Hibernate Caching With HazelCast: JPA caching basics

One of the greatest capabilities of HazelCast is the support for hibernate’s second level cache.

JPA has two levels of cache.
The first level cache caches an object’s state for the duration of a transaction. By querying the same object twice you have to get the object your retrieved the first time.
However in case of complex queries which include the object you retrieved and access your database, chances are, that the results would be out of sync since they will not reflect the changes you applied to the object in memory during the transaction. However you can tackle this with flush().
Once a JPA session is initiated its first level cache is restricted to that session, it will not affect other sessions.
First level cache is required as a part of JPA

The second level cache on the contrary to first level cache is associated with the Session Factory, thus the second level cache is shared across sessions. Commonly used data can be stored in memory and retrieved faster.

Once you have the second level cache enabled hibernate will cache the entities retrieved in a hibernate region. To do so you have to set your entities as cachable. Under the hood the information that resides in an entity is cached in a dehydrated format.

Hazelcast can be used with second level cache in two forms of architectures.
Client-server or cluster-only architecture.
For start we will investigate a cluster only architecture.
Hazelcast creates a separate distributed map for each Hibernate cache region therefore an entity. You can easily configure these regions via Hazelcast map configuration.The name of the region has a corresponding hazelcast map. For example one of our entities is called User and the full package path is ‘com.gkatzioura.User’ then our hazelcast will have the name ‘com.gkatzioura.User’. Provided that this map is distributed across hazelcast nodes, once the entity is retrieved from one node the cached information will be shared to other hazelcast nodes. Once an entity gets updated in a node the cached information will be invalidated in the other nodes.

Hibernate also provides us with Query cache. Query cache is a cache that caches query results . For example in case of a jpql query

SELECT usr.username,usr.firstname FROM User usr

the cached result would be a map with a key composed of the query and the parameters

and the value the results retrieved. In the previous cache the data retrieved are primitive values and they are stored as it is.
However there cases in which a query might retrieve entities.
For example

SELECT c FROM Customer c

In such cases instead of storing all the information retrieved, the entities are retrieved and cached in the second level cache whilst the query cache has an entry using the query and its parameters as a key and the entity ids as the value.
Once the same query is issued again the query cache will fetch the ids and will lookup on the second level cache for the corresponding entities. If an entity does not exist in the second level cache, then a query is issued in order to fetch the entity missing.
When it comes to second level cache and query cache configuration we need to pay attention on the eviction mechanisms of the second level cache and query cache. You might stumble in cases of ids being cached in the query cache however their corresponding entities are evicted from the second level cache. In such cases there is a performance hit since hibernate will issue a query for each entity missing.

Hazelcast has support for the query cache, however it is local to the node and never distributed across hazelcast cluster.
Although the results fetched from a query remain on the specific node, the entities specified from the cached query shall be retrieved from the distributed map which is used as a second level cache.

This is the theory we need so far. On the next blog we do some spring data jpa code and some hazelcast configurations.


4 thoughts on “Hibernate Caching With HazelCast: JPA caching basics”

  1. Something is off. “Hazelcast has support for the second level cache, however it is local to the node and never distributed” and “the entities specified from the cached query shall be retrieved from the distributed map which is used as a second level cache” can’t both be true. Which is it? Is it distributed or local? I’m guessing the first sentence should read “Hazelcast has support for the *query* cache, however it is local to the node and never distributed”. Am I right?

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