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Document Indexing

Looking for schema creation best practices? We have a guide for that.


Add, delete, update, or retrieve documents from within your API-based Engine.

Using an API-based Engine forgoes the Site Search Crawler.

This document covers four different indexing methods:

Engine Type Supported?
Crawler-based Engine NO
API-based Engine YES

Read more about API-based Engines and API resources within the API Overview.

API-based Engines

An API-based Engine provides manual control over document indexing.

Requires your private API Key and your Engine Slug.

This section includes:

DocumentTypes

DocumentTypes specify the structure of a set of documents and are the entry point for searches.

Add a DocumentType

Add a new DocumentType to your Engine.

POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types.json
Example - Create a DocumentType called books in the bookstore Engine
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types.json' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "document_type": {"name": "books"}
      }'

GET a DocumentType

List all DocumentTypes or list a specific DocumentType by id.

List all DocumentTypes
GET /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types.json
Example - Get every DocumentType in an Engine
curl -X GET 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types.json?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'
List a specific DocumentType by id
GET /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}.json
Example - Get a specific DocumentType called books in the bookstore Engine
curl -X GET 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books.json?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'

Delete a DocumentType

Delete a DocumentType from your Engine.

DELETE /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}.json
Example - Delete a DocumentType called books in the bookstore Engine
curl -X DELETE 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'

Documents

Documents represent all of the pieces of content in an Engine.

They conform to a DocumentType.

When you perform a search on a DocumentType, you will receive documents as results.

Create a document

Add a new document into your Engine or create or update a document.

external_id
required
Can be any value, such as a number or BSON id.
Create a new document
POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents.json
Example - Create a Document in the books DocumentType
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents.json' \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-d '{
      "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
      "document": {
        "external_id": "2",
        "fields": [
            {"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}
      ]}
    }'
Create or update a document

If the external_id exists, update the document.

If it does not, create a new document.

POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/create_or_update.json
Example - Create or update a Document in the books DocumentType
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/create_or_update.json' \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-d '{
      "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
      "document": {
        "external_id": "2",
        "fields": [
            {"name": "title", "value": "my new title", "type": "string"},
            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}
        ]}
      }'

GET a document

List all documents within a document type

List all documents within a DocumentType.

GET /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents.json
Example - List every Document in the books DocumentType
curl -X GET 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents.json?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'
List a specific document by id

List a specific document within a DocumentType by id.

GET /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/{external_id}.json
Example - Get a specific Document with external_id=1 from the books DocumentType
curl -X GET 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/1?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'

DELETE a document

DELETE document by external_id

Delete a document by external_id value.

DELETE /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/{document_id}.json
Example - Delete a Document with external_id=1 from the books DocumentType
curl -X DELETE 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/1?auth_token=YOUR_API_KEY'

Update document fields

Updates fields on an existing document.

Existing fields will not change if not listed in the request.

PUT /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/{document_id}/update_fields.json
Example - Update fields for Document with external_id 1.
curl -X PUT 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/1/update_fields' \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
-d '{
      "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
      "fields": {"title": "my title 2", "page_type": "user2"}
    }'

Bulk Indexing

Bulk operations perform rapid document updates and avoid the latency overhead of repeated requests.

You can:

Bulk Create or Update, Verbose

To create or update documents in bulk, use bulk_create_or_update_verbose.

Returns an array of responses, one for each document.

If the request was successful, the response will be true.

Documents will be created if they do not exist or updated if they already exist.

POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/bulk_create_or_update_verbose
Example - Create or update documents in bulk (all succeeded)
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/bulk_create_or_update_verbose' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {"external_id": "3", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]},
            {"external_id": "4", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]}
          ]
      }'
Example Response
[true, true]

If a create or update fails, the response for that document will be a string containing an error message.

Example - Error messages from create or update in bulk (all failed)
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/bulk_create_or_update_verbose' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {"fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                        {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]},
            {"external_id": "4", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "bogus"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]}
          ]
      }'
Example Response
["Missing external_id", "Invalid field type: Invalid type for \"title\": \"bogus\""]

Bulk Create

Create documents in bulk.

Will return an error if a document with a given external_id already exists.

POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/bulk_create
Example - Create Documents in bulk
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/bulk_create' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {"external_id": "3", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]},
            {"external_id": "4", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]}
          ]
      }'

Bulk Update

Update documents in bulk.

Will return an error if a document with a given external_id does not exist.

PUT /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/bulk_update
Example - Update Documents in bulk
curl -X PUT 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/bulk_update' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {"external_id": "1", "fields": {"title": "my title 5", "page_type": "user2"}},
            {"external_id": "2", "fields": {"title": "my title 4", "page_type": "user2"}}
          ]
      }'

Bulk Destroy

Remove documents in bulk.

The output is an array of true/false values.

If an individual destroy succeeds, its entry in the result array will be true.

If it fails, its entry in the result array will be false.

POST /api/v1/engines/{engine_id}/document_types/{document_type_id}/documents/bulk_destroy
Example - Delete Documents in bulk
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/bulk_destroy' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents": ["1","2"]
      }'
Example Response
[true, true]

Asynchronous Indexing

Asynchronous indexing to efficiently indexes a large numbers of documents.

Asynchronous indexing consists of two stages:

  1. Submission
  2. Result

Both stages support batch operations.

This section covers:

Submitting a batch of documents

Submit a list of one or more documents to the asynchronous indexing API.

This API follows create-or-update semantics.

The documents will be created if they do not exist, or updated if they already exist.

This endpoint does basic parameter validation; success is shown within the document receipt resource.

A link to show the receipt is included in response.

Example - Submitting a batch of documents for asynchronous indexing.
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/async_bulk_create_or_update' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {"external_id": "3", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]},
            {"external_id": "4", "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "enum"},
                                            {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}]}
          ]
      }'
Example Response
{
  "batch_link": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts.json?ids=5473d6142ed96065a9000001,5473d6142ed96065a9000002",
  "document_receipts": [
    {
      "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000001",
      "external_id": "3",
      "status": "pending",
      "errors": [],
      "links": {
        "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
        "document": null
      }
    },
    {
      "id": "5473d6342ed96065a9000002",
      "external_id": "4",
      "status": "pending",
      "errors": [],
      "links": {
        "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000002.json",
        "document": null
      }
    }
  ]
}

Checking the status of Document receipts

Check the indexing status by using the document receipts API endpoint.

Each receipt will have a status value.

Check the receipts often because as the documents are processed asynchronously.

There is a limit 1000 document receipts per API request.

Supports GET and POST requests.

Status Meaning
pending The Document has not yet been processed.
complete The Document was successfully created.
failed The Document could not be created. Check the errors array for details.
expired The receipt is over 24 hours old and can no longer be checked.
unknown The document receipt could not be found.
Example - Checking the status multiple document receipts with a GET request
curl -X GET 'https://YOUR_API_KEY:@api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts.json?ids=5473d6142ed96065a9000001,5473d6142ed96065a9000002'
Example Response
[
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000001",
    "external_id": "3",
    "status": "pending",
    "errors": [],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
      "document": null
    }
  },
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000002",
    "external_id": "4",
    "status": "complete",
    "errors": [],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
      "document": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engine/xyz/document_type/abc/document/547e513f2ed9609fa7000001.json"
    }
  }
]
Example - Checking the status of multiple document receipts with a POST request
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts.json' \
     -H 'Content-Type: application/json'
     -d '{"ids": ["5473d6142ed96065a9000001", "5473d6142ed96065a9000002"]}'
Example Response
[
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000001",
    "external_id": "3",
    "status": "pending",
    "errors": [],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
      "document": null
    }
  },
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000002",
    "external_id": "4",
    "status": "complete",
    "errors": [],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
      "document": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engine/xyz/document_type/abc/document/547e513f2ed9609fa7000001.json"
    }
  }
]

When a document cannot be created due to incorrect input, the receipt will have a status of failed.

It will include a list of error messages:

Example - A receipt for a failed document creation
curl -X GET 'https://YOUR_API_KEY:@api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts.json?ids=5473d6142ed96065a9000002'
Example Response
[
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000002",
    "external_id": "4",
    "status": "failed",
    "errors": ["Invalid type for title: Got enum, but title is already defined as string in schema."],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
      "document": null
    }
  }
]

Receipts are only available for 24 hours.

If you request a receipt more than 24 hours old, you will see the expired status.

Example - Checking the status of an expired document receipt
curl -X GET 'https://YOUR_API_KEY:@api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts.json?ids=5473d6142ed96065a9000002'
Example Response
[
  {
    "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000002",
    "external_id": null,
    "status": "expired",
    "errors": [],
    "links": {
      "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000002.json",
      "document": null
    }
  }
]

Checking the status of a single document receipt

Checking multiple receipt IDs is most efficient, but you can also check the status of an individual receipt.

This is especially useful for debugging.

Check receipt status via a GET request to the link in the async_bulk_create_or_update response.

Example - Checking the status of a single document receipt
curl -X GET 'https://YOUR_API_KEY:@api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json'
Example Response
{
  "id": "5473d6142ed96065a9000001",
  "external_id": "3",
  "status": "complete",
  "errors": [],
  "links": {
    "document_receipt": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/document_receipts/5473d6142ed96065a9000001.json",
    "document": "https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/5025a35185307b737f000008/document_types/5025a35485307b737f00000a/documents/5025a3036052f6b650000006.json"
  }
}

Handling errors at submission time

Basic parameter validation occurs at submission time.

Requests must contain a documents key that is a non-empty array.

There is a 100 document limit on the number of documents that may be submitted in a single batch.

There is a maximum request size of 10 megabytes.

If a request cannot be validated, an error response will be returned.

Example - Incorrectly submitting documents for asynchronous indexing.
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/async_bulk_create_or_update.json' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents": []
      }'
Example Response
{
  "error": "Invalid field type: documents"
}

Document Expiration

Automatically delete documents after a given time period.

Specifying document expiration when creating or updating documents

Create (or update) a document with an expiration date, using the asynchronous bulk indexing API.

Add an expires_after key to the document object with the time to expire as a Unix Epoch timestamp.

The expires_after value must be in the future.

Note: There is no guarantee that a document will be removed exactly at its expires_after time. However, it is guaranteed that a document will not be automatically deleted before its expires_after time.
Example - Submitting a batch of documents with an expiration date.
curl -X POST 'https://api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/documents/async_bulk_create_or_update' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "documents":
          [
            {
              "external_id": "3",
              "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 1", "type": "string"},
                         {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}],
              "expires_after": 1450574556
            },
            {
              "external_id": "4",
              "fields": [{"name": "title", "value": "my title 2", "type": "enum"},
                         {"name": "page_type", "value": "user", "type": "enum"}],
              "expires_after": 1450574556
            }
          ]
      }'

Searching with precise expiration

Documents are not guaranteed to be deleted exactly at their expiration time.

Ensure that expired documents do not appear in search using the precise_expiration search option.

This option is available for both the search and suggest API endpoints.

Returns all documents that:

  1. Are not expired e.g. contain an expires_after value in the future
  2. Do not have an expires_after value set

In other words, it filters all expired documents from the results.

The format of the precise_expiration option is as follows:

"precise_expiration": {
  "<document_type_1_slug>": true,
  "<document_type_2_slug>": true
}

The default value is false for all DocumentTypes; expired but not deleted documents return in the results.

Example - Specifying precise_expiration for a DocumentType.
curl -XGET 'https://search-api.swiftype.com/api/v1/engines/bookstore/document_types/books/search.json' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
        "auth_token": "YOUR_API_KEY",
        "q": "brothers",
        "precise_expiration": {
          "books": true
        }
      }'

Stuck? Looking for help? Contact support or check out the Site Search community forum!