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Version: 2.0


Vectara offers multiple data ingestion methods to accommodate different types of use cases. By choosing the appropriate ingestion method, users can efficiently index their data and leverage our advanced search capabilities. This flexible approach allows for the precise integration of Vectara’s search functionalities into different applications.

Vectara Ingest: sample data ingestion framework

Getting data into Vectara is simple using either our REST or gRPC APIs. We built a full sample ingestion framework ready to go with Vectara Ingest, which includes preconfigured templates that enable you to pull data from many popular data sources such as websites and RSS feeds.

Data ingestion with the indexing APIs

Selecting the ideal Indexing API for your application can significantly impact the effectiveness of integrating Vectara’s search functionalities into your application. The best indexing method depends on your needs, such as when you have semi-structured or unstructured documents, or if you want more granular control over the data segmentation and indexing process.

Vectara offers the following indexing APIs for these different scenarios:

File upload API

If you want to extract text from existing, unstructured documents in common file types with minimal manual intervention, use the File Upload API. This option enables you to attach additional, user-defined metadata at the document level.

You can also upload JSON versions of the same Document protocol buffers passed to the standard indexing API and the low-level indexing API, as long as the file ends with the .json extension. Our platform intelligently determines which flavor of document proto it's looking at. Note that sending any other kind of JSON to the indexing endpoint will cause it to error out.

We recommend this option if you have not written your own extraction logic already.

Index document API

The Index Document API has a discriminator property type that determines the format of the document. The supported document types are structured and core.

Structured document definition

If you have structured documents that you want Vectara to index and segment into chunks for you, use the the structured type, which has a document with layout features such as title, description, metadata, custom_dimensions, and an array of sections. In Vectara, a document is very flexible in what it can represent. It can be as short as a tweet or as long as the 1600 page Bible.

The document is also broken down into sections. Each sections can have a unique id, title, text, and metadata and also contain other nested sections.

We recommend this option for applications where documents already have a clear and consistent structure like news articles, product descriptions, rows in database tables or CSV files, or records from an ERP system.

Core document definition

For the most advanced use cases, if you want full, granular control to chunk your document into document_parts, use the core type, which has a document structure that closely corresponds to Vectara's internal document data model. It contains an id, metadata, and an array of individual document_parts, which make up granular sections of the overall document container. These parts define the actual text to be indexed. Each part is converted into exactly one vector in the underlying index. Each part can contain individual text blocks, context, and metadata, as well as custom dimension values that affect ranking results.

We recommend this option for Machine Learning teams with expertise in neural information retrieval who want low-level control over how documents are indexed in our systems. Using the low-level API typically involves significant coordination between your Machine Learning team and organizational stakeholders.

By leveraging the appropriate data indexing method is based on the nature of your documents, you can ingest and structure your data for optimal performance with Vectara's Retrieval Augmented Generatation as-a-Service platform.