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Search API

Overview

The Summon Search API is a service that exposes all of the search capabilities of Summon. The API is an HTTP-based service and supports requests via the HTTP GET and POST methods. Currently, there are two available response formats: XML and JSON. All requests to the API require authentication via private-key digest. The API receives requests and returns responses encoded in UTF-8. The data that can be retrieved from the Search API include meta documents, facet counts, and spelling suggestions.

In addition to the traditional parameter-based query system, the Search API includes a new command-based query system that can be used standalone, or in conjunction with parameters. Commands provide some unique benefits over raw parameters since they can provide additional information to the API about the action being performed. When the API knows about actions being performed by the client, it can execute common search logic, such as paging and did you mean, on the client's behalf. This can greatly simplify the ease and speed of client implementation. For more specific information on the command system, see Commands.

There are four parts to making a Search API request:

  1. Build the URL query string.
  2. Build the HTTP request headers.
  3. Build an authentication digest based on the query string and headers (see Authentication section).
  4. Parse the response and handle any errors.