Sesat > Features > Product Description

Product Description

Definitions of Terms

Term Definition
SESAT SFC - Search Frontend Container This is where all User Applications using SESAT are run.
SESAT SFC User Application (UA) Auser-provided search application/portal with a unique vhost
SESAT SFC Domain Root domain for vhost applications. Example: «» is a root domain, whereas «» is a unique vhost belonging to a SFC User Application.
Magical Words Special trigger keywords that invokes special ranking or index selection rules. Example: «weather singapore» may trigger a weather vertical to be displayed, or indicate that the weather search result should be displayed first in the result set.

Product components

  • The SESAT Core application
  • The SESAT Search Frontend Container (SFC)
  • The SESAT Admin framework

These components are described in the following sections.


SESAT Core runs as a web application within a Tomcat Web Server. All access to the search portal is handled by this application.
All access is through a recommended maximum number of vhosts (50), each of which specify which SFC user application is accessed.
A rules engine provide functionality to handle a wide variety of ranking models, ranking dependencies, magical words and analysis rules.
For a full feature list of what SESAT Core provides see

SESAT SFC (Search Frontend Container)

Deployed in the same directory and on the same Tomcat Web Server as the SESAT Core, all SFC User Applications are web archives utilising the services of the SESAT Core. SFC User Applications belong to a domain hierarchy, with configuration inheritance applied by default.

To define a User Application in the SFC, the following must be provided:

Element Description
vhost-name (for example, «», «»
«modes.xml» configuration file, which specify:
available modes, where a «mode» is defined as a portal tab or vertical. For example, «» may have two modes, one for «search within content only», and one for «search whole of norwegian internet».
All modes within a User Application (vhost) have a unique name, that is later referred to from views.xml.
A mode define which indexes should be used for a given tab or vertical. For example, the «search within content only» may also perform commandoes to get information from a PPC-system, from a yellow pages directory and from a stock market information index.
views.xml configuration file, which specify:
  • For a given view or tab, which «mode» is used
  • For a given view or tab, which enrichments applied (enrichment access methods are usually listed in the modes.xml configuration) and how they should be applied/weighed. For example, for a financial newspaper, enrichments may be yellow pages, stock information and news. These enrichments are then ranked according to rules in the views.xml configuration.
  • Any ad-commands that should be applied to the search result
Images and templates Optionally, the User Application can provide own images and templates. If these are not provided, the parent templates are used. For example, «» will by default inherit all images and templates from «», unless the application has defined its own.

SFC Directory Layout

From a developers perspective, the SFC are layed out in the following manner:


From a deployers perspective, the SFC is layed out in the following manner:
 /ROOT.war (<-- this is sesat)
 /generic.sesam.war (<-- this is sesat)


SESAT Admin consists of portlets and applications running on JBoss Portals (server), which is a standards-compliant (JSR-168) portal. As of version 1.0 of SESAT, the following appliacions are available:

  • User Administration Portlet (require usage of OpenLDAP). The administrator can define users, groups and roles, and ensure that access to other administrative systems or the search portal are prohibited and controlled.
  • Statistics Portlet, providing simple statistics of queries and traffic.
  • FAST Lists Editor (version 1.0 of SESAT). FAST Lists are lookup-tables within the FAST engine that are used when analysing search queries.
  • Rules Engine Portlet (version 1.2 of SESAT)
  • Personalisation Manager (version 1.2 of SESAT)


SESAT provide two APIs for communication with the SESAT Core.

The APIs are available as

  • WS - Web Service.
  • XML - XML feed API

Access control etc. is controlled through access control lists (ACLs).

Link to more documentation about the API. This could also be documented in Continuum.

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