Elasticsearch Version

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Last Update: February 2020

Version in Elasticsearch


A version corresponds to the Elasticsearch built-in tracking system that tracks the changes in each document’s update. When a document is indexed for the first time, it is assigned a version 1 using _version key. When the same document gets a subsequent update, the _version is incremented by 1 with every index, update or delete API call.

What it is used for

A version is used to handle the concurrency issues in Elasticsearch which come into play during simultaneous accessing of an index by multiple users. Elasticsearch handles this issue with an optimistic locking concept using the _version parameter to avoid letting multiple users edit the same document at the same time and protects users from generating incorrect data.

Notes

You cannot see the history of the document using _version. That means Elasticsearch does not use _version to keep a track of original changes that had been performed on the document. For example, if a document has been updated 10 times, it’s _version would be marked by Elasticsearch as 11, but you cannot go back and see what version 5 of the document looked like. This has to be implemented independently.

Common Problems

If optimistic locking is not implemented while making updates to a document, Elasticsearch may return a conflict error with the 409 status code, which means that multiple users are trying to update the same version of the document at the same time.

POST /ratings/123?version=50
{
    "name": "Joker",
    "rating": 50
}

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