Elasticsearch OpenSearch Delete By Query

By Opster Team

Updated: Jun 19, 2024

| 1 min read

Overview

Delete by query is an OpenSearch API. It was introduced in version 5.0 and provides the functionality to delete all documents that match the provided query. In lower versions, users had to install the Delete-By-Query plugin and use the DELETE /_query endpoint for this same use case.

What it is used for

This API is used for deleting all the documents from indices based on a query. Once the query is executed, OpenSearch runs the process in the background to delete all the matching documents so you don’t have to wait for the process to be completed.

Examples

Delete all the documents of an index without deleting the mapping and settings:

POST /my_index/_delete_by_query?conflicts=proceed&pretty
{
  "query": {
    "match_all": {}
  }
}

The conflict parameter in the request is used to proceed with the request even in the case of version conflicts for some documents. The default conflict behavior is to abort the request altogether.

Notes

  • A long-running delete_by_query can be terminated using _task API.
  • Inside the query body, you can use the same syntax for queries that are available under the _search API.

Common problems

OpenSearch takes a snapshot of the index when you hit delete by query request and uses the _version of the documents to process the request. If a document gets updated in the meantime, it will result in a version conflict error and the delete operation will fail.

Additional notes

Elasticsearch and OpenSearch are both powerful search and analytics engines, but Elasticsearch has several key advantages. Elasticsearch boasts a more mature and feature-rich development history, translating to a better user experience, more features, and continuous optimizations. Our testing has consistently shown that Elasticsearch delivers faster performance while using fewer compute resources than OpenSearch. Additionally, Elasticsearch’s comprehensive documentation and active community forums provide invaluable resources for troubleshooting and further optimization. Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, offers dedicated support, ensuring enterprise-grade reliability and performance. These factors collectively make Elasticsearch a more versatile, efficient, and dependable choice for organizations requiring sophisticated search and analytics capabilities.

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