ZomboDB Documentation

Official guides and reference documentation for ZomboDB.


Making Postgres and Elasticsearch work together like it's 2020

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.


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, 11.x Elasticsearch | 5.6.x, 6.x libcurl | >=7.28.0

Contact Information


The name is an homage to zombo.com 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.

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