The Java High Level REST Client requires Java 1.8 and depends on the Elasticsearch core project. The client version is the same as the Elasticsearch version that the client was developed for. It accepts the same request arguments as the TransportClient and returns the same response objects. See the Migration Guide if you need to migrate an application from TransportClient to the new REST client.

The High Level Client is guaranteed to be able to communicate with any Elasticsearch node running on the same major version and greater or equal minor version. It doesn’t need to be in the same minor version as the Elasticsearch nodes it communicates with, as it is forward compatible meaning that it supports communicating with later versions of Elasticsearch than the one it was developed for.

The 5.6 client can communicate with any 5.6.x Elasticsearch node. Previous 5.x minor versions like 5.5.x, 5.4.x etc. are not (fully) supported.

The 6.0 client is able to communicate with any 6.x Elasticsearch node while the 6.1 client is for sure able to communicate with 6.1, 6.2 and any later 6.x version, but there may be incompatibility issues when communicating with a previous Elasticsearch node version, for instance between 6.1 and 6.0, in case the 6.1 client supports new request body fields for some APIs that are not known by the 6.0 node(s).

It is recommended to upgrade the High Level Client when upgrading the Elasticsearch cluster to a new major version, as REST API breaking changes may cause unexpected results depending on the node that is hit by the request, and newly added APIs will only be supported by the newer version of the client. The client should always be updated last, once all of the nodes in the cluster have been upgraded to the new major version.