11/29/2012 12:54 PMHow about a search facility (across realms/regions?)
Posted by Kimptoc
This is something I'm asked to feature on my web app a lot too. In short it's a bad idea, but here's the whole story:
You can definitely do that with either of the functions I presented here. The first one (that uses json) can be expensive against your query count -- especially when used against all the realms at once. The http header one, probably not so much, however I noticed it likes to hand up a little on names that don't exist.
As far as data control is concerned, it's a bad idea. Searching per region and realm is a better idea. In both our cases, (having looked at your app) the user should have a good idea of what they're looking for and be prepared to know the answer to "Are you US, EU, etc.", "What server are you on", and "Whats your toon's name?" Really, it's not asking much of your users. Even big players like wowhead make sure you know what you're looking for.
Furthermore, it's unrealistic for a 3rd party app to copy Blizzard's search functions because they have an efficient path to their data: it's (semi) local. The only way to replicate it would be to brute-force cache it -- and that's bandwidth and processing expensive for both Blizzard and you.