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XML Search Suggestions Format Specification

Windows Internet Explorer 8 search suggestions are a service that search providers can support which allow the user to receive suggestions for a search query. XML suggestions from a search provider can support text suggestions or visual suggestions.

This document covers the minimum properties necessary to enable a client to consume XML suggestions. More information on search provider extensivibility can be found by reading this article: Search Provider Extensibility in Internet Explorer. This topic discusses the following subjects:

Search Suggestions Format

The search suggestions format describe the core set of properties needed in a search suggestion. The code snippet below shows how elements and attributes may be use to send XML suggestions.


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<SearchSuggestion xmlns ="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Search/2008/suggestions">
    <Query>xbox</Query>
    <Section>
	<Separator title="My Visual Suggestions"/>
	<Item>
  		<Text>Xbox 360 Live Games</Text> 
  		<Image source="http://www.example.com/live.jpg" alt="Xbox 360 Live Games" width="75" height="75"/> 
    </Item>
	<Item>
  		<Description>Game console systems and packages at a great deal.</Description>
  		<Image source="http://www.example.com/xboxconsole.jpg" alt="Xbox 360 Consoles" width="75" height="75"/> 
  	    <Url>http://www.example.com/games.aspx?q="Xbox 360"</Url>
    </Item>
	<Separator title="My Text Suggestions"/>
	<Item>
		<Text>Xbox 360</Text>
	</Item>
	<Item>
		<Text>Xbox cheats</Text>
		<Description>Codes and walkthroughs</Description>
	</Item>
	<Item>
		<Text>Xbox 360 games</Text>
		<Description>Games and accessories</Description>
		<Url>http://www.example.com/games</Url>
	</Item>
	<Separator />
	<Item>
		<Text>xbox 360 lowest price</Text>
	</Item>
	<Item>
		<Text>xbox 360 news</Text>
	</Item>
    </Section>
</SearchSuggestion>

SearchSuggestion element

The root node of the search suggestion document.

Parent: None

Requirements: The element must appear exactly once as the root node of the document.

Query element

Contains the query that was requested by the client.

Parent: SearchSuggestion

Requirements: There must be one instance of this element

Section element

Contains the set of search suggestion items for the given query.

Parent: SearchSuggestion

Requirements: There may be one instance of this element.

title attribute

Contains title that should be used with these search suggestions.

Requirements: There may be one instance of this attribute.

Item element

Contains the information necessary for a single search suggestion.

Parent: Section

Requirements:

  • There may be one or more instances of this element.
  • All items must contain either the Text element or the Url element or both.

Text element

The text suggestion for the given query string. This value is used to determine what search should be issued if this suggestion is selected, except in the case that the item also contains an Url element.

Parent: Item

Requirements: There may be one instance of this element.

Url element

Contains the target URL when the suggested item is selected.

Parent: Item

Requirements: There may be one instance of this element.

Description element

Contains a supplemental description of this item.

Parent: Item

Requirements: There may be one instance of this element.

Image element

Contains the image related to the suggested item.

Parent: Item

Requirements: There may be one instance of this element.


<Item>
	<Description>The official Xbox website from Microsoft</Description>
	<Url>http://www.xbox.com/search.aspx?q="Xbox 360"</Url>
	<Image source="http://www.example.com/xboxconsole.jpg" alt="Xbox 360 Consoles" width="75" height="75" align="middle"/>
</Item>

source attribute

Contains the source URL of the image.

Requirements: There must be one instance of this attribute

alt attribute

Contains the alternate text for this image.

Requirements: There may be one instance of this attribute.

width attribute

Contains width of the image in pixels.

Requirements: There may be one instance of this attribute.

height attribute

Contains height of the image in pixels.

Requirements: There may be one instance of this attribute.

align attribute

Contains the publisher preference for how to present the image in alignment with the text.

Requirements:

  • There may be one instance of this attribute.
  • The value must be either "top", "middle" or "bottom"

Separator element

Indicates a new section of suggestions.

Parent: Section

Requirements: There may be one or more instances of this element.

title attribute

Contains title that should be used for this Separator.

Requirements: There may be one instance of this attribute.

Extensibility

The XML SearchSuggestion format can be extended using the W3C XML Namespace Spec convention. The XML namespace must be a unique namespace.

Licensing Information

Microsoft's copyrights in this specification are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License (version 3.0). To view a copy of this license, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0. There is a separate patent promise called the Microsoft Open Specification Promise available to parties interested in implementing software that conforms to this specification. This patent promise is available at this location: http://www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/default.mspx.

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