Must specify at least one field for order – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 7.16-8.9

Briefly, this error occurs when you’re trying to sort data in Elasticsearch but haven’t specified any field to sort by in the [order] clause. Elasticsearch requires at least one field to perform the sorting operation. To resolve this issue, you should specify a field in your [order] clause. For example, if you’re sorting a list of books, you might specify “title” or “author” as the field to sort by. If you’re sorting a list of users, you might specify “username” or “email”. Make sure the field you’re sorting by actually exists in your data.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Must specify at least one field for [order] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: search, aggregations.

Log Context

Log “Must specify at least one field for [order]” class name is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 } else {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Unexpected token [" + token + "] for [order]");
 if (orderKey == null) {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "Must specify at least one field for [order]");
 // _term and _time order deprecated in 6.0; replaced by _key
 if (parser.getRestApiVersion() == RestApiVersion.V_7 && ("_term".equals(orderKey) || "_time".equals(orderKey))) {


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