# Quick Start Guide

This quick tour will help you get started with MeiliSearch in only a few steps.

# Download and launch

First of all, you must have access to a running instance of MeiliSearch.

There are several download possibilities.

Environment variables and flags can be set before and on launch. With them you can among other things add the master key or set the port.

# Communicate with MeiliSearch

Now that our meilisearch server is up and running, we will be able to communicate with it.

This is done through a RESTFul API or one of our SDKs.

# Create your Index

In MeiliSearch, the information is subdivided into indexes. Each index contains a data structure and the associated documents. The indexes can be imagined as SQL tables. But you won't need to define the table, MeiliSearch does that for you.

In order to be able to store our documents in an index, we have to create one first.

# Add Documents

Once the index has been created it need to be filled with documents. It is these documents that will be used and returned when searches are made on MeiliSearch.

Documents are sent to MeiliSearch in JSON format.

The documents must have at least one field in common. This field contains the identifier of the document.

Let's use an example movies.json dataset to showcase how to add documents.

# Checking updates

In MeiliSearch, most actions are asynchronous. This lets you stack actions. They will be executed in the order in which they were made.

You can track the state of each action.

# Searches

Now that our documents have been added to MeiliSearch we are be able to search in it.

MeiliSearch offers many parameters that you can play with to refine your search or change the format of the returned documents. However, by default the search is already relevant.

The search engine is now aware of our documents and can serve those via our HTTP server.

$ curl 'http://127.0.0.1:7700/indexes/12345678/search?q=botman'

MeiliSearch response :

{
  "hits": [
    {
      "id": "29751",
      "title": "Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight",
      "poster": "https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1280/jjHu128XLARc2k4cJrblAvZe0HE.jpg",
      "overview": "Delve into the world of Batman and the vigilante justice tha",
      "release_date": "2008-07-15"
    },
    {
      "id": "471474",
      "title": "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight",
      "poster": "https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1280/7souLi5zqQCnpZVghaXv0Wowi0y.jpg",
      "overview": "ve Victorian Age Gotham City, Batman begins his war on crime",
      "release_date": "2018-01-12"
    }
  ],
  "offset": 0,
  "limit": 2,
  "processingTimeMs": 1,
  "query": "botman"
}