Caching best practices

Vlad Mihalcea

Introduction

There is an irresistible attraction to writing custom caching solutions, since it seems to be the easiest path to “improving” the overall application performance. Well, caching is a great technique, but there are few steps to consider before even considering it.

Best practices

  1. A key/value collection is not a Cache

    Almost all projects I worked on have been using some sort of custom caching solutions, built on top of Java Maps. A Map is not an out-of-the-box Caching solution, since a Cache is more than a key/value store. A Cache also requires:

    • eviction policies
    • max size limit
    • persistent store
    • weak references keys
    • statistics

    A Java Map doesn’t offer these features and you shouldn’t spend your customer’s money to write a custom cache solution either. You should choose a professional cache like EHCache or Guava Cache, which are both powerful and simple to use. Those tools are constantly tested…

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