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Slapd seach process

I am trying to understand the slapd search process such that I can 
experimentally fix the message returned by slapd at design time. At which 
point does the frontend search.c pass proceedings to the backends? 

In particular how does the client-side LDAPMessage structure compare to the 
server-side SlapReply structure?

I have been trying to follow this code taken from line 398 of 
servers/slapd/search.c in version 2.2.13

	/* actually do the search and send the result(s) */
	if ( op->o_bd->be_search && limits_check( op, rs ) == 0 ) {
		(op->o_bd->be_search)( op, rs );
	} else {
		send_ldap_error( op, rs, LDAP_UNWILLING_TO_PERFORM,
			"operation not supported within namingContext" );