Steven's Random Scribes

Steven's Random Scribes

Elasticsearch - The Definitive Guide - A book review!

Elasticsearch - The Definitive Guide is one of the best documentation textbooks that I have ever read. I finished the book during my last family holiday. I took advantage of sitting in airports, airplane rides, and nap times to slowly work away at the book. I won’t go into any sort of explanation of what ES is, the Elasticsearch homepage and Wiki article can do a much better job of explaining what it is useful for than I. The company that I work for has an extensive implantation of Elasticsearch for what it does best… text based search. It’s very fast and it’s simple to work with. We also use it for its fast aggregations. We calculate averages and sums over 100,000s of thousands of documents every second. Elasticsearch works well for both of these use cases. I’m not a developer. I do some development when building tools to make my job and those on my team jobs easier. I’ve built a tool that stores our performance indicators and queries that leverages Elasticsearch’s full text search. However the main reason why I wanted to learn more about ES is to use it for business intelligence and utilizing its aggregations.

It is a Great Read

The ES guide was developed with those who are brand new to Elasticsearch in mind. Sure you may not have to read a couple of the topics right off the bat (like some of the advanced fine tuning and querying), but the beauty of this book is that those sections are easy to skip if it’s not useful. And if you don’t want to skip those sections, you don’t have to because they are written in a way, that even a beginner can gain a general understanding of the principles.

I read this book cover to cover. I’ve also used it for reference when running into problems or looking for clarification while using ES. The book uses real examples that if you install their setup, you can run right on your computer.

I love that Elasticsearch - The Definitive Guide is THE definitive guide to Elasticsearch. Do a Google search about something ES related. One of the top results will be from the online version of this book. Even the other results that aren’t from elastic.co are going to reference it (especially if it’s an Stack Exchange questions & answer). I find it incredible useful to know that I’m not wasting my time reading something that isn’t the authoritative voice on a topic. The online version is always up-to-date.

I read the online version of the text, it’s free, it’s always current, and was easy to read on my phone/tablet. The ES guide is developed in the open and anyone can contribute.

Highly Recommended

I recommend that anyone using Elasticsearch should read this book. Even if you don’t use Elasticsearch in production, it’s useful to know what you are missing out on. After you are done reading it, store it away in your memory and refer to it when you need it (it’s just a couple clicks away).