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Dynamic caching

Most caching techniques cache static content (content that rarely changes) such as graphic and text files. However, many Web sites serve dynamic content, containing personalized information or data that changes more frequently. Caching dynamic content requires more sophisticated caching techniques, such as those provided by the WebSphere Application Server dynamic cache, a built-in service for caching and serving dynamic content.

The dynamic cache service includes :

The caching behavior of the WebSphere Application Server dynamic cache service is specified by cache policies defined by <cache-entry> elements in cache specification configuration XML (cachespec.xml) files.

As the dynamic cache service places objects in the cache, it labels them with unique identifying strings (cache IDs) constructed according to <cache-id> rules specified in the <cache-entry> elements. Once an object with a particular cache-id is in the cache, a subsequent request for an object with the same cache-id is served from the cache (a cache "hit"). The <cache-id> rules define how to construct cache-ids from information associated with an application server request (to execute a Servlet, JSP, or command), including how information may be obtained programmatically from CacheableCommand objects.

Cached objects are removed from the cache according to information provided in their <cache-entry> elements, such as the <timeout>, <priority> and <invalidation> elements.

The <timeout> and <priority> elements configure expiry and eviction policies. When the available cache memory is full, a least recently used (LRU) caching algorithm removes cached objects with lower priority, or offloads them to disk if the disk offload capability is enabled, before those with higher priority.

The <dependency-id> and <invalidation> elements define rules that generate dependency IDs and invalidation IDs, which together specify that certain objects should be removed from the cache when certain requests (such as those that update cached information) are processed. When an object is cached, its generated dependency IDs are associated with it in the cache. When a request causes invalidation IDs to be generated, all objects associated with those invalidation IDs are removed from the cache.

The <inactivity> element is used to specify a time-to-live (TTL) value for the cache entry based on the last time that the cache entry was accessed. The value is the amount of time, in seconds, to keep the cache entry in the cache after the last cache hit.

The dynamic cache service responds to changes in the cachespec.xml file. When the file is updated, the old policies are replaced. Objects cached through the old policy file are not automatically invalidated from the cache; they are either reused with the new policy or eliminated from the cache through its replacement algorithm.

WebSphere Commerce uses WebSphere Command Caching internally such as with MemberGroupsCacheCmdImpl in the preceding cache filter; however, WebSphere Commerce does not support caching of commands that contain non-serializable objects.

WebSphere Application Server dynamic cache

WebSphere Commerce uses the WebSphere Application Server dynamic cache service for caching servlets or JSP files and commands that extend from the WebSphere Application Server CacheableCommand interface. The dynamic cache service, servlet caching and disk offload are enabled by default, during the creation of a WCS instance.

Limitations of dynamic caching

If you use the cachespec.xml file to enable invalidation you might encounter the following behavior:

To resolve these problems, invalidate cache manually.


  1. Prepare to use caching in WebSphere Commerce
  2. Administer caching in WebSphere Commerce
  3. Cache invalidation
  4. Dynamic caching considerations with JSTL
  5. Dynamic caching considerations for persistent session
  6. Store relationships for cached store pages
  7. Improve marketing performance using caching
  8. Clear the marketing Web service cache
  9. WebSphere Commerce data cache
  10. WebSphere Commerce store pages properties
  11. Cache defaults
  12. Cache-entry elements

Related concepts

Cache invalidation

Related tasks

Configure cacheable objects
Create store pages that can be cached using cachespec.xml

Related reference

Cache defaults
DynaCacheInvalidation URL
WebSphere Commerce store pages properties


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