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Is OpenSearch a Database?

Published July 2023

Yes, OpenSearch can be loosely defined as a database.  But more accurately, it’s a distributed search engine.  OpenSearch can be used for text-based data, numerical data, geospatial data, vector data, and aggregating data.

OpenSearch is a NoSQL database, meaning SQL queries are supported but not full-featured. 

We have several education articles for those interested in learning more about OpenSearch.  For information on indexing in OpenSearch, check out How to Index OpenSearch.

For information on querying in OpenSearch, read our How to Query OpenSearch article that includes examples that can be copy and pasted into your implementation. 

And for those looking for more information on shard optimization, check out OpenSearch Shard Optimization, which helps you calculate how many shards your implementation needs.

OpenSearch was first released in 2021 under the Apache License Version 2.0 making it open source.  It was created as a fork from Elasticsearch 7.10.2 and Kibana 7.10.2 in 2021.  The OpenSearch search engine is simply referred to as OpenSearch, and the dashboard tool is referred to as OpenSearch Dashboards. For information on how OpenSearch and Elasticsearch compare, read our article OpenSearch vs. Elasticsearch.

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Published by

Dattell - Kafka & Elasticsearch Support

Benefit from the experience of our Kafka, Pulsar, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch expert services to help your team deploy and maintain high-performance platforms that scale. We support Kafka, Elasticsearch, and OpenSearch both on-prem and in the cloud, whether on stand alone clusters or running within Kubernetes. We’ve saved our clients $100M+ over the past six years. Without our guidance companies tend to overspend on hardware or purchase unnecessary licenses. We typically save clients multiples more money than our fees cost in addition to building, optimizing, and supporting fault-tolerant, highly available architectures.