Brownbook.net has implemented OpenSearch on its business directory platform so that any developer anywhere can integrate a business search and business listings into their website. Following its ‘open’ ethos, Brownbook is a free directory that anyone can edit and now with the implementation of OpenSearch, any internet application can share the Brownbook.net platform where there are currently over 27 million businesses listed and new businesses being added every day.
How Brownbook has adopted OpenSearch Technology
Brownbook.net has opened up its platform for others to build their own local search. It uses a combination of OpenSearch and Microformats (OpenSearch technology is a collection of simple formats for the sharing and publishing of search results in a format suitable for syndication and aggregation).
Understanding and using OpenSearch technology
OpenSearch technology enables a search to be performed against the Brownbook.net database and the results returned as an XML feed. This means web site developers can add their own search to their website and receive a set of results in a feed that they can format to display any way they like, for example to match their website’s look and feel. Here’s an example of a simple implementation by LocalMouth. This was done in (literally) a few minutes. Read their blog here.
You can go even further; say you wanted to restrict your search to just one area, like Colorado, or even more specifically Boulder? How about to a specific business sector, like for example electricians, or painters? The OpenSearch interface allows developers to do this too.
It works by firing a specially formatted URL, which contains specific search terms, at the Brownbook.net platform. The Brownbook.net platform sends back an atom XML feed that can be used to present the data in the desired format. The URL can be hard coded, or constructed with the input from a user via blank entry fields, drop down list etc., so the search can be as specific or as open as required.
Technical details and examples:
Example URL string: http://www.brownbook.net/business/search/?tag=hotel+orlando&...
Same results on www.brownbook.net:
Result on a site using the Brownbook.net OpenSearch Atom powered content:
For more information about Brownbook.net please contact Sarah Warren on +44 (0)208 1235 466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively see the Brownbook.net blog: http://blog.brownbook.net.
Brownbook Limited, London Road, Sayers Common, West Sussex, BH6 9HS, United Kingdom.
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