Updating Parts of Documents (Solr 索引文档局部更新实务)

Once you have indexed the content you need in your Solr index, you will want to start thinking about your strategy for dealing with changes to those documents. Solr supports two approaches to updating documents that have only partially changed.

The first is atomic updates. This approach allows changing only one or more fields of a document without having to re-index the entire document.

The second approach is known as optimistic concurrency or optimistic locking. It is a feature of many NoSQL databases, and allows conditional updating a document based on it’s version. This approach includes semantics and rules for how to deal with version matches or mis-matches.

Atomic Updates and Optimistic Concurrency may be used as independent strategies for managing changes to documents, or they may be combined: you can use optimistic concurrency to conditionally apply an atomic update.

Atomic Updates

Solr supports several modifiers that atomically update values of a document. This allows updating only specific fields, which can help speed indexing processes in an environment where speed of index additions is critical to the application.

To use atomic updates, add a modifier to the field that needs to be updated. The content can be updated, added to, or incrementally increased if a number.



set Set or replace the field value(s) with the specified value(s), or remove the values if ‘null’ or empty list is specified as the new value.

May be specified as a single value, or as a list for multivalued fields

add Adds the specified values to a multivalued field.

May be specified as a single value, or as a list.

remove Removes (all occurrences of) the specified values from a multivalued field.

May be specified as a single value, or as a list.

removeregex Removes all occurrences of the specified regex from a multiValued field.

May be specified as a single value, or as a list.

inc Increments a numeric value by a specific amount.

Must be specified as a single numeric value.


All original source fields must be stored for field modifiers to work correctly, which is the Solr default.

For example, if the following document exists in our collection:


And we apply the following update command:


The resulting document in our collection will be:


Optimistic Concurrency

Optimistic Concurrency is a feature of Solr that can be used by client applications which update/replace documents to ensure that the document they are replacing/updating has not been concurrently modified by another client application. This feature works by requiring a _version_ field on all documents in the index, and comparing that to a _version_ specified as part of the update command. By default, Solr’s schema.xml includes a _version_ field, and this field is automatically added to each new document.

In general, using optimistic concurrency involves the following work flow:

  1. A client reads a document. In Solr, one might retrieve the document with the /get handler to be sure to have the latest version.
  2. A client changes the document locally.
  3. The client resubmits the changed document to Solr, for example, perhaps with the /update handler.
  4. If there is a version conflict (HTTP error code 409), the client starts the process over.

When the client resubmits a changed document to Solr, the _version_ can be included with the update to invoke optimistic concurrency control. Specific semantics are used to define when the document should be updated or when to report a conflict.

  • If the content in the _version_ field is greater than ‘1’ (i.e., ‘12345’), then the _version_ in the document must match the _version_ in the index.
  • If the content in the _version_ field is equal to ‘1’, then the document must simply exist. In this case, no version matching occurs, but if the document does not exist, the updates will be rejected.
  • If the content in the _version_ field is less than ‘0’ (i.e., ‘-1’), then the document must not exist. In this case, no version matching occurs, but if the document exists, the updates will be rejected.
  • If the content in the _version_ field is equal to ‘0’, then it doesn’t matter if the versions match or if the document exists or not. If it exists, it will be overwritten; if it does not exist, it will be added.

If the document being updated does not include the _version_ field, and atomic updates are not being used, the document will be treated by normal Solr rules, which is usually to discard it

For more information, please also see Yonik Seeley’s presentation on NoSQL features in Solr 4 from Apache Lucene EuroCon 2012.

Power Tip


The _version_ field is by default stored in the inverted index (indexed="true"). However, for some systems with a very large number of documents, the increase in FieldCache memory requirements may be too costly. A solution can be to declare the _version_ field as DocValues:

Sample field definition
<field name="_version_" type="long" indexed="false" stored="true" required="true" docValues="true"/>


Document Centric Versioning Constraints

Optimistic Concurrency is extremely powerful, and works very efficiently because it uses an internally assigned, globally unique values for the _version_ field. However, In some situations users may want to configure their own document specific version field, where the version values are assigned on a per-document basis by an external system, and have Solr reject updates that attempt to replace a document with an “older” version. In situations like this the DocBasedVersionConstraintsProcessorFactory can be useful.

The basic usage of DocBasedVersionConstraintsProcessorFactory is to configure it in solrconfig.xml as part of the UpdateRequestProcessorChain and specify the name of the versionField in your schema that should be checked when validating updates:

<processor class="solr.DocBasedVersionConstraintsProcessorFactory">
  <str name="versionField">my_version_l</str>

Once configured, this update processor will reject (HTTP error code 409) any attempt to update an existing document where the value of the my_version_l field in the “new” document is not greater then the value of that field in the existing document.

DocBasedVersionConstraintsProcessorFactory supports two additional configuration params which are optional:

  • ignoreOldUpdates – A boolean option which defaults to false. If set to true then instead of rejecting updates where the versionField is too low, the update will be silently ignored (and return a status 200 to the client).
  • deleteVersionParam – A String parameter that can be specified to indicate that this processor should also inspect Delete By Id commands. The value of this configuration option should be the name of a request parameter that the processor will now consider mandatory for all attempts to Delete By Id, and must be be used by clients to specify a value for the versionField which is greater then the existing value of the document to be deleted. When using this request param, any Delete By Id command with a high enough document version number to succeed will be internally converted into an Add Document command that replaces the existing document with a new one which is empty except for the Unique Key and versionField to keeping a record of the deleted version so future Add Document commands will fail if their “new” version is not high enough.

Please consult the processor javadocs and test configs for additional information and example usages.

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