Modifying the default connectionedit

The client abstracts sending the request and creating a response behind IConnection and the default implementation uses

The reason for different implementations is that WebRequest and ServicePoint are not directly available on netstandard 1.3.

The Desktop CLR implementation using WebRequest is the most mature implementation, having been tried and trusted in production since the beginning of NEST. For this reason, we aren’t quite ready to it give up in favour of a HttpClient implementation across all CLR versions.

In addition to production usage, there are also a couple of important toggles that are easy to set against a ServicePoint that are not possible to set as yet on HttpClient.

Finally, another limitation is that HttpClient has no synchronous code paths, so supporting these means doing hacky async patches which definitely need time to bake.

So why would you ever want to pass your own IConnection? Let’s look at a couple of examples

Using InMemoryConnectionedit

InMemoryConnection is an in-built IConnection that makes it easy to write unit tests against. It can be configured to respond with default response bytes, HTTP status code and an exception when a call is made.

InMemoryConnection doesn’t actually send any requests or receive any responses from Elasticsearch; requests are still serialized and the request bytes can be obtained on the response if .DisableDirectStreaming is set to true on the request or globally

var connection = new InMemoryConnection();
var connectionPool = new SingleNodeConnectionPool(new Uri("http://localhost:9200"));
var settings = new ConnectionSettings(connectionPool, connection);
var client = new ElasticClient(settings);

Here we create a new ConnectionSettings by using the overload that takes a IConnectionPool and an IConnection. We pass it an InMemoryConnection which, using the default parameterless constructor, will return 200 for everything and never actually perform any IO.

Let’s see a more complex example

var response = new
    took = 1,
    timed_out = false,
    _shards = new
        total = 2,
        successful = 2,
        failed = 0
    hits = new
        total = 25,
        max_score = 1.0,
        hits = Enumerable.Range(1, 25).Select(i => (object)new
            _index = "project",
            _type = "project",
            _id = $"Project {i}",
            _score = 1.0,
            _source = new { name = $"Project {i}" }

var responseBytes = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(JsonConvert.SerializeObject(response));
var connection = new InMemoryConnection(responseBytes, 200); 
var connectionPool = new SingleNodeConnectionPool(new Uri("http://localhost:9200"));
var settings = new ConnectionSettings(connectionPool, connection).DefaultIndex("project");
var client = new ElasticClient(settings);

var searchResponse = client.Search<Project>(s => s.MatchAll());

InMemoryConnection is configured to always return responseBytes along with a 200 HTTP status code

We can now assert that the searchResponse is valid and contains documents deserialized from our fixed InMemoryConnection response


Changing HttpConnectionedit

There may be a need to change how the default HttpConnection works, for example, to add an X509 certificate to the request, change the maximum number of connections allowed to an endpoint, etc.

By deriving from HttpConnection, it is possible to change the behaviour of the connection. The following provides some examples

Kerberos Authenticationedit

For a lot of use cases, deriving from HttpConnection is a great way to customize the connection for your needs. If you want to authenticate with Kerberos for example, creating a custom HttpConnection as follows allows you to set the right HTTP headers

use something like to fill in the actual blanks of this implementation

public class KerberosConnection : HttpConnection
    protected override HttpRequestMessage CreateRequestMessage(RequestData requestData)
        var message = base.CreateRequestMessage(requestData);
        var header = string.Empty;
        message.Headers.Authorization = new AuthenticationHeaderValue("Negotiate", header);
        return message;