, and they were very close.

So, what’s the big deal? Say you’re pouring over the financial statement of some company that you’re interested in, and they don’t convert the numbers to your local currency. It sure would give you a better perspective if the numbers were converted. So, here’s what you do:

Use the Google search plugin to enter the amount and the from and to currencies and open the results in a new tab (IE7: Use Alt+Enter, FF2: Follow these instructions from Lifehacker).

Then you can Ctrl+Tab between the conversion results from Google and your other page.

Another scenario: Say you’re working in E-Business Suite and you have a foreign currency receipt that you quickly want to convert to your functional (or any other currency). Use the same procedure.

I think this should meet the needs of most accountants. You’re not seeing the corporate rate, but you do get a quick idea of the rate, without leaving your session. ie7_find_more.png

You can do a lot with these little plugins. Eddie Awad has a list of Oracle-related ones, including documentation for database and middleware. Sam over at the Oracle Applications DBA blog created a plugin for searching his blog.

IE7 offers an easy way to create a plugin without writing any code. From the search box, pull down the menu and pick “Find More Providers . . .” , which takes you to this page with instructions on how to add a new plugin.

I’m all about efficiency, and since we spend so much time in browsers everyday, I like to find tips like these and share them. Do you have any time-saving tips? Share them in the comments.


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