Friday, June 17, 2011

Small changes, big impact? Conduits growth & problems for me

Something changed last week. I don't know exactly when.
I don't know what.
I don't know why.
But in one blow, all my work of the last 5 years on tailor-made html searchboxes seems to be completely switched off, made useless.
It seems Conduit changed something in it's backoffice searchengine servers, changing the search syntax, but - as stated before I do not know anything about it. Of course I know they changed their default basic search engine into Bing, instead of Google. But I have not read anything about changes into search syntax .
Here is an simple exeample of how they look like (and how they were working uptill somewhere last week)

  • ALL created widgets in (34)and (>50) using custom search engines from created Conduit toolbars either just show a Bing powered search result page, or a Google powered search result page.
    These widgets have been installed -in some cases- thousands of times, like this PubMed Searchbox (3663 times installed since Februari 17 2008)
  • Many Public Netvibes Pages are showing these widgets, including our own CMB UMCG Library.
  • Several so-called Apps are available in the Conduit Marketplace to be added to users own Toolbar, or to create their own selection of Apps in a Conduit Toolbar. With adding html searchboxes we were abled to offer seperate search Apps offering tailor-made collections of licenced library scientific databases.
  • We are using these widgets to create tailor-made htnl searchboxes to publish on our hospital network and intranet-pages where the installation of toolbars was not allowed.
  • The Conduit Toolbars function also for me as a centralized storage, maintenance & distribution system for search strings from free  &  licenced scientific resources/databases focussed on medicine.
  • When a search syntax from a provider or medical search engine changed, I only had to update that into the right Conduit toolbar, and all derived widgets, searchboxes on all webpages, blogs, Netvibes pages, Intranet pages, Toolbars are updated automatically ....

They all just stopped working correctly, somewhere last week.....

Weird thing is that some search boxes still return Google-powered search wíth -and I always liked that very much- the clickable listing of all installed search engines of THAT toolbar. Here is an example of the Webicina widget search results today.

Here is another example of the NLM Search Solutions widget:

Currently every result page either in Bing- or Google-powered is missing the connection to the specific custom search engine in that specific toolbar. There must be a way to focus that again. If anybody has a clue how to do that, please give me call (Skype: digicmb) or email

Conduit Support is looking into this, but I am afraid that  -even in the best-case scenario- I have to change all html boxes manually.
I hope they realize how serious this situation is for me, our library, and all these users that have installed those hundreds of Apps everywhere...
To be continued ....

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