Guide How To Add Documents To An Index In Elasticsearch


Elasticsearch is a superb platform for searching and indexing large amounts of data in real time. Setting up the service and configuring compatible tools to enhance its function is a great way to get even more benefit from it. However, there may be a document that you wish to make a part of this searchable index. This tutorial shows how to add new documents to an index in the service with relative ease.

NOTE: Mapping Types are being depreciated and will be completely removed by Elastic Stack 8.0.

  • Either __use a custom _type field in your index, or have each document type have its own index__.

  • An example using “cars” would be to give each car “make” its own index (e.g. create an index called “toyota”, and another index for “porsche”, and so on).

  • To create your own custom _type field you can create a mapping that looks something like this:


>”mapping defines how a document is indexed and how its fields are indexed and stored”


  • You need the Elastic Stack installed and running properly on your machine or server.

  • This article uses examples in Kibana’s UI console. The default port that Kibana runs on is 5601. Unless you’ve changed the default port in the kibana.yml config file, just navigate to https://{YOUR_DOMAIN}:5601 to open Kibana in your browser.

  • You should have an index created already. If not, this article includes a basic example of how to create one and the mapping for it.

  • Make sure Elasticsearch has been correctly installed and navigate to this URL in your browser:


Access Kibana’s Console

  • If the Kibana UI won’t load, because localhost:5601 refuses to connect, you can try changing the port in the kibana.yml file.
  • If there’s still a port conflict, or some other issue, even after changing your port and/or domain, and after restarting the Kibana service, you can also try changing your localhost configuration in the /etc/host file.
  • You can navigate to https://{YOUR_DOMAIN}:5601/app/kibana#/dev_tools/console

  • You can also access Kibana’s Console by clicking on Dev Tools on the left menu panel.

  • The Kibana Console interface is divided into two panels—the left pane is where the requests are written, and the right pane outputs the response of your requests.

Creating an Index

In this article we will be creating an index called car, mapping all the fields that best describe the car then ultimately creating a document.

  • Use PUT and the "mappings" field in Kibana’s console to create a new index with a custom field type:
PUT car
"_doc": {
"properties": {
"model" : { "type" : "text" },
"year": {"type" : "integer"},
"engine": {"type": "text"},
"star": {"type": "text"}

Use PUT request to create an index with mapping In the above you created an index called car and providing it with fields as mentioned before. You can create an index by executing HTTP method PUT and pass the field "car" in Kibana’s console. * Here is an example of how to structure a mapping for a new index: `js { “mappings”:{ “_doc”:{ “properties”:{

fields for the index go here:

“make”:{ “type”:”text” }, “model”:{ “type”:”text” }, “year”:{ “type”:”integer” }, “created”:{ “type”:”date”, “format”:”strict_date_optional_time||epoch_millis”

..or “date_optional_time||epoch_millis”

} } } } } `

  • epoch_millis is the number of milliseconds that have passed since the Unix Epoch time (00:00:00 UTC January 1 1970).
  • The two options for a "date" field are strict_date_optional_time or date_optional_time

    Note: Though mapping types will be removed in Elasticsearch 7.0, it is recommended to use it as to encapsulates all the fields that you want to create (e.g _doc).

Creating a Document

Now that we have created an index of “car” correctly we will proceed with the creation of a document for this index. You can do this by making a POST passing the document JSON in the body of the request in a URL structured as: >index_name/mapping_type/document_id In this case car/_doc/1 * car is the index, _doc is the document _type and the document ID is number 1

POST car/_doc/1
"model": "Porshe",
"year": 1972,
"engine": "2.0-liter four-cylinder Macan",
"horsepower": "252hp",
"genres": ["Sporty", "Classic"]

POST request a document to an index in Kibana's console

  • You can also use cURL in terminal (following this format) to achieve the same result:
curl -XPUT "Content-Type: application/json" 'localhost:9200/car/_doc/1?pretty' -d '
"model": "Porshe",
"year": 1972,
"engine": "2.0-liter four-cylinder Macan",
"horsepower": "252hp",
"genres": ["Sporty", "Classic"]

Verify Document Exists

Make a GET Request Using CURL

  • Use cURL in your terminal to make a GET request to retrieve the document just created. This example assumes you have Elasticsearch running on port 9200:
curl -X GET "Content-Type: application/json" '{YOUR_DOMAIN}:9200/car/_doc/1'

Or if this is the localhost:

curl -X GET "Content-Type: application/json" 'localhost:9200/car/_doc/1'
  • cURL’s -d option does not alter or encode the data in any way, so you’ll need to carefully pass the data in a proper JSON format if you choose to use this flag.

Make a GET Request in Kibana’s Console

  • Or use Kibana’s console to verify that the document was created.
GET car/_doc/1

It should return a JSON object of the document that looks like this:

Using GET request in Kibana's console to have Elasticsearch return a document of an index using the index name, index type, and doc ID number

[comment]: < (=== Using GET request in Kibana’s console to have Elasticsearch return a document of an index using the index name, type, and doc ID number ===)


Adding documents to an index in the Elasticsearch service network is a fairly straightforward process as demonstrated here. Completing this procedure enables you to increase database volume as preferred. Once the steps above are complete, the index will be available to you for future additions. To address any questions or difficulties, please consult the various links for detailed coverage. As always, there are many more guides that can be perused to learn about compatible programs.

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