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Ability to search a catalog on CD
Client has requested a searchable CD catalog
travelin cat

 6:57 pm on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have a client that wishes to convert his print catalog in to a searchable cd. There are 2,000 or so sku's.

We will convert the catalog in to HTML and create a self contained site that will be burned on to a cd, the end user may or may not have an internet connection so the search mechanism must be on the cd.

What the client would like is something cross platform (we will be creating it on Macs) wherein somebody looking for a blue size 32 widget will be able to enter that in to a search box and will then be returned results that can be then clicked on to go to the page with the blue size 32 widget..

Any thoughts on how I could implement this type of search without having to write a script.... meaning an off the shelf solution paid for or not....

Thanks in advance.



 3:35 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've wondered how to do this for a while... never done it but read this howto page and it made sense.

Hopefully it works.

Also the php forum is a great resource.

travelin cat

 3:59 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


Thanks for your input, however, I need a completely stand alone version because many people using it will not be connected to an intranet or the internet...

It all must fit on the cd.... I thought this would be easier... rats.

Thanks again.


 5:19 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

here's another general info link with links to small stand-alone programs that may or may not work for you:


you will have to read the descriptions of each one and see if any of them are what you are looking for.
I've not used these, I just did a quick Google Search, you could do the same.


 2:12 am on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

The URL I sent you to explains how to do it all from a CDROM, or am I reading it wrong? It runs Apache Server, MySQL and PHP from the CD.


 4:39 am on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Problem with the webserver-on-a-cd solution is that it's binary meaning that one has to set up a server for each platform/OS that the customers might possibly use.

In theory this is the best solution but in practise it's very hard to implement.

If it has to be customer-friendly you'll have to write some scipts that starts Apache and MySQL as well as opens the first page of the catalogue in a browser. You might even want to install a browser too in order to be sure of having one, but doing so also means that you have complete control - eg if choosing Firefox/Mozilla you can use XUL to create an interface to the catalogue.

All in all, you'll need at least three binary installs - Windows, Mac, x86 Linux - and a script for each of the platforms to start things up.


Another way to go will be static web-pages with an embedded search engine written in Java, but then we once again have the problem of whether or not the correct version of Java is installed on the customer's computer.

The following Google search [google.com...] turned up these links that seem to be the most relevant:


In short, there's no easy solution to the search problem.

travelin cat

 3:46 pm on Jul 7, 2005 (gmt 0)


Thanks for your detail.... I was afraid of this. Seems like this job keeps getting bigger and bigger... glad I bill by the hour ;>)


 8:04 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi there, I am new to this forum so forgive me if I say anything out of the way... but what if you use an interactive Adobe PDF for the client's catalog? I am just beginning to learn all of the ins and outs and power of the new version of Adobe Acrobat. You can download a free 30 day version to try at Adobe.com. Good luck!

travelin cat

 8:19 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)


Thanks for your reply... we thought of this initially, the problem is that a pdf file of this size (234 pages) with over 900 graphics is vey very very slow to load.... the client would not go for it.


 12:17 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why not just make it a big PDF and make the PDF searchable. At worst you will need an Adobe tool to do it, but that should only be a couple hundred dollars.


travelin cat

 1:40 pm on Jul 15, 2005 (gmt 0)


See previous message... a pdf that big takes way too long to open, the client nixed the idea...

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