Veerasundaravel's Ruby on Rails Weblog

October 10, 2012

Rails Caching With Query Parameters

Filed under: Caching, Rails3, Ruby On Rails — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Veerasundaravel @ 2:17 pm

Rails has various effective ways of caching contents like page caching, action caching, fragment caching etc. But some time we may need to use low level caching of Rails.cache in order to store some HTML fragments or some hash values etc that can be used some where else later on.

Rails.cache.write takes two value: key and a value
> Rails.cache.write 'foo', 'bar'
=> true

# We can read an object back with read
> 'foo'
=> "bar"

# We can store a complicated object as well
> hash = {:this => {:is => 'a hash'}}
> Rails.cache.write 'complicated-object', object
> 'complicated-object'
=> {:this=>{:is=>"a hash"}}

# We can use fetch as the combination of write and read.
Rails.cache.fetch 'complicated-object', object


Params as Cache Key:

Most of the Rails actions comes with multiple parameters, so when we cache any result inside the controller’s action we may need to assign the parameter values as cache key. So that we will get unique key combination for different action parameters.

Rails.cache.fetch(params.sort.flatten.join("_"), object)

Assume that the following params:

params = {:controller => 'books', :action => 'index', :status => 'stock-avail', :start_price => '$100'
, :end_price =>"$200", :delivery => 'by-post', :discount_start => "10%", :discount_ends => "20%",
 :language => 'english', :cover => 'available', :sort => "posted_date", :preface =>
 "available-on-request", :ebook => 'available-on-request'}

Then our cache key will become very unique for the supplied params as below:


But cache key should be less than 255 characters long to keep the file system happy. If cache key is greater than 255 chars, then it will throw an error like Errno::ENAMETOOLONG (File name too long) etc.


How to avoid too long cache key:

One of the best option to shorten the cache key would be, simply have the generated cache key run through a hash like MD5 or SHA1. This way we can get predictable cache key lengths.

Rails.cache.fetch(Digest::SHA1.hexdigest(params.sort.flatten.join("_")), object)

It will modify the cache key as follows:

Rails.cache.fetch('5c059024747e813d0fa5ec8fab890be473eab63a', object)

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