Elastic Enterprise Search 8.3: More ingestion options for searching across any dataset


The latest release of Elastic Enterprise Search brings to market enhancements to getting data into Elastic Enterprise Search. Depending on the type of content you are looking to index, there are a plethora of ways to ingest that content, from pre-built tools with seamless user interfaces to a fully-formed robust set of APIs to fine-tune how your content is structured once it is in Elastic. 

Elastic Enterprise Search 8.3 brings functionality for:

  • Creating new connectors that you can embed into your existing workplace search solutions using a new open code framework as well as additional first-party connectors to index data from various sources.
  • The ability to extract content from PDF documents with the Elastic Enterprise Search web crawler, providing the added benefit of indexing text in PDF files along with content from websites.
  • Building solutions that take advantage of JWT-based (JSON web token) authentication schemes
  • Keeping a a close eye on deployed search experiences with native Real User Monitoring (RUM) with Search UI

Elastic Enterprise Search 8.3 is available today via marketplaces for every major cloud provider and is the only hosted Elasticsearch offering to include all of the new features in this latest release. You can also download the Elastic Stack and our cloud orchestration products, Elastic Cloud Enterprise and Elastic Cloud for Kubernetes, for a self-managed experience.

Announcing the new Enterprise Search connector packages framework

To date, Elastic customers could use Workplace Search to aggregate data and content such as internal documents and provide the ability to search over that content in one singular place. Workplace Search currently has support for many of these third-party content sources as well as options to configure custom sources via an API. In 8.3, we are excited to announce the new Enterprise Search connector packages, which allow developers to build connectors to interface with content sources not currently provided by Workplace Search or to update existing content sources that already exist to satisfy their specific needs.

Follow the link to learn more about Enterprise Search connector packages.

Enterprise Search web crawler adds support for PDF and DOCX content ingestion

The Elastic Enterprise Search web crawler was introduced in 7.11, released in February 2021. The web crawler simplifies data ingestion for search applications, and since availability, has been used by Elastic customers to crawl thousands of websites and to ingest hundreds of thousands of searchable documents into their clusters.

The Elastic web crawler

As customers increase their use of the web crawler, we’ve seen a growing interest in the ability to ingest content within binary files on their website — specifically from Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) or Microsoft Word (.docx) format files embedded within the website. This would extend the simplicity and coverage offered by the web crawler to the file content, which is especially useful for sources like digital content libraries, technical briefs, and other document collections. 

In 8.3, the Enterprise Search web crawler supports ingestion of content within PDF and DOCX files. Customers can now use the web crawler to ingest file content alongside the broader web content, creating a comprehensive search index and delivering a holistic experience for their website search needs. PDF and DOCX content ingestion capability is currently in technical preview and will be generally available soon. 

More connectors added to the mix

To coincide with the connector framework announcement, we are also pleased to release a customizable connector for Confluence Cloud, written with the connector framework, which will help customers as they build compelling solutions that aggregate across multiple data sources. For more information about this new connector, read the public documentation.

Enhancements for Search UI

Elastic provides a free and open React component for building modern search interfaces called Search UI. Since the 8.2 release of Elastic Enterprise Search, three versions of Search UI (1.11, 1.12, 1.13) were released, with the following overall enhancements: 

JWT authentication support

With the 8.2 release of Elasticsearch, we added support for JWT authentication for Elasticsearch APIs. In 8.3, all the APIs for Enterprise Search, App Search, and Workplace Search support JWT authentication. This is exciting as it adds to our overall authentication story, partnering with existing support for LDAP, PKI and Active Directory authentication schemes.

Try it out

Existing Elastic Cloud customers can access many of these features directly from the Elastic Cloud console, which can be accessed from all major cloud providers marketplace. If you’re new to Elastic Cloud, take a look at our Quick Start guides (bite-sized training videos to get you started quickly) or our free fundamentals training courses. You can always get started for free with a 14-day trial of Elastic Cloud or download the self-managed version of the Elastic Stack for free.

Read about these capabilities and more in the 8.3 release notes, and other Elastic Stack highlights in the Elastic 8.3 announcement post.

The release and timing of any features or functionality described in this post remain at Elastic's sole discretion. Any features or functionality not currently available may not be delivered on time or at all.