Thanks to this article and some cajoling by Chris Allison I decided to add WotNews to my Win7 search experience. All in 3 minutes flat.

Federation is great because it leverages the UI from Win7 to display search content using the search index on the target platform (this is especially neat via Sharepoint – this will be the content of a future post).

But in my case  I wanted to search WotNews – an Australian news provider.

To federate you simply double click a configuration file (a simple XML document) with an .osdx file extension. By double clicking it, it opens up the search box and allows you to search for as per the target site configured in the file

Having Windows 7 and a  template OSDX file you can easily produce a search..

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?><OpenSearchDescription xmlns=http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/ xmlns:ms-ose=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/”>
<ShortName>ENTER IN THE NAME OF YOUR SEARCH HERE</ShortName>
<Description>ENTER IN YOUR DESCRIPTION HERE</Description>
<Url type=”application/rss+xml” template=”/>
<Url type=”text/html” template=”http://api.bing.com/rss.aspx?source=web&market=en-au&query=<yourquery>”/>
</OpenSearchDescription>

** note change: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q={searchTerms}+site:WEBSITE.COM&num=10&format=rss” (is not supported in the BING API)

On the WotNews site the URL http://wotnews.com.au/rss/news/ followed by keyword is the search which very neatly returns an RSS feed. Thus the template can be amended to:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/" xmlns:ms-ose="http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/">
<ShortName>WotNews</ShortName>
<Description>WotNews</Description>
<Url type="application/rss+xml" template="http://wotnews.com.au/rss/news/{searchTerms}/"/>
<Url type="text/html" template="http://wotnews.com.au/rss/news/{searchTerms}/"/>
</OpenSearchDescription>

note: even one character out of place will render the search unsuccessful on double click or more annoyingly without any results when searching.

Make sure you save the document with the filename and .osdx extension for it to valid. If alls well the icon will change to a search icon.

To install, simply double click on the tiny file and click OK. You can then start searching for what you want

Resources:

Search federation providers for download

[Video] Windows 7: Find and Organize Part 2 - Building Federated Search applications

[PDC] Windows 7: Empower users to find, visualize and organize their data with Libraries and the Explorer