November 25, 2021

What is ElasticSearch?

Discovering the ideal search engine for speed and scalability

What is ElasticSearch

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is a distributed, free and open search and analysis engine for all types of data, including textual, numeric, geospatial, structured and unstructured. Elasticsearch is based on Apache Lucene and was first released in 2010 by Elasticsearch NV (now known as Elastic).

Known for its simple REST API, the distributed nature, speed and scalability, Elasticsearch is the core component of Elastic Stack, a free and open set of tools for data acquisition, enrichment, archiving, analysis and visualization. Commonly referred to as ELK Stack (after Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana), Elastic Stack now includes a rich collection of light shippers known as Beats for submitting data to Elasticsearch.

It is designed to handle large volumes of data efficiently and deliver high-quality search results quickly. Elasticsearch uses a schema-free approach to data management, which means you don't need to explicitly define a schema for your data before you can load and analyze it.

The heart of Elasticsearch is a cluster of nodes, each of which manages a set of indexes. Indexes are data structures that contain documents and information about how they are stored and analyzed. Documents within an index can be searched, filtered and analyzed using advanced find requests.

Elasticsearch offers a variety of search capabilities, including the ability to perform full-text searches, searches based on specific fields, filtering, faceting, and aggregations. In addition, it also offers data analysis features, such as term analysis, bigram analysis, and cluster analysis.

Elasticsearch is designed to scale out and supports deployment across multiple nodes to handle large volumes of data. It also offers a variety of replication and recovery options to ensure data availability and integrity.

Elasticsearch can be used to search for any type of document and provides a scalable, near real-time search system with support for multitenancy.[5] “Elasticsearch is distributed; this means that the indices can be divided into shard, each with the possibility of replication. Each node contains one or more shards, and is able to act as a coordinator, delegating the necessary operations to the correct shard (or shards). Routing and rebalancing are done automatically

What is Elasticsearch used for?

Elasticsearch's impressive speed and scalability and its ability to index many types of content mean it can be used for a variety of use cases:

  • Search for applications
  • Search the website
  • Corporate research
  • Registration and analysis of logs
  • Infrastructure metrics and container monitoring
  • Application performance monitoring
  • Analysis and visualization of geospatial data
  • Security analysis
  • Business analysis

How does Elasticsearch work?

Raw data flows into Elasticsearch from a variety of sources, including logs, system metrics, and web applications. THE Data acquisition is the process by which this raw data is analyzed, normalized and enriched before it is indexed in Elasticsearch. Once indexed in Elasticsearch, users can perform complex queries on their data and use aggregations to retrieve complex summaries of their data. From Kibana, users can create powerful views of their data, share dashboards, and manage Elastic Stack.

What is an Elasticsearch index?

Un index Elasticsearch is a collection of related documents. Elasticsearch stores data as JSON documents. Each document relates a set of keys (field or property names) with their corresponding values ​​(strings, numbers, booleans, dates, arrays of values , geolocations or other types of data).

Elasticsearch uses a data structure called inverted index , designed to allow very fast full-text searches. An inverted index lists each unique word that appears in any document and identifies all documents in which each word occurs.

During the indexing process, Elasticsearch archives documents and creates an inverted index to make the document data searchable in near real time. Indexing is initiated with the index API, through which you can add or update a JSON document in a specific index.

Why use Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is fast. Since Elasticsearch is based on Lucene, it excels at full-text search. Elasticsearch is also a near real-time search platform, which means that the latency from the time a document is indexed until it becomes searchable is very short, typically a second. Consequently, Elasticsearch is suitable for time-sensitive use cases such as security analysis and infrastructure monitoring.

Elasticsearch is distributed by nature. Documents stored in Elasticsearch are spread across several containers known as shard , which are duplicated to provide redundant copies of data in the event of a hardware failure. The distributed nature of Elasticsearch allows you to scale up to hundreds (or even thousands) of servers and manage petabytes of data.

Elasticsearch comes with a wealth of features. In addition to its speed, scalability and resilience, Elasticsearch has a number of powerful built-in features that make data storage and search even more efficient, such as data rollups and index lifecycle management.

Elastic Stack makes it easy to capture, view and report data. Integration with Beats and Logstash simplifies data processing before indexing in Elasticsearch. And Kibana provides real-time visualization of Elasticsearch data and user interfaces to quickly access application performance monitoring (APM), logs and infrastructure metrics data.

What programming languages ​​does Elasticsearch support?

Elasticsearch supports a variety of languages ​​and the official clients are available for:

  • Java
  • JavaScript (Node.js)
  • Go
  • .NET (C #)
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby

Elasticsearch and the main CMS.

Using Elasticsearch in content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop and Joomla can offer a number of benefits and advantages.

First, Elasticsearch can significantly improve site search performance. Using Lucene's search algorithm, Elasticsearch is able to provide fast and accurate search results, even for large volumes of data. Additionally, Elasticsearch supports full-text search, filtering, faceting, and aggregations, which can be used to provide an enhanced search experience for site users.

Second, Elasticsearch can improve site analytics. With its term analysis, bigram analysis, and cluster analysis capabilities, Elasticsearch can provide a deeper understanding of site data, which can be used to improve SEO, content optimization, and ad personalization.

Third, Elasticsearch can improve site scalability. As a distributed search and analytics system, Elasticsearch can easily scale out to handle large volumes of data. It also supports replication and recovery options to ensure data availability and integrity.

Fourthly, the integration of Elasticsearch with the most well-known CMSs such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop and Joomla can be easily done through plugins or modules. This means that you don't need to significantly change your site's existing code to implement Elasticsearch.

Integrate Elasticsearch into WordPress

The integration of Elasticsearch in WordPress can be done using a dedicated plugin. There are several options available for integrating Elasticsearch into WordPress, including the following popular plugins:

  1. ElasticPress – is a powerful and easy to use search plugin that uses Elasticsearch to dramatically improve site search performance. It offers advanced features such as full-text search, filtering, faceting and aggregations, as well as the ability to create custom indexes. https://wordpress.org/plugins/elasticpress/
    We talked about it quite in detail in this post: ElasticSearch Hosting. WordPress hosting with ElasticPress
  2. Elasticsearch for WordPress: This plugin offers simple and efficient integration between WordPress and Elasticsearch. Include an Elasticsearch search engine in WordPress, with advanced configuration options for indexing content and customizing search results. https://wordpress.org/plugins/elasticsearch-for-wordpress/
  3. Elasticsearch Reindex: This plugin allows you to create and manage Elasticsearch indexes for site content, as well as perform content re-indexing efficiently. https://wordpress.org/plugins/elasticsearch-reindex/
  4. Advanced Elasticsearch: This plugin offers advanced integration between WordPress and Elasticsearch, with features like creating custom indexes, managing search fields, customizing search results, and support for post, page, and post type search. custom posts. https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-elasticsearch/
  5. Elasticsearch WP Query: This plugin allows you to use Elasticsearch as a search engine for WordPress queries, with advanced configuration options for indexing content and customizing search results. https://wordpress.org/plugins/elasticsearch-wp-query/

Integrate Elasticsearch into WooCommerce for shop searches

To integrate Elasticsearch into WooCommerce, you need to install a plugin that provides this functionality. There are several options available, including free and premium plugins.

List of WooCommerce plugins for Elasticsearch integration:

  1. ElasticPress – https://wordpress.org/plugins/elasticpress/ – This free plugin provides basic Elasticsearch integration for WooCommerce, with advanced search functionality and site speed improvement.
  2. WP Elasticsearch – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-elasticsearch/ – This free plugin allows you to use Elasticsearch as a search engine for your WooCommerce site, offering a more precise and faster search.
  3. ES Manager – https://wordpress.org/plugins/es-manager/ – This free plugin allows you to easily manage the Elasticsearch index for your WooCommerce site, with advanced options for customizing your search.
  4. WP SOLR – https://www.wpsolr.com/ – This premium plugin allows you to use the power of Elasticsearch to search large catalogs of WooCommerce products, offering advanced features such as faceted search, suggestion search and personalization of search results.

Elasticsearch support for searching large catalogs of WooCommerce products:

Using Elasticsearch to search large WooCommerce product catalogs can significantly improve the speed and accuracy of your search results. Elasticsearch is a highly scalable open source search engine, which can handle large amounts of data and deliver search results in real time.

The WP SOLR plugin is a great choice to use Elasticsearch to search large catalogs of WooCommerce products. It offers a number of advanced features, such as faceted search, search suggestions, and personalization of search results, that can help improve user experience and increase conversions. In addition, you can use the "boosting" feature to prioritize the most important or discounted products in the search results.

Integrate Elasticsearch into Magento

The integration of Elasticsearch in Magento 2 can be done in two ways: through the use of add-on modules or by using the native features of Magento 2.

  1. Using add-ons: There are several extensions available for integrating Elasticsearch into Magento 2, including:
  1. Using Magento 2 Native Features: Magento 2 natively supports Elasticsearch without using any additional modules. Starting from version 2.3, it is possible to configure Elasticsearch as search engine for Magento 2 site using system configuration features. To use Elasticsearch in Magento 2 without using additional modules, you need to have an Elasticsearch instance installed.

Unless you have specific needs, one of our recommendations is to use the native ElasticSearch integration and support features in Magento 2.

Integrate Elasticsearch into Joomla

The integration of Elasticsearch in Joomla can be done using a dedicated plugin. There are several options available for integrating Elasticsearch into Joomla, including the following popular plugins:

  1. Elasticsearch for Joomla: This plugin offers complete integration between Joomla and Elasticsearch, with advanced features such as full-text search, filtering, faceting and aggregations. In addition, it also includes advanced configuration options for indexing content and personalizing search results. https://extensions.joomla.org/extension/elasticsearch-for-joomla/
  2. Joomla Elasticsearch: This plugin offers a simple and efficient integration between Joomla and Elasticsearch, allowing you to use Elasticsearch as the search engine for your Joomla site, with advanced configuration options for indexing content and customizing search results. https://extensions.joomla.org/extension/joomla-elasticsearch/
  3. Elasticsearch for Smart Search: This plugin allows you to use Elasticsearch as the search engine for the search functionality of Joomla Smart Search, with advanced configuration options for content indexing and personalization of search results. https://extensions.joomla.org/extension/elasticsearch-for-smart-search/
  4. Advanced Elasticsearch: This plugin offers advanced integration between Joomla and Elasticsearch, with features such as creating custom indexes, managing search fields, personalizing search results, and supporting searching for articles, categories and types of personalized content. https://extensions.joomla.org/extension/advanced-elasticsearch/

To use these plugins it is necessary to have an Elasticsearch instance running and to know the server address, furthermore to configure these plugins in the best possible way it may be necessary to have advanced technical skills.

Integrate Elasticsearch into Drupal

The integration of Elasticsearch into Drupal can be done using a dedicated module. There are several options available for integrating Elasticsearch into Drupal, including the following popular modules:

  1. Elasticsearch Connector: This module provides full integration between Elasticsearch and Drupal, allowing you to use Elasticsearch as the search engine for your Drupal site, with advanced configuration options for indexing content and customizing search results. https://www.drupal.org/project/elasticsearch_connector
  2. Search API Elasticsearch: This module allows you to use Elasticsearch as a search engine for Drupal's basic search module, Search API, with advanced features like full-text search, filtering, and facets. https://www.drupal.org/project/search_api_elasticsearch
  3. Elasticsearch integration: This module provides simple and efficient integration between Elasticsearch and Drupal, allowing you to use Elasticsearch as the search engine for your Drupal site, with advanced configuration options for indexing content and personalizing search results. https://www.drupal.org/project/elasticsearch_integration

As in all other cases previously described it is obvious that you will need to have an Elasticsearch instance installed.

ElasticSearch Consulting and Implementation

Our company offers consulting services and implementation of Elasticsearch solutions to help our customers improve their data research and analysis. With years of experience using Elasticsearch, we are able to provide a wide range of services, from basic configuration to advanced performance optimization. We are experts in using Elasticsearch for researching large product catalogs, building analytical dashboards, and building custom solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers. We believe that with our consulting and implementation services, our clients can take full advantage of Elasticsearch's powerful features and improve their business.

ElasticSearch hosting

The servers managed by ManagedServer.it guarantee a flexible Elasticsearch hosting experience that adds great value to all your projects. Let your users experience the full potential of your Elasticsearch-based website.

Our company stands out for offering a unique and unparalleled service: the free installation of Elasticsearch instances on all Dedicated Servers, at no extra cost! We are proud to offer this opportunity to our customers, regardless of the hardware characteristics of their servers.

This means that our customers can benefit from the power of Elasticsearch without incurring additional costs for installation and configuration. Unlike other hosting providers who charge high fees for this type of service, we offer it for free, because we believe that all our customers should have access to the best technologies without any restrictions. We pride ourselves on delivering an unmatched experience to our customers and supporting them in their growth and development.

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