Federated search enables users to search remote data sources from within Windows Explorer. Windows 7 supports hooking up external sources to Windows Client via OpenSearch protocol v1.1 standard defines simple file formats that can be used to describe how a client should query Web service for data store and how service should return results to be rendered by client. Basically, this means that you can point Windows Explorer to an external data source. Using standard OpenSearch protocol, Windows Explorer submits search query and remote data source returns a well-formatted data structure that can then be parsed and presented to user. To add a new OpenSearch provider, you need to “install” a Search Connector Description file (a .osdx file). The internal file format for a .osdx file is an OpenSearch Description XML document. There’s a lot more to learn about how to create your own OpenSearch provider. If interested, read Windows 7 Federated Search Provider Implementer’s Guide and one of Introducing Windows 7 for Developers authors:
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