Native text index

This page talks about native text indices and corresponding search functionality in Apache Pinot.


This index is experimental and should only be used for testing. It is not recommended for use in production.

Instead, use this text index.

Native text index

Pinot supports text indexing and search by building Lucene indices as sidecars to the main Pinot segments. While this is a great technique, it essentially limits the avenues of optimizations that can be done for Pinot specific use cases of text search.

How is Pinot different?

Pinot, like any other database/OLAP engine, does not need to conform to the entire full text search domain-specific language (DSL) that is traditionally used by full-text search (FTS) engines like ElasticSearch and Solr. In traditional SQL text search use cases, the majority of text searches belong to one of three patterns: prefix wildcard queries (like pino*), postfix or suffix wildcard queries (like *inot), and term queries (like pinot).

Native text indices in Pinot

In Pinot, native text indices are built from the ground up. They use a custom text-indexing engine, coupled with Pinot's powerful inverted indices, to provide a fast text search experience.

The benefits are that native text indices are 80-120% faster than Lucene-based indices for the text search use cases mentioned above. They are also 40% smaller on disk.

Native text indices support real-time text search. For REALTIME tables, native text indices allow data to be indexed in memory in the text index, while concurrently supporting text searches on the same index.

Historically, most text indices depend on the in-memory text index being written to first and then sealed, before searches are possible. This limits the freshness of the search, being near-real-time at best.

Native text indices come with a custom in-memory text index, which allows for real-time indexing and search.

Searching Native Text Indices

The function, TEXT\_CONTAINS, supports text search on native text indices.

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Foo WHERE TEXT_CONTAINS (<column_name>, <search_expression>)


SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Foo WHERE TEXT_CONTAINS (<column_name>, "foo.*")
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Foo WHERE TEXT_CONTAINS (<column_name>, ".*bar")
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Foo WHERE TEXT_CONTAINS (<column_name>, "foo")

TEXT\_CONTAINS can be combined using standard boolean operators


Note: TEXT\_CONTAINS supports regex and term queries and will work only on native indices. TEXT\_CONTAINS supports standard regex patterns (as used by LIKE in SQL Standard), so there might be some syntatical differences from Lucene queries.

Creating Native Text Indices

Native text indices are created using field configurations. To indicate that an index type is native, specify it using properties in the field configuration:

     "indexTypes": ["TEXT"],

Last updated