Get started with the serverless PHP client

Set up and use the PHP client for serverless Elasticsearch.

This page guides you through the installation process of the PHP client for serverless Elasticsearch, shows you how to initialize the client, and how to perform basic Elasticsearch operations with it.


  • PHP 8.0 or higher installed on your system.


Using the command line

You can install the PHP client using composer with the following commands:

composer require elastic/elasticsearch-serverless

Initialize the client

Initialize the client using your API key and Elasticsearch Endpoint:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

use Elastic\Elasticsearch\Serverless\ClientBuilder;

$client = ClientBuilder::create()

To get API keys or the Elasticsearch Endpoint for a project, see Get started.

Using the API

After you've initialized the client, you can start ingesting documents. You can use the bulk API for this. This API enables you to index, update, and delete several documents in one request.

Creating an index and ingesting documents

You can call the bulk API with a body parameter, an array of actions (index) and documents.

The following is an example of indexing some classic books into the books index:

$body = [
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "Snow Crash", "author" => "Neal Stephenson", "release_date" => "1992-06-01", "page_count" => 470],
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "Revelation Space", "author" => "Alastair Reynolds", "release_date" => "2000-03-15", "page_count" => 585],
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "1984", "author" => "George Orwell", "release_date" => "1949-06-08", "page_count" => 328],
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "Fahrenheit 451", "author" => "Ray Bradbury", "release_date" => "1953-10-15", "page_count" => 227],
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "Brave New World", "author" => "Aldous Huxley", "release_date" => "1932-06-01", "page_count" => 268],
    [ "index" => [ "_index" => "books" ]],
    [ "name" => "The Handmaid's Tale", "author" => "Margaret Atwood", "release_date" => "1985-06-01", "page_count" => 311]

$response = $client->bulk(body: $body);
# You can check the response if the items are indexed and have an ID

When you use the client to make a request to Elasticsearch, it returns an API response object. This object implements the PSR-7 interface, that means you can check the for the HTTP status using the following method:


or get the HTTP response headers using the following:


or reading the HTTP response body as follows:

# or using the asString() dedicated method

The response body can be accessed as associative array or as object.

var_dump($response['items']); # associative array
var_dump($response->items);   # object

There are also methods to render the response as array, object, string and boolean values.

var_dump($response->asArray());  // response body content as array
var_dump($response->asObject()); // response body content as object
var_dump($response->asString()); // response body as string (JSON)
var_dump($response->asBool());   // true if HTTP response code between 200 and 300

Getting documents

You can get documents by using the following code:

$response = $client->get(index: "books", id: $id);


You can search your documents using the search API:

# Search for all the books written by Ray Bradbury
$query = [ 'query' => [ 'match' => [ 'author' => 'Ray Bradbury' ]]];
$response = $client->search(index: "books", body: $query);

printf("Documents found: %d\n", $response['hits']['total']['value']); # total documents found
print_r($response['hits']['hits']); # list of books

For more information about the search API's query parameters and the response type, refer to the Search API docs.

Updating documents

You can call the update API to update a document:

$id = '<insert the document ID>';
# update the "page_count" value to 300
$body = [ "doc" => [ "page_count" => 300 ]];
$response = $client->update(index: "books", id: $id, body: $body);
printf("Operation result: %s\n", $response['result']); # You get 'updated' as a result.

Deleting documents

You can call the delete API to delete a document:

$id = '<insert the document ID>';
$response = $client->delete(index: "books", id: $id);
printf("Operation result: %s\n", $response['result']); # You get "deleted" a as result.

Deleting an index

You can delete an entire index as follows:

$response = $client->indices()->delete(index: "books");
if ($response['acknowledged']) {
    print("Index successfully removed!");

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