Integrating a FileHold search with an external application

A saved quick search can be invoked through an URL address from an external application. Once the URL is clicked, the search results are displayed in the Web Client. A quick search is a type of saved search where the search template is saved with only one empty variable in the template. When a user runs a quick search, they are required to enter the search term for the empty variable while all other search criteria remain fixed.

A simple tool has been provided for users that do not want to build the URL manually. When a quick search has been created and saved, the URL for the quick search can be created with the URL Builder in the Web Client. In the URL Builder, the server address, the client type (Web Client or Portal Web Client), log in type (local or Active Directory user), UI type (normal, locked or XML), and the quick search value are specified and a URL is generated.

The UI type options determine how the search results are displayed:

  • Normal means that the results are displayed in the normal Web Client UI.
  • Locked means that the search results are displayed in an embedded locked view of the web client where only the heading and the document list is found. There would be no processing options, though one of the columns in the search results could be a link to the document for web viewing or downloading. Additional settings are available for modifying the title bar and page numbering in the search results screen when using this option.
  • XML means that the search results are returned as an XML document. This can be combined with an XSL style sheet or some other XML processing method to render the precise output the caller desires. The column heading names and column values would be included in the XML as defined in the search view. The XML output include the document ID which can be used to build links for viewing or downloading the documents.

Once the settings for the URL are defined, the URL can be generated. The URL defines the quick saved search name and value(s) for the quick search. For example:



  • <servername> is the name of the server where FileHold is installed
  • <quick_search_name> is the name of the quick saved search
  • <search_value> is the operand value that is used for the search. If more than one value is needed, values can be delimited with a ; (semicolon). For more information about the details of the search values, see the attached URL Builder Detailed Functionality document which can be downloaded from the bottom of the page.

Once the URL for the quick search is clicked from an external application, the saved quick search runs and displays the search results in the selected UI type option. If the user is not logged in, the login screen appears first or the user will be logged in using Windows Authentication (single sign on).

The quick saved search can have the default view defined so that the desired information is displayed in the search results every time the URL is clicked.

Here is a basic example of how it might look on company’s web site. For this example, the URL is specified in an iframe with the UI type in locked mode.

<iframe src="http://yourservername/FH/FileHold/WebClient/qSearch.aspx?name=Doc+Name&value=fh*&ui=lock" width=600 height=400>

FileHold search integration with external application

Using the UI Type option that returns XML, the page can be formatted how you want if XML can be interpreted on your website.

The return page for the Web Client can be manually entered to include a returnPath parameter. For example, the user can be returned to the Add Document Wizard:


If you are using the UI in Lock mode, the returnpath can also be entered in the web.config file in C:\Program Files\FileHold Systems\Application Server\WebClient under the <appSettings> area:

<add key="qSearch_ReturnPage" value="Search_ReturnPage_PLACEHOLDER" />

If a value is entered, it is the default place the return button will take the user. If the path is not fully qualified, it is relative to the FileHold server.

FileHold search integration with external application - Return button

To make the Return button invisible, set the value for qSearch_ReturnPage key in web.config to empty. For example:

<add key="qSearch_ReturnPage" value="" />

To create an URL to run a search from an external application

  1. Create a quick search and save it as public saved search. Ensure you assign the correct permissions to the saved quick search.
  2. In the Web Client > Public Saved Searches area, right-click on the quick search name and select URL Builder.
  3. In the URL Server Part field, enter the path to the FileHold server.
  4. In the Client Type area, select if the link is accessed through the Web Client or the Portal Web Client (anonymous portal).
  5. In the Login Type area, select if the user is logging in using a username and password, or using single sign on (Active Directory integration). Note that if you are not using Active Directory integration, the single sign on option will not be available.
  6. In the UI Type area, select if the results are displayed in normal (Web Client), locked (embedded locked mode) or XML (highly customizable mode).
  7. If Locked UI mode was selected, fill out the following information:
  • Select the Disable title bar check box if you do not want the Search by URL title bar displayed in the search results.
  • Enter a Custom Title bar if needed such as "Documents to be approved". The default title is "Search by URL".
  • Select the Disable summary bar if you don not want the number of search results displayed. For example, "Search Results 1-10 of 52".
  • Select the vertical position of the page numbers in the Page Bars Vertical Position drop down: Top, Bottom, or Top and Bottom.
  • Select the horizontal alignment of the page numbers in the Page Bars Horizontal Alignment drop down: Right, Left or Center.
FileHold search integration with external application - Page numbering
  1. In the quick search parameter area, enter the value to be searched on.
  2. Click Generate URL.
  3. In the URL Builder Result area, the URL address is displayed. Click Go To Link to test the link.
  4. Once the link is verified and working, copy and paste the link into the external application. Note that there is no way to save this link so you will need to copy and paste it into a Notepad file or similar to retain the link address.

In the example below, a quick search on Approval Status was created with the search value set to Approved. The resulting URL is:


FileHold search integration with external application - Approval status

Note: The number of search results displayed on a page is set in the View Preferences for the Search Results view.