Elasticsearch theory

Indexes and types

Elasticsearch stores documents in an index allowing you to search them. The index is a container for documents. You can have multiple indexes in your cluster of Elasticsearch nodes.

Documents are typed. A type has a list of fields that are in the documents of that type. ElasticUtils calls this a “mapping type” or a “doc type” since the word “type” is somewhat ambiguous depending on the context.

See also

Elasticsearch explanation of indexes
Elasticsearch explanation of mappings
Elasticsearch explanation of types

Queries vs. filters

A search can contain queries and filters. The two things are very different.

A filter determines whether a document is in the results set or not. It doesn’t affect scores. If you do a term filter on whether field foo has value bar, then the result set ONLY has documents where foo has value bar. Filters are fast and filter results are cached in Elasticsearch when appropriate. Use filters when you can.

A query affects the score for a document. If you do a term query on whether field foo has value bar, then the result set will score documents where the query holds true higher than documents where the query does not hold true. Queries are slower than filters and query results are not cached in Elasticsearch.

The other place where this affects things is when you specify facets. See Facets for details.

See also

Elasticsearch Filters and Caching notes