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File Upload API Definition

The File Upload API lets you extract text from existing, unstructured documents in common file types like PDFs, Microsoft Word, Text, HTML, and Markdown. The maximum file size supported by the server is 10 MB.

We recommend the File Upload API when you have not already written your own extraction logic. You can attach user-defined metadata at the document level for optimizing searches made against your data by formatting your data as JSON.

  • Check out our interactive API Playground that enables you to experiment with this REST endpoint. You can upload a file to a corpus directly from your browser or copy the curl for your command line.
  • Review the Supported File Types for the most up-to-date list.

File Upload REST Endpoint

Vectara exposes an HTTP endpoint at the following URL to upload and index documents into a corpus:

File Upload Request Details

The File Upload endpoint expects an multipart/form-data POST request that includes the following HTTP parameters:

  • c - Specifies the customer_id.

  • o - Specifies the corpus_id into which the document should be indexed.

  • (Optional) d: If set to true, the server returns the extracted document that was indexed.

    Use this parameter when uploading a raw file (pdf, docx) instead of a file that contains a Document proto message (pbtxt, pb, json). The caller can inspect the returned extracted Document proto message from the raw file.

Apart from these parameters, the servers expect a valid JWT Token in the HTTP headers.

curl -L -X POST '' \
-H 'Content-Type: multipart/form-data' \
-H 'Accept: application/json' \
-H 'x-api-key: zwt_123456' \
-F 'file=@"/path/to/file"'

Set the Document ID

The Content-Disposition header lets you specify the Document ID of a file when you use the following format:

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="*file*"; filename="*your_document_id*"

where file is the name of the file, and filename is the Document ID that
you want. The primary purpose of this header is to specify the form-data, so using filename as the Document ID is specific to our platform. For more information about Content-Disposition, see the Mozilla documentation on headers.

Attach Additional Metadata

You can attach additional metadata to the file by specifying a doc_metadata form field, which can contain a JSON string:

doc_metadata='{ "filesize": 1234 }'

Response Codes

The server responds with 200 when the file was uploaded and indexed successfully. Note that it may still take a few minutes (typically 5-10 mins) before the document is served.

Some error codes returned by the server are:

  • 400: An invalid request was sent. For example, one of the required parameters was missing, or the corpus ID does not exist.

  • 401: The caller is not authenticated.

  • 403: The caller is not authorized to add documents to the corpus.

  • 409: A document already exists in the corpus with the same document ID, yet the contents of the indexed document are different than the file being uploaded. Since the indexer is idempotent, the same document (identified by the document ID) can be uploaded multiple times.

    The indexer does not support updates yet, so an error is returned when a different document is uploaded for the same document ID. Note that when you upload a raw file, the file name is used as the document ID.

  • 507: There is no more indexing quota left for the corpus or customer to index more documents.

Add a Timeout to the File Upload

Adding grpc-timeout to the header of your REST call lets you specify how long to wait for the calls that have the potential to take longer to process. We recommend a timeout value of 30 seconds 30S as typically long enough to allow the call to complete successfully.

You can pass this parameter in header as follows:

$ jwt=eyJraWQ...
$ curl -H "Authorization: Bearer $jwt" -H "grpc-timeout: 30S" -F file=@/tmp/instructions.pdf \
-F doc_metadata='{ "filesize": 1234 }' \