How to Plug GSA (Google Search Appliance) with AEM or Any CMS

This article discusses the best way to leverage enterprise search platform Google Search Appliance (GSA) in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and any other CMS.

AEM is a comprehensive content management platform for building websites, mobile apps, and forms. It helps deliver content consistently across devices and provides responsive, relevant, and social experiences, placing customers at the center of every interaction.

GSA helps employees and customers garner accurate, relevant information to make smart decisions and stay productive. It can read more than 220 file types and find information from databases, file systems, and common repositories like SharePoint, Livelink, Lotus Notes, Filenet, and Documentum.

Why is GSA required?

GSA provides an extensive level of search features to an individual entity, with specific enterprise enhancements that make searching easier, intuitive, and customizable. GSA is required when the customer wants to implement features like:

  1. Scalable enterprise search solution
  2. Federated search across domain
  3. Partial search, exact search, advanced search, autocomplete, synonyms, autosuggestion and much more
  4. Reduced search result execution time
  5. Improved throughput performance
  6. Faceted search (can be in sync with AEM tags)
  7. Search in entire content pages and all types of digital assets

Implementation approach

  1. Install and configure GSA appliance
  2. Create custom connector: Custom connector can help listen to calls from AEM and pass information to GSA. GSA API is based on Java. So other CMSs can leverage GSA Java API for creating custom connector. But another CMS has to write its own event handler.

Sample code:

 

AEM Event Handler for GSA

  • Read data (thrown by AEM) at GSA in the form of feed

 

Sample GSA Feed

  • Start indexing and crawling

The automated index process will start once the feed is pushed to the GSA. After completion of indexing, the admin can see the status of crawled data.

  • GSA will deliver the best search results

Search results will be served by GSA based on keyword or filtering criteria. GSA can deliver the search content in the form of JSON, XML, or XSLT. Below is the sample JSON output.

 

Such integration of AEM with GSA yields the following benefits:

  1. Scalable enterprise search solution
  2. Minimum development and maintenance activities
  3. Improved accuracy of search results
  4. Reports on search activities like most searchable keyword, promoted content view, etc.

Tavant has successfully implemented AEM-GSA integration for a leading digital media organization and a leading online examination service.

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