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Refer to the overview. The primary index configuration is the schema. services.xml configures how indexing is distributed to the nodes.

Date indexing

Vespa does not have a "date" field type. Best practise is using a long field. If the date is a string in the source data, one can use to_epoch_second to transform into a long-field:

schema docs {

    document docs {
        field date_string type string {
            indexing: summary

    field date type long {
        indexing: input date_string | to_epoch_second | attribute | summary

    field last_modified type long {
        indexing: now | attribute | summary

The synthetic date field can be used in queries and grouping:

"fields": {
    "last_modified": 1695995429,
    "date": 1703437243,
    "date_string": "2023-12-24T17:00:43.000Z"

Note how now is used to get current time.

Execution value example

Accessing the execution value (the value passed into this expression) explicitly is useful when it is to be used as part of an expression such as concatenation. In this example we have a document with a title and an array of sentences, and we prepend each sentence by the document title (and a space), before converting it to a set of embedding vectors (represented by a 2d mixed tensor).

input mySentenceArray | for_each { input title . " " . _ } | embed | attribute my2dTensor | index my2dTensor

Choice (||) example

The choice expression is used to provide alternatives if an expression may return null.

(input myField1 || "") . " " . (input myField2 || "") | embed | attribute | index

In this example two fields are concatenated, but if one of the fields is empty, the empty string is used instead. If the empty string alternatives are not provided, no embedding will be produced if either input field is missing.

select_input example

The select_input expression is used to choose a statement to execute based on which fields are non-empty in the input document:

select_input {
    CX:   input CX | set_var CX;
    CA:   input CA . " " . input CB | set_var CX;

This statement executes input CX | set_var CX; unless CX is empty. If so, it will execute input CA . " " . input CB | set_var CX; unless CA is empty.

Switch example

The switch-expression behaves similarly to the switch-statement in other programming languages. Each case in the switch-expression consists of a string and a statement. The execution value is compared to each string, and if there is a match, the corresponding statement is executed. An optional default operation (designated by default:) can be added to the end of the switch:

input mt | switch {
    case "audio": input fa | index;
    case "video": input fv | index;
    default: 0 | index;

Indexing statements example

Using indexing statements, multiple document fields can be used to produce one index structure field. For example, the index statement:

input field1 . input field2 | attribute field2;

combines field1 and field2 into the attribute named field2. When partially updating documents which contains indexing statement which combines multiple fields the following rules apply:

  • Only attributes where all the source values are available in the source document update will be updated
  • The document update will fail when indexed (only) if no attributes end up being updated when applying the rule above

Example: If a schema has the indexing statements

input field1 | attribute field1;
input field1 . input field2 | attribute field2;

the following will happen for the different partial updates:

Partial update containsResult
field1field1 is updated
field2The update fails
field1 and field2field1 and field2 are updated