13. Elasticsearch

FIXME(willkg): This needs to be updated, overhauled, and reduced.

13.1. Features

Socorro uses Elasticsearch as a back-end for several intensive features in the Web app. Here is a list of those features:

  • Super Search
    • probably the most important one, Super Search is an improved search page that allows users to search through any field they like in the database. It exposes convenient and powerful operators and allows to build complex queries. It is also accessible via the public API, allowing users to build their own tools.
    • Example: https://crash-stats.mozilla.com/search/
  • Custom Queries
    • based on Super Search, this feature allows users to write JSON queries that are executed directly against Elasticsearch. This is a very sensitive feature that gives unrestricted access to your data. Specific permissions are needed for users to have access to it.
    • Example: nope, this is not publicly accessible :)
  • Signature Report
  • Profile page

13.2. Supported versions

Socorro currently requires Elasticsearch version 1.4.

13.3. Configuration

13.3.1. Back-end common

The back-end configuration files lie in the ./config/ folder. All Elasticsearch-based services share the same core of options. As for other resources, it is recommended to put those options in a single file that you then include in other files.

Here are the important options that you might want to change:

Option Description
elasticsearch_urls A list of URLs to your Elasticsearch cluster.
elasticsearch_index The main index used to store crash reports. Can be partitioned by date.
elasticsearch_default_index The index used by default when no partitioning is needed.


There are more options but they should be self-explanatory. You can see them by using the --help option of any Socorro app that uses Elasticsearch. For example: $ python ./socorro/processor/processor_app.py --storage_classes=socorro.external.es.crashstorage.ESCrashStorage --help

13.3.2. Processors

Open the config file for processors: ./config/processor.ini. In the [destination] namespace, look for the option called storage_classes. That key contains the list of storage systems where the processors will save data. Add socorro.external.es.crashstorage.\ ESCrashStorage to that list to make your processors index data in Elasticsearch.

You will then need to add the specific configuration of Elasticsearch in your processor.ini file. You can either edit the file manually to add the correct namespace and options, or you can regenerate the config file:

$ socorro processor --admin.conf=config/processor.ini --admin.dump_conf=config/processor.ini

Doing so will add the new Elasticsearch namespace and options to your file, filled with default values. You can then change them to fit your needs, or if you use a common ini for Elasticsearch, you can replace those options with an include:


13.3.3. Front-end

Some of the features based on Elasticsearch are hidden behind switches (using django-waffle). You will need to activate those switches depending on the features you want to use.

To activate a feature, use the manage.py tool:

$ ./webapp-django/manage.py switch <switch-name> [on, off] [--create]

If it’s the first time you turn a feature on, you will need to use the --create option to create the switch.

Here is a list of the switches you need to turn on to use each feature:

Feature Switches
  there is no feature behind waffle at the moment

Here are features that are enabled by default, that you need to switch if you want to disable them:

Feature Switches
Custom Queries supersearch-custom-query-disabled

13.3.4. Validate your configuration

The best way to verify you have correctly configured your application for Elasticsearch is to send it a crash report and verify it is indexed. Follow the steps in systemtest-chapter to send a crash to your system. Once it is received and processed, verify that your Elasticsearch instance has the data:

$ curl -XGET localhost:9200/socorroYYYYWW/crash_reports/_count

By default, the indices used by Socorro are socorroYYYYWW, so make sure you get this part right depending on your configuration and the current date.

If you want to use the Web app the check your data, the best way is to go to the Super Search page (you need to switch it on) and hit the Search button with no parameter. That should return all the crash reports that were indexed in the passed week.

13.4. Fake data for development

If you want to populate your Elasticsearch database with some fake data, the recommended way is to first insert fakedata into PostgreSQL and then migrate that data over to Elasticsearch. This way you will have consistent data accross both databases and will be able to have comparison points.

To insert fake data into PostgreSQL, see databasesetup-chapter.

When that is complete, run the following script to migrate the data from PostgreSQL to Elasticsearch:

$ python socorro/external/postgresql/crash_migration_app.py

13.5. Master list of fields

Super Search, and thus all the features based on it, is powered by a master list of fields that tells it what data to expose and how to expose it. That list contains data about each field from Elasticsearch that can be manipulated. You can add new fields and edit existing ones from the admin zone of the Web app, in the Super Search Fields part.

Here is an explanation of each parameter of a field:

Parameter Description
name Name of the field, as exposed in the API. Must be unique.
in_database_name Name of the field in the database.
namespace Namespace of the field. Separated with dots.
description Description of the field, for admins only.
query_type Defines operators that can be used in Super Search. See details below.
data_validation_type Defines the validation done on values passed to filers of this field in Super Search.
permissions_needed Permissions needed from a user to access this field.
form_field_choices Choices offered for filters of that field in the Super Search form.
is_exposed Is this field exposed as a filter?
is_returned Is this field returned in results?
has_full_version Does this field have a full version in Elasticsearch? Enable only if you use a multitype field in the storage mapping.
storage_mapping Mapping that is used in Elasticsearch for this field. See Elasticsearch documentation for more info.

Here are the operators that will be available for each query_type. Note that each operator automatically has an opposite version (for example, each field that has access to the contains operator also has does not contain).

Query type Operators
enum has terms
string contains, is, starts with, ends with, exists
number has terms, >, >=, <, <=
date has terms, >, >=, <, <=
bool is true