Catalog Plugin Overview

The Catalog plugin provides a self-contained search engine for simple applications. A search can involve any number of fields, but you can only define one search criteria for each field. You can also specify whether to use exact or partial matches (using wildcard characters) which provides a lot of flexibility.

The "catalog" files that the plugin uses are just tab delimited text files with a header row. This type of file can be exported from most major database and spreadsheet applications making it easy to create your own catalog files.

The following is an example of a simple catalog file. Tabs are not printable characters so they are represented by the "|" symbol, in the example below (so you can see them).

Name|Age|Address
Tim|34|Ottawa
Nicki|33|Saint John
Elaina||McAdam

The first row in a catalog must always be a header that provides names for the fields in the rows that follow. The example defines 3 fields called "Name", "Age" and "Address". There is no limit on the length of a field name and they may contain any characters (including spaces) except tabs.

All rows that follow the header row must have the same number of fields as the header row. Empty fields are permitted but you can't omit the tabs that delimit the empty fields. The last row in example has no value in the Age field, but all the tabs are present so it's a valid catalog.