Null_value not working

I have an integer field which may be null and should have the null_value 0. for testing i prepared an index:

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -XPUT -d "{"mappings":{"_doc":{"properties":{"name":{"type":"text"},"documentCounter":{"type":"integer","null_value":0}}}}}" localhost:9200/nulltest

and added one doc:

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -XPUT -d "{"name":"Some name"}" localhost:9200/nulltest/_doc/1

it can be queried without problems:

curl localhost:9200/nulltest/_doc/1

{"_index":"nulltest","_type":"_doc","_id":"1","_version":1,"found":true,"_source":{"name":"Some name"}}

i would expect it to be found by this search:

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -XPOST -d "{"query":{"bool":{"must":[{"term":{"documentCounter":0}}]}}}" localhost:9200/nulltest/_search

but the response has no hits


and on top of this there is a bigger problem for me. When using the documentCounter field in a function it happens to fail depending on the client (which seems strange).

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -XPOST -d "{"from":0,"size":8192,"query":{"bool":{"must":[{"function_score":{"query":{"bool":{"should":[{"match":{"name":{"query":"Somename","operator":"AND","fuzziness":"0","prefix_length":0,"max_expansions":50,"fuzzy_transpositions":true,"lenient":false,"zero_terms_query":"NONE","cutoff_frequency":0.35,"auto_generate_synonyms_phrase_query":true,"boost":2}}}],"adjust_pure_negative":true,"boost":1}},"functions":[{"filter":{"match_all":{"boost":1}},"field_value_factor":{"field":"documentCounter","factor":1,"modifier":"log1p"}}],"score_mode":"sum","max_boost":3.4028235e+38,"boost":1}}],"adjust_pure_negative":true,"boost":1}},"version":true,"sort":[{"_score":{"order":"desc"}}]}" localhost:9200/nulltest/_search

the response with curl is:


when i make the exact same query with the chrome addon "elasticsearch head" one shard failes:

{"took": 5,"timed_out": false,"_shards": {"total": 5,"successful": 4,"skipped": 0,"failed": 1,"failures": [{"shard": 3,"index": "nulltest","node": "6vOdvUnpQ6u9BciVk7LwFw","reason": {"type": "exception","reason": "Missing value for field [documentCounter]"}}]},"hits": {"total": 0,"max_score": null,"hits": }}

when i make this request with the elasticsearch java-client 6.5.3 the whole call fails with all shards failed:

{"error":{"root_cause":[{"type":"exception","reason":"Missing value for field [documentCounter]"}],"type":"search_phase_execution_exception","reason":"all shards failed","phase":"query","grouped":true,"failed_shards":[{"shard":0,"index":"nulltest","node":"6vOdvUnpQ6u9BciVk7LwFw","reason":{"type":"exception","reason":"Missing value for field [documentCounter]"}}]},"status":500}

i ran the searches with the three clients multiple times in all orders without any change in the results.

My server runs on 6.4.2

the expected behaviour would be:

  1. search for documentcounter:0 to return the document
  2. no failures of the search with the filter and same behaviour for same queries in different clients

Server updated to 6.6.0 did not resolve the problem either

Ok, the issue was, the documentCounter was not set explicit to null. i would preferr for it working on missing values, too, or at least having an option for this.

But the documentation ( is a bit wrong. null, empty array and array with only null values should be set to the null_value.

When a field is set to null , (or an empty array or an array of null values) it is treated as though that field has no values.

But in the example the empty array does not trigger the null_value to be inserted

An empty array does not contain an explicit null , and so won’t be replaced with the null_value .

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