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Spring Boot – Cache Provider

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  • Last Updated : 17 Mar, 2022
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Spring Boot is a project that is built on top of the Spring Framework that provides an easier and faster way to set up, configure, and run both simple and web-based applications. It is a microservice-based framework used to create a stand-alone Spring-based application that we can run with minimal Spring configurations.

The Spring Framework provides support for transparently adding caching to an application. It keeps frequently accessed objects, images, and data closer to where you need them, speeding up access by not hitting the database or any third-party application multiple times for the same data and saving monetary costs. Data that does not change frequently can be cached.

In Spring Boot, the cache provider gives authorization to programmers to configure cache explicitly in an application. It incorporates various cache providers such as EhCache, Redis, Guava, Caffeine, etc. 

To add caching to an operation of your application we need to add @Cacheable annotation to its method

// Annotation 

// Class 
public class Student 

        // Annotation 

          // Method 
          public int getName(String name) {}

Now, Before invoking getName() method the abstraction looks for an entry in the Names cache that matches the name argument. If an entry is found, the content in the cache is immediately returned to the caller, and the method is not invoked. Otherwise, the method is invoked, and the cache is updated before returning the value.

Auto-Configuration: The Spring Boot Framework facilitates and reduces complexities by implementing auto-configuration support in caching. It searches for the libraries and configuration files in the classpath and initializes the required dependency beans at the time of application startup. Spring Boot auto-configures the cache infrastructure as long as caching is enabled via the @EnableCaching annotation.

If we do not add any specific cache library, Spring Boot auto-configures a simple provider that uses concurrent maps in memory but it is not really recommended for production usage.

Spring Boot Cache Providers

The cache abstraction does not provide an actual store and relies on abstraction materialized by the org.springframework.cache.Cache and org.springframework.cache.CacheManager interfaces. If we have not defined a bean of type CacheManager or a CacheResolver named cacheResolver, Spring Boot tries to detect the following providers:

  1. Generic
  2. JCache (JSR-107)
  3. EhCache 2.x
  4. Hazelcast
  5. Guava
  6. Infinispan
  7. Couchbase
  8. Redis
  9. Caffeine
  10. Simple

To quickly add basic caching dependencies, we must use the spring-boot-starter-cache in pom.xml file. If we want to add dependencies manually, we must include spring-context-support in our pom.xml file in order to use the JCache, EhCache 2.x, or Guava support.


Provider 1: Generic

Generic caching is used in the context that defines at least one org.springframework.cache.Cache bean. A CacheManager wrapping all beans of that type is created.

Provider 2: JCache

JCache starts with the presence of a javax.cache.spi.CachingProvider on the classpath and the JCacheCacheManager is provided by the spring-boot-starter-cache “Starter”. It might happen that more than one provider is present, in which case the provider must be explicitly specified. Even if the JSR-107 standard does not enforce a standardized way to define the location of the configuration file, Spring Boot accommodates setting a cache with implementation details as shown in below illustration as follows:


# Only necessary if more than one provider is present

If the cache library provides both native implementation and JSR support, Spring Boot prefers JSR support.

Provider 3: EhCache 2.x

Ehcache 2.x is an open-source, standards-based cache that boosts performance, offloads your database, and simplifies scalability. It’s the most widely-used Java-based cache because it’s robust, proven, full-featured, and integrates with other popular libraries and frameworks. EhCache 2.x is used if a file named ehcache.xml can be found at the root of the classpath. If EhCache 2.x is found, the EhCacheCacheManager provided by the spring-boot-starter-cache “Starter” is used to bootstrap the cache manager. It scales from in-process caching, all the way to mixed in-process/out-of-process deployments with terabyte-sized caches. We can configure EhCache by using the following property:


Provider 4: Hazelcast

Hazelcast is actually a streaming and memory-first application platform for fast, stateful, data-intensive workloads on-premises, at the edge or as a fully managed cloud service. Spring Boot has general support for Hazelcast. If a HazelcastInstance has been auto-configured, it is automatically wrapped in a CacheManager unless the spring.cache.jcache.config property is specified. We can configure Hazelcast by using the following property:


Provider 5: Guava

Guava is a set of core Java libraries from Google that includes new collection types (such as multimap and multiset), immutable collections, a graph library, and utilities for concurrency, I/O, hashing, caching, primitives, strings, and more. Guava is a single JAR that provides cache among many other capabilities. We can configure the applicationConfig.xml file by:

<bean id="cacheManager" class="org.springframework.cache.guava.GuavaCacheManager"/>

Provider 6: Infinispan

Infinispan is an open-source in-memory data grid that offers flexible deployment options and robust capabilities for storing, managing, and processing data. It can be easily integrated with JCache, JPA Quarkus, Spring, etc. It provides a key/value data store that can hold all types of data, from Java objects to plain text. Infinispan has no default configuration file location, so it must be specified explicitly. Otherwise, the default bootstrap is used.


Provider 7: Couchbase

CouchbaseCacheManager gets auto-configured if the Couchbase and the couchbase-spring-cache implementation are available and is configured. We can create additional caches on startup by setting the spring.cache.cache-names property. These caches operate on the Bucket that was auto-configured. We can also create additional caches on another Bucket by using the customizer. We can create the two caches in one Bucket with configuration, as follows:


Provider 8: Redis

RedisCacheManager gets auto-configured if Redis is available and configured. We can create additional caches on startup by setting the spring.cache.cache-names property and cache defaults can be configured by using the property spring.cache.redis.* .

The following configuration creates two caches named cache1 and cache2, which lives for 1 minute.


Provider 9: Caffeine

CaffeineCacheManager (provided by the spring-boot-starter-cache “Starter”) gets auto-configured If Caffeine is present and configured. Caffeine supersedes support for Guava.  Caches can be created on startup by setting the spring.cache.cache-names property.

The following configuration creates cache1 and cache2 caches with a maximum size of 100 and a time to live of 1 minute:


Provider 10: Simple

If none of the other providers is mentioned, a simple implementation using a ConcurrentHashMap as the cache-store is configured. it will be used only if no caching library is present in the application. We can restrict the list of available caches by setting the cache-names property. If we want only cache1 and cache2 caches, set the cache-names property as follows:


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