Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Check caching of HTTP resources

Setting up HTTP caching can be a bit of pain. Essentially the HTTP response needs to contain appropriate cache control headers, either an Expires header or a Cache-Control max-age directive. Here's a quick Java program using the HttpClient and HttpClient Cache (both part of the Apache HttpComponents) to test client-side caching of HTTP responses.
public class TestHttpCaching {

 public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
  CacheConfig config = new CacheConfig();
  HttpClient httpClient = new CachingHttpClient(config);

  doGetRequest(httpClient, args[0]);
  doGetRequest(httpClient, args[0]);

 private static void doGetRequest(HttpClient httpClient, String url) throws Exception {
  HttpGet httpGet = new HttpGet(url);
  HttpContext httpContext = new BasicHttpContext();
  try {
   System.out.print("Getting... ");
   System.out.print(httpClient.execute(httpGet, httpContext).getStatusLine());
   System.out.println(": " + httpContext.getAttribute(CachingHttpClient.CACHE_RESPONSE_STATUS));
  } finally {
The standard DefaultHttpClient does not do any caching. Instead you have to use the CachingHttpClient which wraps a DefaultHttpClient and adds caching functionality. Also notice how the cache is configured with a very large maximum object size. This avoids resources not being cached because they are too large for the standard in-memory cache (BasicHttpCacheStorage).