elasticsearch v.s. MongoDB for filtering application

Cover Image for elasticsearch v.s. MongoDB for filtering application
Matheus Mello
Matheus Mello
published a few days ago. updated a few hours ago

Elasticsearch vs MongoDB for Filtering Application: Making the Right Architectural Choice ๐Ÿค”

Are you facing the dilemma of choosing the best data store for your filtering application? Look no further! In this blog post, we will explore the suitability, scalability, and performance of two popular options: Elasticsearch and MongoDB. Whether you're already familiar with these technologies or just starting out, we've got you covered! Let's dive right in. ๐Ÿ’ช

Understanding the Challenge ๐ŸŽฏ

The heart of your application lies in selecting objects based on specific criteria. Both Elasticsearch and MongoDB store data objects with fields and values, allowing for flexible querying capabilities. The problem at hand is filtering out subsets of objects by selecting ad-hoc fields. Consider this analogy: you want to find a needle in a haystack, but you're not sure which needle you need just yet. ๐Ÿงต

Your query filtering criteria will typically involve filtering by multiple fields simultaneously, ranging from one to five fields (or more) in some cases. However, the fields you choose as filters would come from a larger pool of available fields. Let's say you have around 20 field names, and each query aims to filter objects based on a few selected fields. This proportion of fields to fields used as filters in each query creates an interesting dynamic. The filtering can be based on the existence of chosen fields, as well as their values. For example, you may want to filter objects that have field A, where field B falls between x and y, and field C is equal to w. ๐Ÿ“Š

Another critical consideration is that your application will continuously perform this kind of filtering. The fields used for filtering could vary frequently, and you need a solution that can handle this dynamic nature efficiently. While Elasticsearch might require defining indexes, it's possible that even without indexes, its performance can compete with that of MongoDB. ๐ŸŽ๏ธ

Regarding data updates, you mention that objects will rarely change once they're inserted. However, you do anticipate occasional deletion of old objects, which could be facilitated either internally by the data stores or through application queries. In some cases, you might also need to drop objects that match a certain query. ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

Choosing the Optimal Solution โš–๏ธ

When it comes to performance and scalability for this kind of filtering task, both Elasticsearch and MongoDB have their strengths. Let's take a closer look at each to help you make an informed decision:


  • Elasticsearch excels in full-text search capabilities, making it a powerful tool for querying unstructured or semi-structured data.

  • It supports real-time indexing, meaning your data will be searchable immediately after ingestion.

  • Elasticsearch's distributed architecture enables horizontal scaling, allowing you to add more nodes seamlessly as your dataset grows.

  • Aggregations and faceted search are its strong suits, making it perfect for analytics workloads or complex querying scenarios.

  • Query-time relevance scoring ensures that the most relevant results are returned, giving your users a satisfying search experience. ๐ŸŒŸ


  • MongoDB's flexibility with its document-based model makes it an excellent choice for handling structured and semi-structured data.

  • Its rich query language allows for expressive filtering capabilities, including powerful operators and aggregations.

  • MongoDB's clustering and sharding capabilities enable horizontal scalability, distributing your data across multiple servers effortlessly.

  • ACID transactions provide strong data consistency and integrity, ensuring your critical operations are robust and reliable.

  • The MongoDB Atlas managed service simplifies deployment and maintenance, reducing operational overhead. ๐ŸŒ

Experimentation and Implementation ๐Ÿงช

While we've discussed the architectural aspects of Elasticsearch and MongoDB, it's crucial to remember that every application is unique. To gain real insights into performance and scalability, we recommend conducting your own experiments. Develop prototypes using sample datasets and realistic scenarios that mimic your application's workload. Measure query response times, examine resource utilization, and assess how each data store handles increasing data volumes. Document your findings to evaluate the pros and cons in relation to your specific use case. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Conclusion and Call-to-Action โœ…

Choosing between Elasticsearch and MongoDB for your filtering application is no easy task, but armed with the information we've covered, you can make an informed decision. Remember, performance and scalability should be your primary considerations, so take the time to experiment and evaluate these factors.

We'd love to hear about your experiences with Elasticsearch and MongoDB for filtering applications. Comment below or reach out on social media and share your thoughts, challenges, and success stories! Together, let's unlock the power of data filtering and unleash innovation! ๐Ÿš€

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