Extending NEST typesedit

Sometimes you might want to provide a custom implementation of a type, perhaps to work around an issue or because you’re using a third-party plugin that extends the features of Elasticsearch, and NEST does not provide support out of the box.

NEST allows extending its types in some scenarios, discussed here.

Creating your own property mappingedit

As an example, let’s imagine we’re using a third party plugin that provides support for additional data type for field mapping. We can implement a custom IProperty implementation so that we can use the field mapping type with NEST.

public class MyPluginProperty : IProperty
    IDictionary<string, object> IProperty.LocalMetadata { get; set; }
    IDictionary<string, string> IProperty.Meta { get; set; }
    public string Type { get; set; } = "my_plugin_property";
    public PropertyName Name { get; set; }

    public MyPluginProperty(string name, string language)
        this.Name = name;
        this.Language = language;
        this.Numeric = true;

    public string Language { get; set; }

    public bool Numeric { get; set; }

PropertyNameAttribute can be used to mark properties that should be serialized. Without this attribute, NEST won’t pick up the property for serialization.

Now that we have our own IProperty implementation we can add it to our properties mapping when creating an index

var createIndexResponse = client.Indices.Create("myindex", c => c
    .Map<Project>(m => m
        .Properties(props => props
            .Custom(new MyPluginProperty("fieldName", "dutch"))

which will serialize to the following JSON request

  "mappings": {
    "properties": {
      "fieldName": {
        "type": "my_plugin_property",
        "language": "dutch",
        "numeric": true

Whilst NEST can serialize our my_plugin_property, it does not know how to deserialize it; We plan to make this more pluggable in the future.