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Updating an index in Elvis 4

Updating an index in Elvis 4

Note: Not available in Elvis 5.x. See Update index (Elvis 5.x) instead.

Caution: Running the index updater improperly can cause loss of data. If you need to run it outside of the normal upgrade directions, please contact support@woodwing.com before using it.

The index updater can be used to bring an old index up-to-date or to perform several maintenance tasks on the assets in the system. This article gives some insights on its options and best use in several scenarios. You can find the index updater on the server admin pages, among other admin tools.

After an upgrade

Upgrading an Elvis installation to a new version is usually quite simple. Install the new server version, restart the service and you're good to go. It may be some extra work when we change the desktop client or modified scheduled modules, see Upgrade Instructions.

Another upgrade step required for some version upgrades is running the index updater. Settings are automatically pre-configured during the upgrade process if it needs to run for a specific upgrade, this includes increasing the index revision and setting update options.

Running the index updater is not required for all version migrations, please check the upgrade instructions for your version.

Increase index revision

You can increase the index revision to make all assets in the index "out-of-date", this makes sure that all assets in the index will be updated when the index updater runs. It is possible to limit this to specific assets by specifying a filter query.

The top of the update page shows status information.

  • Current index revision - the revision number for the index.
  • Items with an out-of-date revision - the number of assets that do not match the current index revision, this number should decrease when the index updater is running (refresh page to view changes).
  • Index updater status - the status of the index updater, possible values are "stopped" and "running" (refresh page to view changes).

Filter query

The index updater updates all assets in the index. You can make an exception by specifying a filter query, only assets that match the query will be updated.

Some examples:

  • Only update assets in the Demo Zone: ancestorPaths:"/Demo Zone"
  • Only update Office documents: assetDomain:presentation OR assetDomain:document

Click apply to save the configuration and check the number of assets that will be updated (Items with an out-of-date revision). It is good practice to first test these filters in the desktop client before using them in the index updater. They can be tested as a search in the main search box. Note that the revision has to be increased before you see the results of your filter query.


There are several options available which extend a simple asset update. Some of these can be really powerful but they can also slow down the upgrade.

The following list functionally describes each option and the impact it has on the upgrade performance. Some knowledge on the processing performance impact is convenient when determining the index updater speed options

Re-extract metadata from files:

  • Extracts the metadata from a file and adds this to the index
  • Performance impact: HEAVY

Re-extract text content from files:

  • Extracts the text content from a file and adds this to the index
  • Performance impact: HEAVY

Delete assets from index for which the original is no longer present in the main filestore:

  • Removes an index entry when the corresponding original file is not available any more
  • Performance impact: LIGHT

Regenerate thumbnails and previews:

  • Creates new thumbnail(s) and preview(s), when these are available for the file
  • Performance impact: HEAVY

Rebuild automagically created relations:

  • Re-creates all automatically created relations in the index
  • Performance impact: MEDIUM


There are two settings to tweak the index updater performance. We can configure these in two ways. The first option is to update the index as fast as possible, downside of this is that the server will be under heavy load and this will affect overall system performance. The second option is to update the index at a more modest speed which should result in an acceptable system performance.

Milliseconds to pause between updating assets (default=0)

  • Set to high value (between 200 and 2000) to slow down the index updater.
  • Set to 0 to disable pause for maximum index updater speed.

Note: Any value larger than 0 really slows down the update, normally it is best to leave this to 0.

Number of threads (default=1)

The number of parallel index update processes the index updater runs with.

Slow upgrade:

  • Set to 1

Fast upgrade:

  • With no HEAVY impact options selected: Set to 3-5
  • With one or more HEAVY impact options selected: This is a bit more difficult, take 80% of the total processing capacity and divide that by the number of HEAVY options selected

This requires some examples to illustrate the correct values. Lets say we have a setup with a main server and three processing servers attached. Each processing server has a default nodeMediaEngineCapacity of 5 (total capacity = 15).

Case 1: Simple index update with no options selected, at slow speed:

  • Set pause to: 0
  • Set threads to: 1

Case 2: Simple index update with no options selected, at high speed:

  • Set pause to: 0
  • Set threads to: 5

Case 3: Index update with re-extract metadata selected, at slow speed:

  • Set pause to: 0
  • Set threads to: 1

Case 4: Index update with re-extract metadata selected, at slow speed:

  • Set pause to: 0
  • Set threads to: ((5 + 5 + 5) * 0.80) / 1 = 12

Case 5: Index update with re-extract metadata and regenerate thumbnails and previews selected, at high speed:

  • Set pause to: 0
  • Set threads to: ((5 + 5 + 5) * 0.80) / 2 = 6

Note: In most cases it is not critical to run the index updater at high speed. The system is perfectly usable even when not all assets are updated. Assets will also be automatically updated to the latest revision when they are changed by a user or other process.

Auto-continue index update after server restart

This option is self-explanatory. Note that you can always pause (stop) and resume (start) an index update at any time.

Run index update exclusive

With this option checked, other heavy processes like backup and bulk imports will be blocked while the index update is running.

Relation index updater

Updates the relation index. Running the relation index updater is rarely required, it is also not configurable at the moment. The relation index updater runs automatically when necessary after an upgrade, when the server is started for the first time. Relation index updater status information can be found in the top-right corner of the index updater page.

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