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dtSearch Text Retrieval Engine Programmer's Reference

dtSearch Engine API documentation

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, 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

dtSearch has an API for .NET and for .NET Standard. For .NET API documentation, see dtSearchNetApi2.chm. For .NET Standard API documentation, see dtSearchNetStdApi.chm.


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

Visual Basic, Delphi, VBScript, ASP

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

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 dynamic library supplemented by optional data files and optional additional dynamic libraries. For information on installing the dtSearch Engine with your application, see Installing the dtSearch Engine

Sample Code

Sample applications are located in the examples subdirectory of the dtSearch Engine directory. See Samples.

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