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Making Postgres and Elasticsearch work together like it's 2019
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Making Postgres and Elasticsearch work together like it's 2019

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ZomboDB brings powerful text-search and analytics features to Postgres by using Elasticsearch as an index type. Its comprehensive query language and SQL functions enable new and creative ways to query your relational data.

From a technical perspective, ZomboDB is a 100% native Postgres extension that implements Postgres' Index Access Method API. As a native Postgres index type, ZomboDB allows you to CREATE INDEX ... USING zombodb on your existing Postgres tables. At that point, ZomboDB takes over and fully manages the remote Elasticsearch index and guarantees transactionally-correct text-search query results.

ZomboDB is fully compatible with all of Postgres' query plan types and most SQL commands such as CREATE INDEX, COPY, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, SELECT, ALTER, DROP, REINDEX, (auto)VACUUM, etc.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using an Elasticsearch cloud provider or managing your own cluster -- ZomboDB communicates with Elasticsearch via its RESTful APIs so you’re covered either way.

ZomboDB allows you to use the power and scalability of Elasticsearch directly from Postgres. You don’t have to manage transactions between Postgres and Elasticsearch, asynchronous indexing pipelines, complex reindexing processes, or multiple data-access code paths -- ZomboDB does it all for you.

Quick Links


Current Limitations

  • Only one ZomboDB index per table
  • ZomboDB indexes with predicates (ie, partial indexes) are not supported
  • CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY is not supported

These limitations may be addressed in future versions of ZomboDB.

System Requirements

Product Version
Postgres 10.x
Elasticsearch 5.6.x, 6.x
libcurl >=7.28.0


Please visit to download.

If you want to integrate with a CI/CD system you can intuit the pattern for versions from the Postgres extension download links, but it'll be something like:

Note: you'll need to use the one that's for your Postgres + Linux distro combination -- the example above is for Postgres 10 on Ubuntu Trusty.

Quick Overview

Note that this is just a quick overview. Please read the getting started tutorial for more details.

Create the extension:


Create a table:

CREATE TABLE products (
    name text NOT NULL,
    keywords varchar(64)[],
    short_summary text,
    long_description zdb.fulltext, 
    price bigint,
    inventory_count integer,
    discontinued boolean default false,
    availability_date date

-- insert some data

Create a ZomboDB index:

CREATE INDEX idxproducts 
          ON products 
       USING zombodb ((products.*)) 
        WITH (url='localhost:9200/');

Query it:

  FROM products 
 WHERE products ==> '(keywords:(sports OR box) OR long_description:"wooden away"~5) AND price:[1000 TO 20000]';

Contact Information

Older Versions

This version of ZomboDB only supports Postgres 10 and doesn't require an Elasticsearch plugin.

Previous versions that support Postgres <=9.5, and require an Elasticsearch plugin, are still available, from these branches:

Commerical support for all versions of ZomboDB is available by contacting ZomboDB, LLC.


The name is an homage to and its long history of continuous self-affirmation.

This version of ZomboDB was graciously sponsored by Impira.

Historically, ZomboDB began in 2013 by Technology Concepts & Design, Inc as a closed-source effort to provide transaction safe text-search on top of Postgres tables. While Postgres' "tsearch" features are useful, they're not necessarily adequate for 200 column-wide tables with 100M rows, each containing large text content.

Initially designed on-top of Postgres' Foreign Data Wrapper API, ZomboDB quickly evolved into an index type so that queries are MVCC-safe and standard SQL can be used to query and manage indices.

Elasticsearch was chosen as the backing search index because of its horizontal scaling abilities, performance, and general ease of use.

ZomboDB was open-sourced in July 2015 and has since been used in numerous production systems of various sizes and complexity.


Copyright 2018-2019 ZomboDB, LLC

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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