Java Cache Tutorial with Cache Dependency Injection (CDI)

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Faster application performance is possible with Java caching by saving the results of long calculations and reducing database load. The Java caching API is being standardized with jcache. In combination with Java Dependency Injection (CDI), you can use caching in a completely standard fashion in the Resin Application Server. You'll typically want to look at caching when your application starts slowing down, or your database or other expensive resource starts getting overloaded. Caching is useful when you want to:

  • Improve latency
  • Reduce database load
  • Reduce CPU use

This example defines a single local, persistent cache named "my-cache", defined in the WEB-INF/resin-web.xml (this part is Resin Application Server specific, of course.) Once the cache is defined, the standard jcache javax.cache.Cache object can be injected into your class with the standard CDI @Inject annotation and used.

The definition selected the ClusterCache implementation (you can also use a LocalCache for a single-server cache), gives it a javax.inject.Named name of "my-cache" and configures it. Here we only configure the name, and set the expire time to 1H. (The default is infinite expire.)

<web-app xmlns=""

  <resin:ClusterCache ee:Named="my-cache">

CDI inject of javax.cache.Cache

In the MyService class, we inject the cache that we defined using the CDI @Inject and @Named annotations. Normally, CDI recommends that you create custom qualifier annotations instead of using @Named, but to keep the example simple, we're giving it a simple name.

The Cache object can be used somewhat like a java.util.Map. Here we just use the get() and put() methods. Because we set the modified-expire-timeout to be 1H, the get() will return null an hour after the data was populated.

import javax.inject.Inject;
import javax.cache.Cache;

public class MyService {
  @Inject @Named("my-cache")
  private Cache<String,String> _cache;

  public String doStuff(String key)
    String cachedValue = _cache.get(key);

    if (cachedValue == null) {
      cachedValue = doLongCalculation(key);

      _cache.put(key, cachedValue);

    return cachedValue;

  public String doLongCalculation(String key)
    // database, REST, XML-parsing, etc.

Notice that all the code uses standard APIs without any need to reference Resin classes. Since only the configuration needs to select the Resin cache, your application can easily switch cache implementations.

Cache Performance example

Since reducing database load is a typical cache benefit, it's useful to create a micro-benchmark to see how a cache can help. This is just a simple test with mysql running on the same server and a trivial query. In other words, it's not trying to exaggerate the value of the cache, because almost any real cache use will have a longer "doLongCalculation" than this simple example, and therefore the cache will benefit even more.

The micro-benchmark has a simple jdbc query in the "doLongCalculation" method

"SELECT value FROM test WHERE id=?"

and then to get useful data, the call to "doStuff" is repeated 300k times and compared with the direct call to "doLongCalculation" 300k times.

Type Time requests per millisecond Mysql CPU
JDBC 30s 10.0 req/ms 35%
Cache 0.3s 1095 req/ms 0%

Even this simple test shows how caches can win. In this simple benchmark, the performance is significantly faster and saves the database load.

  • 10x faster
  • Remove Mysql load

To get more realistic numbers, you'll need to benchmark the difference on a full application. Micro-benchmarks like this are useful to explain concepts, but real benchmarks require testing against your own application, in combination with profiling. For example, Resin's simple profiling capabilities in the /resin-admin or with the pdf-report can get you quick and simple data in your application performance.

The Resin ClusterCache implementation

Since Resin's ClusterCache is a persistent cache, the entries you save will be stored to disk and recovered. This means you can store lots of data in the cache without worrying about running out of memory. (LocalCache is also a persistent cache.) If the memory becomes full, Resin will use the cache entries that are on disk. For performance, commonly-used items will remain in memory.

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