Why We Wrote This Book

We wrote this book because Elasticsearch needs a narrative. The existing reference documentation is excellent—​as long as you know what you are looking for. It assumes that you are intimately familiar with information-retrieval concepts, distributed systems, the query DSL, and a host of other topics.

This book makes no such assumptions. It has been written so that a complete beginner—​to both search and distributed systems—​can pick it up and start building a prototype within a few chapters.

We have taken a problem-based approach: this is the problem, how do I solve it, and what are the trade-offs of the alternative solutions? We start with the basics, and each chapter builds on the preceding ones, providing practical examples and explaining the theory where necessary.

The existing reference documentation explains how to use features. We want this book to explain why and when to use various features.