Techniques are provided for managing the creation, storage, search and delivery of rich media optimized for e-commerce in a distributed information network, e.g., the Internet. In an illustrative embodiment, a content creation phase generates rich media content in a single multimedia file in the format of a HotMedia file for delivery to a Rich Media Build Engine (RMBE). Rich media content is extracted from the file using pluggable and modular extractors providing an input to a commerce-based search engine and a full-text search engine. The outputs of the search engine are combined as a search result from which a searchable database directory is created. The output is stored in a conventional database, e.g., DB2. A web client is coupled to the search system through a web server providing a search query to the rich media database and receiving an output from the search engine.


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