Selecting Fields in Elasticsearch – Controlling the Response

Elasticsearch Fields Techhyme

When querying data in Elasticsearch, you often want to retrieve specific fields from your documents rather than the entire document. Elasticsearch provides a convenient way to do this using the `fields` array in the request body.

By defining the fields you want to include in the response, you can optimize your data retrieval and reduce the amount of unnecessary information.

Choosing Fields to Return

Elasticsearch allows you to specify which fields you want to retrieve in your query response. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Field Storage: You can only return fields that are marked as stored in the mappings used to create the index. Alternatively, you can use the `_source` field to access stored values. Elasticsearch uses the `_source` field to provide stored data for documents.

2. Query Example: For instance, if you want to retrieve only the “title” and “year” fields in the results for documents with the term “crime” in the “title” field, your query would look like this:

  "fields" : [ "title", "year" ],
  "query" : {
    "term" : { "title" : "crime" }

3. Query Response: The response from Elasticsearch would include only the specified fields:

  "took" : 2,
  "timed_out" : false,
  "_shards" : {
    "total" : 5,
    "successful" : 5,
    "failed" : 0
  "hits" : {
    "total" : 1,
    "max_score" : 0.19178301,
    "hits" : [ {
      "_index" : "library",
      "_type" : "book",
      "_id" : "4",
      "_score" : 0.19178301,
      "fields" : {
        "title" : "Crime and Punishment",
        "year" : 1886
    } ]

Important Details to Note

Here are some crucial points to remember when working with field selection in Elasticsearch:

  1. Default Behavior: If you do not explicitly define the `fields` array, Elasticsearch will use the default behavior and return the `_source` field if available.
  2. Using `_source` Field: If you use the `_source` field and request a field that is not explicitly stored, Elasticsearch will extract that field from the `_source` field. However, this extraction process requires additional processing, which can impact performance.
  3. Returning All Stored Fields: If you want to return all stored fields for a document, you can use an asterisk `*` as the field name. This is a convenient way to retrieve all available information.

Controlling the fields you retrieve in Elasticsearch queries not only improves query performance but also helps reduce the amount of data transferred, making your application more efficient and responsive. By understanding these field selection options, you can fine-tune your Elasticsearch queries to meet your specific needs and optimize data retrieval.

You may also like:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply