Elasticsearch 5.4.2 comes to Compose


TL;DR: Elasticsearch 5.4.2 is now available on Compose. Elasticsearch 2 users can upgrade to 5.4.2 right away.

Today, we're coming right up to date with Compose Elasticsearch as we are pleased to announce the availability of Elasticsearch 5.4.2 on Compose. Elasticsearch was the second database on the Compose platform after MongoDB and it has proven critically useful to many Compose users as an essential database for information mining, text search and log analysis. The 5.x series of Elasticsearch has seen many, many improvements. We've been tracking it since its release and testing for a good fit with the Compose Platform.

sidenote-right Before you ask, it's not a massive jump from Elasticsearch 2.4 to 5.x; the developers skipped versions 3 and 4 in a grand unification of their various products version numbers.

Today, we're happy to say Compose users will now be able to deploy Elasticsearch 5.4.2, migrate their 2.x data to a 5.4.2 database and migrate their applications.

What's changed with Compose Elasticsearch?

Nothing. We're still providing the same great Elasticsearch experience, with automated backups, managed clusters, auto-scaling storage and RAM and a quick and easy to use web-based user interface. What has changed is the Elasticsearch database underneath...

What's new in Elasticsearch 5.4.2

5.0: The Elasticsearch 5.0 release brought improved indexing, ingest nodes, new data structures like Points and half_float, smart range queries and new relevance calculations, a new completion suggestor and a faster percolator. 5.0 made a big change in that the string field type split into text for analyzed text and keyword for string identifiers.

The previously heavily limited scripting options also got a boost with the return of sandboxed scripting using Elastic's scripting language, Painless. Setting the tone for future changes, the 5.0 release turned on deprecation logging by default to warn about features scheduled to go away or be replaced.

5.1: The release of Elasticsearch 5.1.1 saw more work preparing to remove the _all field from searches. In this case, the addition of an all_fields mode for queries. There were also Painless enhancements like null-safe dereferences with defaults and negative array offsets.

5.2: Within two months, that was followed by Elasticsearch 5.2.0. The big enhancement there was Numeric and Date Range field types allowing continuous sequences of values to be represented. The new keyword fields also got their own style of analyzer - normalizers - to help iron out differences in keywords.

5.3: Another two months passed and Elasticsearch 5.3.0 followed with cross-cluster search, the unification of the various highlighting methods and field collapsing.

5.4: Which brings us to May's release of Elasticsearch 5.4.0. This brought better search result management, new multi-word filters, and optimizations for query execution such as more query paths for range evaluation.

What's changed in 5.4.2

While the Elasticsearch technology is essentially the same, the jump to 5.x meant that Elastic, developers of Elasticsearch, could bring in some major changes in the Elasticsearch infrastructure.

Most noticeable to users will probably be the lack of support for site plugins. Tools like "Head" and "Kopf" which could previously be loaded from the Elasticsearch server, now need to be hosted away from the Elasticsearch server, in a similar fashion to how Kibana can be run.

Talking of Kibana, Kibana 5.4.2 has a number of enhancements. Kibana version numbers are now in sync with the Elasticsearch versions so you'll need to use the right version with Elasticsearch. Kibana is now available as a Compose add-on. If you use Kibana, either as an add-on or locally, there's now a developer console integrated with auto-completion support for building REST queries. Also, if you rely on particular plugins, note that they have restructured and renamed too.


Existing Elasticsearch 2.x users can upgrade by using our "backup and restore to a new deployment" capability. With this big a change, we recommend it as it will allow your current 2.x databases to continue running whilst you evaluate 5.4.2 with your applications and make any changes. Consult the new Upgrading and Migration Guide in the help for more details on how to do this.

If you have any feedback about this or any other Compose article, drop the Compose Articles team a line at articles@compose.com. We're happy to hear from you.

attribution Tim De Groot

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan was Compose's resident Content Curator, and has been both a developer and writer since Apples came in II flavors and Commodores had Pets. Love this article? Head over to Dj Walker-Morgan’s author page to keep reading.

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