Point in time search in Amazon OpenSearch Service - Amazon OpenSearch Service

Point in time search in Amazon OpenSearch Service

Point in Time (PIT) is a type of search that lets you run different queries against a dataset that's fixed in time. Typically, when you run the same query on the same index at different points in time, you receive different results because documents are constantly indexed, updated, and deleted. With PIT, you can query against a constant state of your dataset.

The main use of PIT search is to couple it with search_after functionality. This is the preferred pagination method in OpenSearch, especially for deep pagination, because it operates on a dataset that is frozen in time, it is not bound to a query, and it supports consistent pagination going forward and backward. You can use PIT with a domain running OpenSearch version 2.5.


This topic provides an overview of PIT and some things to consider when using it on a managed Amazon OpenSearch Service domain rather than a self-managed OpenSearch cluster. For full documentation of PIT, including a comprehensive API reference, see Point in Time in the open source OpenSearch documentation.


Consider the following when you configure your PIT searches:

  • If you're upgrading from domain running OpenSearch version 2.3 and need fine-grain access control on PIT actions, you need to manually add those actions and roles.

  • There's no resiliency for PIT. Node reboot, node termination, blue/green deployments, and OpenSearch process restarts cause all PIT data to be lost.

  • If a shard relocates during blue/green deployment, only live data segments are transferred to the new node. Segments of shards held by PIT (both exclusively and the one shared with lived data) remain on the old node.

  • PIT searches currently don't work with asynchronous search.

Create a PIT

To run a PIT query, send HTTP requests to _search/point_in_time using the following format:

POST opensearch-domain/my-index/_search/point_in_time?keep_alive=time

You can specify the following PIT options:

Options Description Default value Required

The amount of time to keep the PIT. Every time you access a PIT with a search request, the PIT lifetime is extended by the amount of time equal to the keep_alive parameter. This query parameter is required when you create a PIT, but optional in a search request.


A string that specifies the node or the shard used to perform the search.

Random No
routing A string that specifies to route search requests to a specific shard. The document’s _id No
expand_wildcards A string that specifies type of index that can match the wildcard pattern. Supports comma-separated values. Valid values are the following:
  • all: Match any index or data stream, including hidden ones.

  • open: Match open, non-hidden indexes or non-hidden data streams.

  • closed: Match closed, non-hidden indexes or non-hidden data streams.

  • hidden: Match hidden indexes or data streams. Must be combined with open, closed or both open and closed.

  • none: No wildcard patterns are accepted.

open No
allow_partial_pit_creation A boolean that specifies whether to create a PIT with partial failures. true No

Sample response

{ "pit_id": "o463QQEPbXktaW5kZXgtMDAwMDAxFnNOWU43ckt3U3IyaFVpbGE1UWEtMncAFjFyeXBsRGJmVFM2RTB6eVg1aVVqQncAAAAAAAAAAAIWcDVrM3ZIX0pRNS1XejE5YXRPRFhzUQEWc05ZTjdyS3dTcjJoVWlsYTVRYS0ydwAA", "_shards": { "total": 1, "successful": 1, "skipped": 0, "failed": 0 }, "creation_time": 1658146050064 }

When you create a PIT, you receive a PIT ID in the response. This is the ID that you use to perform searches with the PIT.

Point in time permissions

PIT supports fine-grained access control. If you're upgrading to an OpenSearch version 2.5 domain and need fine-grain access control, you need to manually create roles with the following permissions:

# Allows users to use all point in time search search functionality point_in_time_full_access: reserved: true index_permissions: - index_patterns: - '*' allowed_actions: - "indices:data/read/point_in_time/create" - "indices:data/read/point_in_time/delete" - "indices:data/read/point_in_time/readall" - "indices:data/read/search" - "indices:monitor/point_in_time/segments" # Allows users to use point in time search search functionality for specific index # All type operations like list all PITs, delete all PITs are not supported in this case point_in_time_index_access: reserved: true index_permissions: - index_patterns: - 'my-index-1' allowed_actions: - "indices:data/read/point_in_time/create" - "indices:data/read/point_in_time/delete" - "indices:data/read/search" - "indices:monitor/point_in_time/segments"

For domains with OpenSearch version 2.5 and above, you can use the built-in point_in_time_full_access role. For more information, see Security model in the OpenSearch documentation.

PIT settings

OpenSearch lets you change all available PIT settings using the _cluster/settings API. In OpenSearch Service, you can't currently modify settings.

Cross-cluster search

You can create PITs, search with PIT IDs, list PITs, and delete PITs across clusters with the following minor limitations:

  • You can list all and delete all PITs only on the source domain.

  • You can't minimize network round trips as part of a cross-cluster search query.

For more information, see Cross-cluster search in Amazon OpenSearch Service.


PIT searches with UltraWarm indexes continue to work. For more information, see UltraWarm storage for Amazon OpenSearch Service.


You can monitor PIT search statistics in CloudWatch. For a full list of metrics, see Point in time metrics.