Zondervan Bible Search

posted on 2005-09-09 at 21:57:09 by Joel Ross

Nope. I haven't gone religious on you (yet)! But Brian posted today about the launch of Zondervan Bible Search, which is a very cool application that I had a small part in. It's a pretty simple yet elegant site at first:

It's cool because of the technology behind it. Zondervan has a very powerful desktop application called Pradis that gives users the ability to browse, search, and read the bible in many different flavors. It's something we (back in our Sagestone days) helped develop (we, as in Sagestone, not we, as in me). It's a C++ application, and they wanted the search to be available over the web.

So, we used ASP.NET and a COM interop layer to facilitate the communication with the backend. But that's still not the cool part. Ever read the Bible and noticed that lots of passages have cross references to either other passages or alternate text for the translation:

When you hover over the footnote, a window pops up. This is using AJAX to show the pop up. When we initially talked about it, we thought we could just load all the extra text, but as the requirements process went on, I think Brian found out there could potentially be 100s of these on a page if you're viewing a whole chapter. That's a lot of potentially unused data. AJAX was the perfect solution for this, and it turned out great.

Now, as I said, I had a minor role in this project. I didn't do any development on the code itself. I only answered questions and got the initial project set up and ready for the development team. My other responsibility? The build process. If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm very high on automated builds, and that's why Brian asked me to take some time to get a process in place for this. It proved to have a few challenges, but we eventually worked past all of those, and now builds are completely automated. When a new release is needed, it's ready and waiting for the team on the development server!

Like I said, I didn't do any of the development, so the dev team (none of which are blogging) deserve all the credit - and Brian, who oversaw the whole thing. Great job guys!

Categories: ASP.NET