What is the suitable Geoserver service for searching spatial-data by attribute value ?

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What is the suitable Geoserver service for searching spatial-data by attribute value ?

UTA
I plan to store my interest point in PostGIS or shape file.  I plan to public my data by Geoserver with WMP , WFS or any other services that Geoserver has.  I plan to use Openlayers to build the webpages.
I want to build the webpages that able to do the following functions.
  - search by the attribute value (names) of interest point and show the search results in the table.
  - get the search results to show location and the attribute value (names) in a webmap that google map or bing map is a basemap.
PS. I think http://www.geonames.org/ is like my webpage   .. and I am a beginner in webmap.

The question ?
1. What is the suitable service of Geoserver that should to use for this case ?
2. What is the primary class and function of Openlayers that I should to focus to use in this project ?