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JCache Setup and Configuration

This section shows what is necessary to provide the JCache API and the Hazelcast JCache implementation for your application. In addition, it demonstrates the different configuration options and describes the configuration properties.

Setting up Your Application

To provide your application with this JCache functionality, your application needs the JCache API inside its classpath. This API is the bridge between the specified JCache standard and the implementation provided by Hazelcast.

The method of integrating the JCache API JAR into the application classpath depends on the build system used. For Maven, Gradle, SBT, Ivy and many other build systems, all using Maven-based dependency repositories, perform the integration by adding the Maven coordinates to the build descriptor.

As already mentioned, you have to add JCache coordinates next to the default Hazelcast coordinates that might be already part of the application.

For Maven users, the coordinates look like the following code:

<dependency>
    <groupId>javax.cache</groupId>
    <artifactId>cache-api</artifactId>
    <version>1.1.1</version>
</dependency>

With other build systems, you might need to describe the coordinates in a different way.

Activating Hazelcast as JCache Provider

To activate Hazelcast as the JCache provider implementation, add either hazelcast-all.jar or hazelcast.jar to the classpath (if not already available) by either one of the following Maven snippets.

If you use hazelcast-all.jar:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.hazelcast</groupId>
    <artifactId>hazelcast-all</artifactId>
    <version>3.12.12</version>
</dependency>

If you use hazelcast.jar:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.hazelcast</groupId>
    <artifactId>hazelcast</artifactId>
    <version>3.12.12</version>
</dependency>

The users of other build systems have to adjust the definition of the dependency to their needs.

Connecting Clients to Remote Member

When you want to use Hazelcast clients to connect to a remote cluster, you do not need to perform any additional steps; having hazelcast as a dependency does the work since it contains the client libraries, too:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.hazelcast</groupId>
    <artifactId>hazelcast</artifactId>
    <version>3.12.12</version>
</dependency>

For other build systems, for instance, ANT, the users have to download these dependencies from either the JSR-107 specification and Hazelcast community website (hazelcast.org) or from the Maven repository search page (maven.org).

Example JCache Application

Before moving on to configuration, let’s have a look at a basic introductory example. The following code shows how to use the Hazelcast JCache integration inside an application in an easy but typesafe way.

        // Retrieve the CachingProvider which is automatically backed by
        // the chosen Hazelcast member or client provider.
        CachingProvider cachingProvider = Caching.getCachingProvider();

        // Create a CacheManager.
        CacheManager cacheManager = cachingProvider.getCacheManager();

        // Create a simple but typesafe configuration for the cache.
        CompleteConfiguration<String, String> config =
                new MutableConfiguration<String, String>()
                        .setTypes( String.class, String.class );

        // Create and get the cache.
        Cache<String, String> cache = cacheManager.createCache( "example", config );
        // Alternatively to request an already existing cache:
        // Cache<String, String> cache = cacheManager
        //     .getCache( name, String.class, String.class );

        // Put a value into the cache.
        cache.put( "world", "Hello World" );

        // Retrieve the value again from the cache.
        String value = cache.get( "world" );

        // Print the value 'Hello World'.
        System.out.println( value );

Let’s go through the code lines of the above example one by one from top to bottom.

1. Getting the Hazelcast JCache Implementation:

First of all, we retrieve the javax.cache.spi.CachingProvider using the static method from javax.cache.Caching.getCachingManager(), which automatically picks up Hazelcast as the underlying JCache implementation, if available in the classpath. This way, the Hazelcast implementation of a CachingProvider automatically starts a new Hazelcast client and picks up the configuration from either the command line parameter or from the classpath. We will show how to use an existing HazelcastInstance later in this chapter; for now, we keep it simple.

2. Setting up the JCache Entry Point:

The next line in the example code above asks the CachingProvider to return a javax.cache.CacheManager. This is the general application’s entry point into JCache. The CacheManager creates and manages named caches.

3. Configuring the Cache Before Creating It:

Then we create a simple javax.cache.configuration.MutableConfiguration to configure the cache before actually creating it. In this case, we only configure the key and value types to make the cache typesafe which is highly recommended and checked on retrieval of the cache.

4. Creating the Cache:

To create the cache, we call javax.cache.CacheManager.createCache() with a name for the cache and the previously created configuration; the call returns the created cache. If you need to retrieve a previously created cache, you can use the corresponding method overload javax.cache.CacheManager.getCache(). If the cache was created using type parameters, you must retrieve the cache afterward using the type checking version of getCache.

5. get, put and getAndPut:

Then we use the simple put and get calls from the java.util.Map interface. The javax.cache.Cache.put() has a void return type and does not return the previously assigned value of the key. To imitate the java.util.Map.put() method, the JCache cache has a method called getAndPut.

Configuring for JCache

Hazelcast JCache provides two different methods for cache configuration:

  • declaratively: using hazelcast.xml/yaml or hazelcast-client.xml/yaml

  • programmatically: the typical Hazelcast way, using the Config API seen above

Declarative Configuration

You can declare your JCache cache configuration using the hazelcast.xml or hazelcast-client.xml configuration files. Using this declarative configuration makes creating the javax.cache.Cache fully transparent and automatically ensures internal thread safety. You do not need a call to javax.cache.Cache.createCache() in this case: you can retrieve the cache using javax.cache.Cache.getCache() overloads and by passing in the name defined in the configuration for the cache.

To retrieve the cache that you defined in the declaration files, you only need to perform a simple call (example below) because the cache is created automatically by the implementation.

CachingProvider cachingProvider = Caching.getCachingProvider();
CacheManager cacheManager = cachingProvider.getCacheManager();
Cache<Object, Object> cache = cacheManager
    .getCache( "default", Object.class, Object.class );

Note that this section only describes the JCache provided standard properties. For the Hazelcast specific properties, see the ICache Configuration section.

<hazelcast>
    ...
    <cache name="default">
        <key-type class-name="java.lang.Object" />
        <value-type class-name="java.lang.Object" />
        <statistics-enabled>false</statistics-enabled>
        <management-enabled>false</management-enabled>
        <read-through>true</read-through>
        <write-through>true</write-through>
        <cache-loader-factory
            class-name="com.example.cache.MyCacheLoaderFactory" />
        <cache-writer-factory
            class-name="com.example.cache.MyCacheWriterFactory" />
        <expiry-policy-factory
            class-name="com.example.cache.MyExpiryPolicyFactory" />
        <cache-entry-listeners>
            <cache-entry-listener old-value-required="false" synchronous="false">
                <cache-entry-listener-factory
                    class-name="com.example.cache.MyEntryListenerFactory" />
                <cache-entry-event-filter-factory
                    class-name="com.example.cache.MyEntryEventFilterFactory" />
            </cache-entry-listener>
        </cache-entry-listeners>
    </cache>
    ...
</hazelcast>
  • key-type#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the cache key type. Its default value is java.lang.Object.

  • value-type#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the cache value type. Its default value is java.lang.Object.

  • statistics-enabled: If set to true, statistics like cache hits and misses are collected. Its default value is false.

  • management-enabled: If set to true, JMX beans are enabled and collected statistics are provided. It doesn’t automatically enable statistics collection. Its default value is false.

  • read-through: If set to true, enables read-through behavior of the cache to an underlying configured javax.cache.integration.CacheLoader which is also known as lazy-loading. Its default value is false.

  • write-through: If set to true, enables write-through behavior of the cache to an underlying configured javax.cache.integration.CacheWriter which passes any changed value to the external backend resource. Its default value is false.

  • cache-loader-factory#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the javax.cache.configuration.Factory implementation providing a javax.cache.integration.CacheLoader instance to the cache.

  • cache-writer-factory#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the javax.cache.configuration.Factory implementation providing a javax.cache.integration.CacheWriter instance to the cache.

  • expiry-policy-factory#-class-name: Fully qualified class name of the javax.cache.configuration.Factory implementation providing a javax.cache.expiry.ExpiryPolicy instance to the cache.

  • cache-entry-listener: A set of attributes and elements, explained below, to describe a javax.cache.event.CacheEntryListener.

    • cache-entry-listener#old-value-required: If set to true, previously assigned values for the affected keys are sent to the javax.cache.event.CacheEntryListener implementation. Setting this attribute to true creates additional traffic. Its default value is false.

    • cache-entry-listener#synchronous: If set to true, the javax.cache.event.CacheEntryListener implementation is called in a synchronous manner. Its default value is false.

    • cache-entry-listener/entry-listener-factory#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the javax.cache.configuration.Factory implementation providing a javax.cache.event.CacheEntryListener instance.

    • cache-entry-listener/entry-event-filter-factory#class-name: Fully qualified class name of the javax.cache.configuration.Factory implementation providing a javax.cache.event.CacheEntryEventFilter instance.

The JMX MBeans provided by Hazelcast JCache show statistics of the local member only. To show the cluster-wide statistics, the user should collect statistic information from all members and accumulate them to the overall statistics.

Programmatic Configuration

To configure the JCache programmatically:

  • either instantiate javax.cache.configuration.MutableConfiguration if you will use only the JCache standard configuration,

  • or instantiate com.hazelcast.config.CacheConfig for a deeper Hazelcast integration.

com.hazelcast.config.CacheConfig offers additional options that are specific to Hazelcast, such as asynchronous and synchronous backup counts. Both classes share the same supertype interface javax.cache.configuration.CompleteConfiguration which is part of the JCache standard.

To stay vendor independent, try to keep your code as near as possible to the standard JCache API. We recommend that you use declarative configuration and that you use the javax.cache.configuration.Configuration or javax.cache.configuration.CompleteConfiguration interfaces in your code only when you need to pass the configuration instance throughout your code.

If you don’t need to configure Hazelcast specific properties, we recommend that you instantiate javax.cache.configuration.MutableConfiguration and that you use the setters to configure Hazelcast as shown in the example in the Example JCache Application section. Since the configurable properties are the same as the ones explained in the JCache Declarative Configuration section, they are not mentioned here. For Hazelcast specific properties, please read the ICache Configuration section section.