Elasticsearch for Beginners

In this tutorial, we will learn how to create index, mappings, save, retrieve, update, delete data in Elasticsearch.

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is an open-source, distributed, full-text search and analytics engine. Elasticsearch is built on Apache Lucene Library and is developed in Java. The first version of Elasticsearch was released in 2010.

What is Elasticsearch used for?

Elasticsearch is used for log analytics, application performance monitoring, geospatial data analysis and visualization, business analysis, security analysis, etc.

Why use Elasticsearch?

Data retrieval from relational databases are comparatively slow when it comes to large data. Elasticsearch is fast and scalable. One of the main reasons for using Elasticsearch is that it promotes quick retrieval of data.

Elastic Stack

Elasticsearch is one of the components of Elastic Stack. Elastic Stack also known as ELK Stack (Elasticsearch Logstash Kibana) is a set of open source tools for data ingestion, storage, analysis and visualization.

Logstash is a free tool that can be used for ingesting data into the Elasticsearch.

Kibana is a free tool that sits on top of the Elastic Stack. It provides search and data visualization capabilities for data indexed in Elasticsearch.

Follow the steps below to complete this tutorial:

Download and Run Elasticsearch and Kibana

  1. Download Elasticsearch and Kibana here.
  2. To run Elasticsearch, do as follows:
    • Unzip the Elasticsearch bundle.
    • Open your terminal and navigate inside the Elasticsearch folder.
    • Run bin/elasticsearch to start Elasticsearch.
    • You can invoke the Elasticsearch REST APIs at http://localhost:9200.
  3. To run Kibana, do as follows:
    • Unzip the Kibana bundle.
    • Open your terminal and navigate inside the Kibana folder.
    • Run bin/kibana to start Kibana.
    • Open http://localhost:5601 at your browser.

Create Index in Elasticsearch

An Elasticsearch index is a collecton of documents with related data. In other words, an index is a table of a database. In Elasticsearch, data are stored as JSON documents.

Index mapping is the process of defining a document with fields. Each document is a collection of fields having their own data type.

To create an Elasticsearch index with mappings, do the following:

  1. Open Kibana tool in your browser at http://localhost:5601.
  2. On the Kibana home page, choose Explore on my own.
  3. Choose Dev tools. Refer to the image below:
  4. Elasticsearch tutorial Kibana
  5. Copy the following to the Dev tool Console and Click on the Run button:
  6. Note: Once index is created, we cannot change the type of a field. To change the type of a field, we need to delete the existing index and create a new one.

PUT /user
  "settings": {
    "number_of_shards": 10,
    "number_of_replicas": 2
  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "first_name": {
        "type": "text",
        "store": true
      "last_name": {
        "type": "text",
        "store": true
      "balance": {
        "type": "double"
      "age": {
        "type": "integer"
      "location": {
        "type": "geo_point"
      "is_active": {
        "type": "boolean"
      "create_date": {
        "type": "date",
        "format": "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ssZZZZZ"

Refer to the image below for example:

Elasticsearch tutorial Kibana

Add Data to index in Elasticsearch

To add data to your Elasticsearch index, send POST request with body as shown below:

POST user/_doc/1
  "first_name": "Danny",
  "last_name": "Test",
  "balance": "2066643.27",
  "location": {
    "lat": 41.12,
    "lon": -71.34
  "is_active": false,
  "create_date": "2021-05-07 14:11:44+00:00"

Retrieve Data from index in Elasticsearch

To retrieve data all data, make GET request as shown below:

GET user/_search

To retrieve data by id, make GET request as shown below:

GET user/_search?q=_id:1

To retrieve data by balance having value 0 to 3000000 value, make GET request as shown below:

GET user/_search?q=balance:["0" TO "3000000"]

To retrieve data by date range value, make GET request as shown below:

GET user/_search?q=create_date["2021-05-03" TO *]

Delete index in Elasticsearch

To delete index in Elasticsearch, make DELETE request as shown below: