Gentics Portal | java is using the Java Caching System for caching rendered content pages, and Caffeine for caching data like navigation information, or GraphQL queries in memory.

The portal provides a method to create a cache that can be used in custom handlers or helpers.

Implicit caching

When caching is enabled in the server configuration (which is true by default), the portal automatically caches the following:

  • Queries loaded from the filesystem.

    Elasticsearch will be cached after they where processed by the QueryBuilder, and GraphQL queries will be put in the cache after the schema.

  • Handlebars templates loaded from the filesystem.

    The caching itself is done by Vert.x, but whether or not templates are cached is controlled by the portal configuration.

  • Navigation data loaded from Mesh.

    The used cache keys take into account the current language, the current users roles and the branch of the Mesh project that is served by this portal. The cached data has already been postprocessed by the NavigationTransformer.

  • Content loaded from Mesh.

    When a page loaded from Mesh is finished rendering, it is put in the cache and further requests to the same page will be served from the cache. The cache key is comprised of the request path and the configured custom parameters.

    Note that binary files themselves are not cached by the portal, but their ETag headers are to reduce the number of requests to Mesh.

    Another important note is that content for authenticated requests only uses the users roles for the cache key, so the rendered response should not contain user specific data.

    Caching content can also be prevented by putting the value true in the routing context under the key mesh.portal.cache.disable before the RouteOrder.CONTENT_ROUTES.

Cache clear endpoint

A POST request to /api/clearCache will clear all from the portal framework itself and any created custom caches.

The endpoint is protected and requests must come from an allowed IP address, or provide the correct portal API key.

Creating a custom cache

Caching is useful for resource intensive tasks, remote data fetching and you should decide what to cache and when the cache should expire.

Custom caches can be created by getting a cache builder by calling CacheProvider.cacheBuilder() with the type of objects to be cached. Caches are identified by their namespace, when the builder already created a cache with the same namespace, the existing cache will be returned.

When the builder is configured using the methods explained in the following sections, a PortaclCache instance is created by calling its build() method.

Note that caches can be created even when caching is disabled in the portal configuration, then returned caches will just never actually store anything.

Expiration settings

The cache will always remove old entries once maximumSize (the maximum number of elements in the cache) is reached and new entries need to be added, but depending on the expireMode entries will also be removed when expireTime seconds have passed.

The available expireModes are:

  • None: entries will never expire (but can still be removed due to size constraints).

  • Write: entries will be removed expireTime seconds after they have been created or updated.

    This mode should be used for data that is costly to retrieve, but will get stale after some time.

  • Access: entries will be removed expireTime seconds after they have last been accessed.

    This is the default when no expire mode is specified.

Automatic cache clear

The created cache can be automatically cleared when one of the clearEvents is received via the eventbus. Common events to clear caches would be events about creation, updates or deletion of Mesh nodes.

When no eventFilter is specified, the cache will be cleared when any of the clearEvents is received. The eventFilter can inspect the body of the event to decide whether the cache should be cleared or not (e.g only when an updated node has a certain schema).

Key mappers

Most methods of the created PortalCache will create a cache key from the RoutingContext of the current request. By default the key is created from the language, a hash of the users roles and the branch of the current request.

When the builder is told to useCustomKeyParams the configured custom parameters will also be added to the created cache key.

A custom keyMapper can also be provided when creating a cache. This mapper can ignore the routing context completely and return any key appropriate for the custom cache. Note that useCustomKeyParams will have no effect when a custom keyMapper is specified.

Auxiliary disc cache

When the diskCacheRegion() is specified for the builder, a JCS backed cache is created instead of a Caffeine based one. This requires a cache.ccf configuration file with a basic configuration, in the config directory of the portal.

The IsEternal, MaxLife and MaxIdle element properties, as well as the MaxObjects cache property will be overwritten with the above mentioned values passed to the builder.


The following is an example of how to create a custom PortalCache for JsonObject values.

public CacheProvider cacheProvider;

private PortalCache<JsonObject> cache;

/* ... */

public void initCache() {
    cache = cacheProvider.cacheBuilder(JsonObject.class)
        .eventFilter(event -> {
            return "portal_users".equals(
        .keyMapper(ignoredParam -> "users")

Using a custom cache

Store and retrieve data

Whenever a costly operation is performed it should be passed to one of the get() methods of a PortalCache, which will first check if there already is a value in the cache. If not the provided supplier function will be called, and the result is put in the cache.

For example the following code would check if the loaded user information is already in the cache, and if not call loadUsersFromDb(), put the result in the cache and then return it.

void doSomethingWithUsers(RoutingContext rc) {
    List<String> users = cache.get(rc, this::loadUsersFromDb);
    // ...

Since communicating with Mesh involves responses using ReactiveX there is also a version of get() which takes a supplier generating a Single.

When need more control is needed over how things are put in the cache, a value can be stored with the put() method, and retrieved via getIfPresent() (which returns null when no entry is found in the cache).

Clearing data

All entries in a single PortalCache can be cleared by calling clear(), and all cached values of all caches can be cleared by calling the CacheProvider​'s clearAll() method.

As mentioned earlier the elements in a cache can also be cleared automatically by specifying Mesh events which should trigger a cache clear.

Browser caching

Binary content and static files are not cached by the portal itself, but when caching is enabled the portal will use the respective HTTP headers so that the browser can make use of caching.

Binary content

For binary files (which are loaded from Mesh via the webroot or webrootfield endpoint) the request headers concerning caching will be forwarded to Mesh. When the client sends a request header If-None-Match: "[ETag]", Mesh will respond with a 304 Not Modified message when the content has not changed and Gentics Portal | java will in turn forward this HTTP response to the client.

Additionally, a max-age value can be configured for the Cache-Control HTTP header, that will be set for binaries served from Mesh.

The default value for caching.binaryMaxAge is 86400 (in seconds = one day). This means clients will be told to not ask again for updates and try to load a binary from their client side cache for one day. Setting cahce.binaryMaxAge to 0 means, that each request will be forwarded to Mesh to retrieve the actuall ETag header. With that the client can decide to download a newer version if it is avaliable.

Static files

Resources from the configured static path are served by the Vert.x StaticHandler which does not use Etags, but sets the respective HTTP headers such that browsers know they can cache the files themselves. It will also respond with a 304 Not Modified message, when the request contains the If-Modified-Since header and the resource has not been changed since then.