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CacheResponse Attribute

The [CacheResponse] is a normal Request Filter Attribute which can be added at the top-level of your Service class in which case it will cache the response of All Service implementations for 60 seconds, e.g:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 60)]
public class CachedServices : Service 
    public object Any(GetCustomer request) { ... }
    public object Any(GetCustomerOrders request) { ... }

It can also be applied individually on a single Service implementation:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 60)]
public object Any(GetCustomer request)
    return Db.SingleById<Customer>(request.Id);

Caching AutoQuery Services

Request Filter attributes can also be applied on Request DTO’s, as we seen with AutoQuery DynamoDB’s QueryRockstarAlbums Request DTO:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 60)]
public class QueryRockstarAlbums : QueryData<RockstarAlbum> { ... }

However adding Request Filter Attributes on Request DTO’s goes against our recommendation for keeping your DTO’s in a separate implementation and dependency-free ServiceModel.dll as it would require a dependency on the non-PCL ServiceStack.dll which would prohibit being able to reuse your existing DTO .dll in PCL libraries, limiting their potential re-use.

You can still take advantage of the [CacheResponse] attribute on AutoQuery Services by defining a custom implementation, at which point adding the [CacheResponse] attribute behaves as normal and applies caching to your Service implementations. E.g. you can enable caching for multiple AutoQuery Services with:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 60)]
public class MyCachedAutoQueryServices : Service 
    public IAutoQueryData AutoQuery { get; set; }

    public object Any(QueryRockstars query) =>
        AutoQuery.Execute(query, AutoQuery.CreateQuery(query, Request));
    public object Any(QueryRockstarAlbums query) =>
        AutoQuery.Execute(query, AutoQuery.CreateQuery(query, Request));

Server Cached and HTTP Caching enabled responses

When only specifying a Duration=60 ServiceStack only caches the Server Response so it behaves similar to using the existing ToOptimizedResult() API, e.g:

public object Any(GetCustomer request)
    return Request.ToOptimizedResultUsingCache(Cache, 
        Request.RawUrl, TimeSpan.FromSeconds(60), 
        () => Db.SingleById<Customer>(request.Id));

To also enable HTTP Caching features you’ll need to opt-in by specifying an additional HTTP Caching directive. E.g. including a MaxAge instructs ServiceStack to apply HTTP Caching logic and return the appropriate headers:

[CacheResponse(Duration=60, MaxAge=30)]
public object Any(GetCustomer request) => Db.SingleById<Customer>(request.Id);

Where subsequent identical requests from a cache-aware client will return their locally cached version within the first 30 seconds, between 30-60 seconds the client will re-validate the request with the Server who will return a 304 NotModified Response with an Empty Body, after 60 seconds the cache expires and the next request will re-execute the Service and populate the cache with a new response.

CacheResponse Properties

The Caching behavior of the [CacheResponse] attribute can be further customized using any of the additional properties below:

int Duration              // Cache expiry in seconds
int MaxAge                // MaxAge in seconds
CacheControl CacheControl // Customize Cache-Control HTTP Headers
bool VaryByUser           // Vary cache per user
string[] VaryByRoles      // Vary cache for users in these roles
bool LocalCache           // Use In Memory HostContext.LocalCache or HostContext.Cache

Using any of the other HTTP Cache properties will also trigger the HTTP Caching features. When a MaxAge isn’t specified, i.e:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 10, VaryByUser = true)]
public object Any(GetUserActivity request) { ... }

ServiceStack falls back to use the HttpCacheFeature.DefaultMaxAge which defaults to 10 minutes, in addition to the VaryByUser flag will construct a unique cache key for each user and return an additional Vary: Cookie HTTP Response Header.

Advanced CacheInfo Customization

One limitation of using a .NET Attribute to specify caching behavior is that we’re limited to using .NET constant primitives prohibiting the use of allowing custom lambda’s to capture custom behavior. This is also the reason why we need to use int for Duration and MaxAge instead of a more appropriate TimeSpan.

But we can still intercept the way the [CacheResponse] attribute works behind-the-scenes and programmatically enhance it with custom logic. CacheResponseAttribute is just a wrapper around initializing a populated CacheInfo POCO that it drops into the IRequest.Items dictionary where it’s visible to your Service and any remaining Filters in ServiceStack’s Request Pipeline. Essentially it’s just doing this:

req.Items[Keywords.CacheInfo] = new CacheInfo { ... };

The actual validation logic for processing the CacheInfo is encapsulated within the HttpCacheFeature Response Filter. This gives our Service a chance to modify it’s behavior, e.g. in order to generically handle all Service responses the [CacheResponse] attribute uses the IRequest.RawUrl (the URL minus the domain) for the base CacheKey. Whilst using a RawUrl is suitable in uniquely identifying most requests, if QueryString params were sent in a different case or in a different order it would generate a different url and multiple caches for essentially the same request. We can remedy this behavior by changing the base CacheKey used which is just a matter retrieving the populated the CacheInfo and change the KeyBase to use the predictable Reverse Routing ToGetUrl() API instead, e.g:

[CacheResponse(Duration = 60)]
public object Get(MyRequest request)
    var cacheInfo = (CacheInfo)base.Request.GetItem(Keywords.CacheInfo);
    cacheInfo.KeyBase = request.ToGetUrl(); //custom cache key
    if (Request.HandleValidCache(cacheInfo))
        return null;

    return response;

HandleValidCache() is used to re-validate the client’s request with the new Cache Key and if it’s determined the Client has a valid cache, will short-circuit the Service and return a 304 NotModified Response.