A project by Cobweb Development Sarl

Job portal and corporate web site

The Manpower Switzerland SA project had the following requirements:

  • be a job portal, with job offers coming from an external third-party application
  • allow visitors to apply for job offers
  • also be a corporate brochure
  • handle four languages

TYPO3 is of course ideally suited for the "presentation" requirement and handling multiple languages is no issue.

The other requirements are not so easy to fulfill without some heavy duty development. Indeed TYPO3 has no native way of handling job offers, which constitutes the most important data set for such a web site.

Detailed scenario

Job offers are sent to TYPO3 from a third-party, specialized application and stored locally. The requirements for the display of job offers were quite varied: thematic searches, free keyword searches, personal selections, to name a few.

Tesseract brought two big advantages in this case:

  1. thanks to its capacity to display any kind of data, it was no problem displaying jobs, candidacies, subsidiaries, etc.
  2. given its modular structure, it was easy to develop special components when needed.

Tesseract and Google search solutions

One particularly interesting such component - used also in other projects - is the "Google Query" extension, which relies on either Google Mini or Google Search Appliance (GSA) to gather the data display based on a user's search.

The advanced search form

The advanced search form

When indexing a page, the Google appliances can read any kind of metadata from that page. Using Tesseract we created special pages - to be viewed only by the Google appliance - which contain all the necessary information retrieved from the database stored as metadata inside the page. When the Google appliance indexes such a page, it is very much like it has read the database record itself (database tables can be crawled with GSA, but not with Google Mini).

When a search is performed either thematically (relying on metadata) or using keywords (relying on the text itself), the Google appliance returns primary keys, which are used in turn to retrieve the local job records. This makes it possible to very finely manage the display of the results, which would not be possible if displaying directly the results with the Google engine.

The search results, produced and displayed using Tesseract

The search results, produced and displayed using Tesseract

View the site

Technical insights

The most interesting Tesseract feature of the Manpower Switzerland SA web site is the intensive use of the "googlequery" extension.

Google Mini can index both a page's content (as full text) and associated meta data placed in the HTML header. Using Tesseract we build such special pages where all the meta data is available for Google Mini. These pages are not visible to the site's visitors.

When searches are performed, the full power of Google's search engine can be tapped. Furthermore - thanks to the indexed meta data - "googlequery" can receive results from Google Mini containing primary keys of job offers records. This makes it possible to link back to actual database records with a "standard" SQL query, but restricted to the list of results found by Google's search engine.