Apple has released a Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Sherlock 3, its Web-searching application.

Everything required to develop a channel is provided in the Sherlock 3 Channel SDK, which is a 572KB download.

Sherlock channels provide a way to organize search results in a more intuitive and useful way, by providing a front-end interface for a Web-based search engine or other information database, Apple says.

However, unlike most browser-based searches, Sherlock channels have full control over how results are displayed, and can take full advantage of the Aqua interface of Mac OS X.

The SDK includes technical documentation, a sample channel, a Project Builder template, and an Interface Builder Sherlock palette.

Sherlock 3 can retrieve and display stock news, movie previews, locations and show times, Yellow Pages listings, and eBay auction activity.

Beginning with Mac OS X version 10.2, Sherlock uses a powerful new model for channels that gives developers much more flexibility in how their data is displayed, Apple claims.