Caching Made Simple - A Practical Birdseye Overview
page 1 of 8
Published: 08 Aug 2005
Unedited - Community Contributed
Have you ever wondered how caching speeds web page display, limits bandwidth utilization, minimizes server load, and lessens computer costs, all at the same time? Michael Libby provides an overview of caching that will benefit every ASP.NET developer.
by Michael Libby
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The Most Important Web Accelerator

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One web accelerator stands alone offering better performance than any other: caching. This article is the first in a series created to show you how to leverage caching to boost your application performance! Other articles in this series will show the basics in overcoming caching limitations, and provide an in-depth look at caching.


Why Use Web Caching?

Let’s bring caching out of its conceptual textbook realm and into a real life analogy that should really drive home its necessity. Imagine that you live in one of the world’s most primitive towns where there are no refrigerators and only a single grocery store which has no shelves and no shopping carts. Everyone impatiently waits for an overworked and unappreciated sales clerk to take their order. When your turn comes, he takes your grocery list and hand carries each item, one by one, from the stockroom to the sales counter. When all items are retrieved, you make you purchase, struggle to carry your items home, feed your family, and then rush back to repeat the whole process for the next meal. Sound ridiculous? This is exactly how a web site operates without cache!

Everyone’s life would become efficient using Internet caching terms and concepts:

  • Data caching would be like using shopping carts to quickly retrieve categorized items from grocery shelves, saving time and allowing the grocery clerk to service more customers.
  • Fragment caching would be like having multiple items from the same category already pre-packaged for you. For example, a produce package could include pre-made salads and fruit baskets, saving you from purchasing individual items.
  • Server-side output caching would be like having a grocery cart already created for you based upon items that you and others previously purchased, removing the need to even enter the store.
  • Client-side output caching would be like storing multiple meals in a home refrigerator, completely eliminating the need to travel.
  • Proxy caching would be like adding neighborhood convenience stores (mini-marts) that provide already-filled shopping carts for the sole purpose of reducing travel.
  • Directory and file caching would be like ordering an item and having it delivered to your home separate from the rest of your order. Even though it is referenced with your purchase, it will arrive at a different time.


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User Comments

Title: Good one though problem with firefox   
Name: dotnetguts
Date: 2009-05-03 9:09:10 AM
Thanks for good article, I have tried instruction mentioned in article, but it is still not working for firefox, any idea? to make it work.

Title: good one   
Name: vijay chand
Date: 2009-02-09 4:15:13 AM
The above article has given me some knowledgeable thing
Title: REg. getting URLs of all visited Sites   
Name: Ad
Date: 2007-08-13 9:24:34 AM

In the txt file, I only get the URL of this website, nothing more. Could you let me know what I m missing.
This is what I get --;/CachingMadeSimple/OutputCachingClient.aspx;8/13/2007 6:46:57 PM

Also, could u explain the 2 minute time limit u hv put?
Title: Software Enginner   
Name: Chintan Mehta
Date: 2007-07-02 9:55:09 AM
This tutorial is very good but i want tutorial which describe actual in which scenario we have to use which type of caching. say in which condition fragment caching is usefull, in which condition data caching is usefull please describe with example if it is possible.

Title: Software Engineer   
Name: Mudassar
Date: 2006-08-10 5:12:29 PM
Title: Great Article   
Name: Susan Dawson (Israel)
Date: 2006-04-08 9:17:06 PM
This is one of many great articles you've written. I enjoy your easy to follow step by step articles. You are on my must read list.

Title: Re: Images without roundtrip   
Name: Michael Libby
Date: 2006-01-31 10:12:32 AM
Hi Fabio,
Regarding, "Copy your images to the ImagesCached directory and change all corresponding HTML references". This means that if your image directory changed then you must also change the source for your HTML Image Tag. For example, change the HTML IMG tag's src from src='NonCachedImgDir/MyImg.jpg' to src='CacheImgDir/MyImg.jpg'.
Title: images without roundtrip   
Name: Fabio Rauh
Date: 2006-01-31 7:21:57 AM
Hi, I read your article and I´ve a doubt about how to cache images without roundtrip modification checking
I did not understand the step 7, what u mean "change" all corresponding html references. What do I have to do?
Thank you

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