dtSearch Text Retrieval Engine Programmer's Reference 7.86
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The dtSearch Text Retrieval Engine provides access to the indexing and searching functions of dtSearch.

It has APIs for access from: C/C++; C#, VB.NET, and other .NET languages; Java; and Visual Basic, Delphi, VBScript, and ASP, using COM.

C and C++

For C and C++ developers, there is a function-call interface supplemented with a small class library to simplify access to the function-call interface. See Using the dtSearch Engine with C++ and C++ Support Classes.

C# and VB.NET

A .NET assembly, dtSearchNetApi.dll, provides a .NET interface to the dtSearch Engine (dten600.dll). For API documentation, see dtSearchNetApi.chm.

Visual Basic, Delphi, VBScript, ASP

For these and other scripting languages, the dtSearch Engine has an ActiveX (COM) Automation interface. See COM Interface.


The dtSearch Engine has a JNI wrapper for use from Java. See dtSearchJavaApi.chm.

Technical Support Articles

For dtSearch updates and supplemental documentation, please see the dtSearch web site at A searchable archive of technical support articles is at

Using the dtSearch Engine

dtSearch can search large volumes of text very quickly. It does this by building an index that stores the location of words in your files. Although the dtSearch Engine also has an unindexed search feature for searching without an index, searching without an index is much slower. 

Indexing. You can create an index from a collection of files on disk or from data obtained by your program and passed directly to the dtSearch Engine. The dtSearch Engine can create any number of indexes and can incrementally update existing indexes (adding or removing documents). For an overview of how indexes are created and maintained, see Building and Maintaining Indexes and Indexing Databases 

Searching. After you have created one or more indexes, you can use the dtSearch Engine to perform very fast searches of those indexes. A single search can cover any number of indexes. For information on the dtSearch Engine's query syntax, see Search Requests. For information on search settings and efficient searching, see Optimizing Search Performance 

Viewing Results. To view the results of a search, the dtSearch Engine can convert a retrieved file to HTML, RTF, or plain text, with hits highlighted. The dtSearch Engine can also generate a search report showing each hit and a specified amount of context, again, in HTML, RTF, or plain text. For information on highlighting hits in various file formats, see Highlighting Hits 

Initialization and Installation. The dtSearch Engine consists of a single, 32-bit, self-registering DLL. Additional data files and support DLLs can be added to provide optional features such as a thesaurus for synonym searching, and ODBC interface for database file access, and customized character handling. For information on installing the dtSearch Engine with your application, see Installing the Engine 

Sample Code

Sample applications are located in the examples subdirectory of the dtSearch Engine directory. There are subfolders with C++ (examples\cpp), C# (examples\cs), Java (examples\java), Delphi (examples\delphi), Visual Basic (examples\vbasic), and ASP (examples\asp) sample code.

Overview of the process of creating and updating indexes. 
Indexing and searching databases and meta-data in documents. 
How to display retrieved documents with hits highlighted 
To install the dtSearch Engine with your application on end-users' machines, install the following files into the same directory as the executable file that will be using the Engine:

Data files  
The SearchFilter object can be used to limit searches to a complex subset of a document collection, with minimal search-time overhead 
How to monitor the progress of an index update. 
Rules for multithreaded use of the dtSearch Engine. 
Sample applications 
Options to control the processing of searches 
How to sort search results after a search 
dtSearch includes an option to automatically recognize dates, email addresses, and credit card numbers in text during indexing. 
dtSearch provides several mechanisms to control how documents are scored for relevance during a search. 
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