Elasticsearch vs. MongoDB: 2023 Comparison

BlogsData Engineering

Search is fundamental to any application. Whether shopping, buying a home, researching, servicing customers, looking for a job, or planning a vacation, the search bar makes it easy to find the most relevant information in a way that understands natural language. People now demand this intuitive search technology in all their personal and professional applications.

Building compelling search experiences is difficult. Developers must often add a search engine such as Elasticsearch or MongoDB Atlass Search to their database and devise a replication process to keep the two systems in sync.

Read this blog to learn which tool could work best for your use case.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is an open-source, NoSQL database solution. It allows users to store and manage their data without relying on a traditional database system such as MySQL or PostgreSQL. MongoDB offers flexibility and scalability, making it the ideal choice for large datasets that need to be stored in a cost-effective manner.

MongoDB uses a distributed database architecture, making storing data across multiple servers possible. This allows the system to easily accommodate an increase in data volume without scaling up its hardware infrastructure. The platform also offers indexing and full-text search capabilities, allowing users to search their vast datasets quickly.

What is Elasticsearch?

Elasticsearch is an open-source and powerful tool for managing and organizing large data. It is a sophisticated collection of projects that work together to create capacity structures and accurately stack data based on customer preferences and project requirements. Elasticsearch is designed to meet users' needs requiring rapid and reliable search capabilities on their vast datasets.

Elasticsearch is based on the robust and highly scalable search engine Apache Lucene. Combining the powerful search capabilities of Apache Lucene with advanced features such as real-time indexing, distributed search, and multi-tenancy. The platform has built-in security features that allow users to restrict access to data based on specific user roles and profiles.

Elasticsearch also provides a high degree of flexibility and control to users. Users have complete control over all data management tasks, including updating, recovering, abusing, and erasing data. They can customize the software to suit their business requirements and preferences and easily integrate the platform with other third-party applications.

MongoDB vs. Elasticsearch

Both MongoDB and Elasticsearch offer powerful solutions for managing large datasets. While they are capable of the same tasks, each platform has strengths and weaknesses that should be considered when deciding which one to use. Let's discuss in detail both technologies.

Difference Between Elasticsearch and MongoDB 

Data Storage Architecture

MongoDB is built using a distributed architecture, which allows it to scale up easily and handle large datasets more effectively. It is written in C++ and uses JSON-like documents to store data. Elasticsearch, on the other hand, is built around Apache Lucene and uses an inverted index structure, which allows it to find and retrieve relevant information from large datasets quickly.

Elasticsearch uses an index-based storage system, which provides faster search performance but can be more difficult to scale.MongoDB is suited for applications that require quick and easy data access, while Elasticsearch is best for applications that need more powerful search capabilities.

Licensing Model and Paid Features

MongoDB is open-source and free for anyone to use. However, the enterprise version of MongoDB does come with paid features such as advanced data encryption, high availability, and auditing capabilities. 

Elasticsearch is also open-source but requires a subscription in order to access its full range of features.

Backup and Recovery

Elasticsearch provides plugin-based backup features to recover from data loss quickly. It also offers a number of backup and recovery options, including the ability to take snapshots of a database or clone it into multiple replicas.

MongoDB, however, provides a robust backup and recovery system based on its distributed architecture. This ensures that data is always stored across multiple servers for redundancy purposes. It also allows users to quickly restore their database from multiple backups in case of unexpected failures.

Programming Language Support

Elasticsearch is written in Java, allowing it to integrate easily with other applications written in the same language. It also supports popular programming languages like Python, PHP, and Ruby. 

MongoDB is written in C++ and supports a wide range of programming languages including JavaScript, Go, Java, .NET, Perl, and Python.

Handling Relational Data

MongoDB and Elasticsearch make storing and accessing data easy. MongoDB uses embedded and linked documents to store related information in one collection. This makes it easier for users to connect related data across multiple collections within their database.

Elasticsearch, on the other hand, has two different models for storing relational data. The parent-child model allows users to store related data in the same index, while the nested objects model stores related documents within one another. This makes it easier for users to store and manage large amounts of hierarchical data.

Use Cases

MongoDB is most suitable for highly scalable data storage and retrieval applications. It is ideal for content management systems, user profiles, real-time analytics, and logging applications.

Elasticsearch is best suited for applications that require powerful search capabilities. Examples include eCommerce sites, online marketing campaigns, and applications that require real-time analytics.

Elasticsearch 5 Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Search types: Elasticsearch supports a wide range of search types, including fuzzy, exact, and partial matches.
  • High Availability: With its distributed architecture and automated backups, Elasticsearch ensures that data is always available and safe from loss.
  • Concurrent Searches: Elasticsearch can handle concurrent searches quickly and efficiently.
  • Aggregates and Filters: Elasticsearch supports powerful aggregate and filter functions, making it easy to perform complex queries on large datasets.
  • Speed: Elasticsearch can perform complex searches on large datasets in a fraction of the time it takes traditional databases.


  • Resource Intensive: Elasticsearch can be resource intensive, particularly when dealing with large datasets.
  • Configuration Complexity: The configuration of Elasticsearch can be complex and requires expertise to ensure that it is set up correctly.
  • Cost: Although open-source, the cost of using Elasticsearch for commercial purposes can be high due to subscription fees.

MongoDB Advantages and Disadvantages


  • High Performance: MongoDB offers high performance when dealing with large datasets.
  • Flexibility: It is schema-less, meaning it can store data in any format, making it highly flexible.
  • Scalability: MongoDB can easily scale horizontally to accommodate larger databases.
  • Replication: MongoDB offers robust replication and redundancy, allowing users to create multiple data replicas.
  • Security: MongoDB provides built-in security features such as authentication and authorization to help protect data from unauthorized access.


  • Joins: MongoDB does not support joins, which can be difficult to work around when dealing with large datasets.
  • Indexing: Indexing in MongoDB can be slow, particularly when searching for complex queries.
  • Disk Space Requirements: MongoDB requires a lot of disk space due to its replicas and redundancy features.

Use case of Elasticsearch and MongoDB

Use case of Elasticsearch

1. Logging and analytics: 

Elasticsearch is well-suited to log and analyze data in real time. It can easily process large amounts of data quickly, making it a popular choice for applications such as website analysis and tracking customer behaviour. Its powerful search capabilities and aggregates allow it to efficiently analyze large datasets.

2. Text search: 

Elasticsearch is well-suited for applications that require robust text search capabilities. It allows users to quickly find relevant documents in a dataset without combing through every document manually.

3. Recommendations: 

Elasticsearch can be used to create powerful recommendation engines. Its ability to rapidly process large datasets makes it a great choice for online stores or websites that need to display personalized product recommendations.

Use case of MongoDB

1. Content Management Systems : 

MongoDB is perfect for content management systems as its schema-less design allows users to store and update documents quickly. It is ideal for CMS applications such as blogging platforms or eCommerce stores that must be updated frequently.

2. Mobile Application Development:

 MongoDB is a great choice for mobile applications as its flexibility allows it to accommodate unstructured data easily. It also offers scalability and replication features, making it ideal for developing apps that need to scale quickly.

3. Real-time Analytics: 

MongoDB is well-suited for real-time analytics as it can easily process large datasets in a fraction of the time it takes traditional databases. Its strong replication and redundancy features make it a great choice for applications where data integrity is important.

Choosing between Elasticsearch and MongoDB

Elasticsearch and MongoDB are both popular NoSQL databases with their own unique features, strengths, and weaknesses. Elasticsearch is better suited for applications that require fast indexing for complex queries, whereas MongoDB is more suitable for applications that need to store large amounts of data in a flexible manner. Ultimately, the choice depends on the application's requirements and the available budget.

But even after you get either of [or both!] the databases, you still need a way to clean up data to put into them [and extract for use later]. That’s where Sprinkledata steps in. 

Sprinkledata is the ultimate data pipeline automation solution for businesses looking to integrate and analyze data from multiple databases. It is an easy-to-use platform that can integrate multiple databases, giving businesses access to the data they need for reporting and analysis in one place.Learn more about the platform. Try now!

Written by
Soham Dutta


Elasticsearch vs. MongoDB: 2023 Comparison