HTTP Session State Caching

Disable Near Caching Within the App

Near caching is when an app locally caches data. Near caching uses an embedded cache within the app. Web apps that deploy Tomcat with GemFire session state caching have near caching by default. To keep an app stateless, you will want to disable near caching.

There are two methods for disabling near caching. Choose and implement one of these methods:

  1. Create and use a custom buildpack (that disables near caching) that resides in an external repository. Modify the app setup to acquire the configuration from the external repository. This method facilitates having a single configuration that may be used by a variety of apps.

  2. Create and use a custom buildpack (that disables near caching) for the app.

Disable Caching Using an External Repository for Configuration

There are two parts to this method for disabling near caching within the app. The first part builds a repository to hold the configuration and custom buildpack, and then pushes the repository to the space such that the app will have access. The second part changes the app configuration such that it uses the custom buildpack.

The procedure to build the repository:

  1. Make a directory to hold the configuration:

    mkdir tomcat-config
  2. Make other needed files and directories within the newly created directory:

    cd tomcat-config
    mkdir public
    mkdir -p tomcat-1.0.0/conf
    touch Staticfile
  3. Edit Staticfile to contain:

    root: public
    directory: visible
  4. Create tomcat-1.0.0/conf/context.xml, and edit the file such that it contains the following content:

    <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
    ~ Copyright 2013-2019 the original author or authors.
    ~ Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
    ~ you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
    ~ You may obtain a copy of the License at
    ~ Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
    ~ distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
    ~ WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
    ~ See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
    ~ limitations under the License.
        <Resources allowLinking='true'/>
        <Manager className='org.apache.geode.modules.session.catalina.Tomcat8DeltaSessionManager' enableLocalCache='false' regionAttributesId='PARTITION_REDUNDANT_HEAP_LRU'/>
  5. Place a compressed TAR format version of the tomcat-1.0.0 directory into the public directory:

    tar -czf tomcat-1.0.0.tar.gz tomcat-1.0.0/
    cp tomcat-1.0.0.tar.gz public/
  6. Use cf push to place the configuration into the Pivotal Cloud Foundry space that will host this configuration:

    cf push tomcat-config
  7. Issue the command

    cf apps

    to acquire the URL of the tomcat-config app. Prepend the listed URL with http:// to have the URL that will identify the location of the configuration needed by the app.

    For example, your complete URL will look something like

  8. Within the tomcat-config directory, edit public/index.yml to have URL-specific contents. Using the example URL as a guide, the contents of this public/index.yml file will contain:

  9. Push the app a second time with its completed configuration:

    cf push tomcat-config

The second part of this procedure modifies the app such that it uses the custom buildpack:

  1. Edit the manifest.yml file by appending this URL-specific configuration to the applications section of the manifest.yml file:

        JBP_CONFIG_TOMCAT: "{ tomcat: { external_configuration_enabled: true }, external_configuration: { repository_root: \"\" } }"

    Substitute your complete URL for the URL in this example.

    A complete manifest.yml file will appear similar to:

    - name: http-session-caching
      path: build/libs/http-session-caching-0.0.1.war
      buildpack: java_buildpack_offline
        JBP_CONFIG_TOMCAT: "{ tomcat: { external_configuration_enabled: true }, external_configuration: { repository_root: \"\" } }"
  2. Push, bind, and start your app with a buildpack of version 4.18 or a more recent version:

    cf push -f ./manifest.yml --no-start -b
    cf start APP-NAME
  3. To verify that local caching is disabled for the app, use cf ssh to access the app and visually verify that enableLocalCache='false' appears within the context.xml file. Use this sequence of commands:

    cf ssh APP-NAME
    find ./ -name *.xml
    cat ./app/.java-buildpack/tomcat/conf/context.xml

Disable Caching Using a Custom Java Buildpack

This procedure creates and uses a custom java buildpack that disables near caching in the app. Once created, the cf push specifies the custom Java buildpack.

  1. Clone the git buildpack repository:

    git clone
  2. Change directories to the newly created repository:

    cd java-buildpack
  3. Edit the Geode ruby configuration file such that it disables caching within the app. The file to edit is lib/java_buildpack/container/tomcat/tomcat_geode_store.rb. The single change is the string true to instead be false. Before the change, here is the portion of the file to be changed, with the string to change highlighted:

    def add_manager(context)
      context.add_element 'Manager',
                          'className' => SESSION_MANAGER_CLASS_NAME,
                          'enableLocalCache' => 'true',
                          'regionAttributesId' => REGION_ATTRIBUTES_ID

    After changing the highlighted string from true to false, here is the portion of the file with the change highlighted:

    def add_manager(context)
      context.add_element 'Manager',
                          'className' => SESSION_MANAGER_CLASS_NAME,
                          'enableLocalCache' => 'false',
                          'regionAttributesId' => REGION_ATTRIBUTES_ID
  4. Create your custom Java buildpack on the platform with a command of the form:

    cf create-buildpack BUILDPACK PATH POSITION --enable

    where BUILDPACK is the name you choose for your buildpack.

  5. After building your application, push it such that it uses your buildpack:

    cf push -f ./manifest.yml -b BUILDPACK
  6. Bind your app as described in Bind an App to a Service Instance.

  7. Restage the app to ensure proper configuration:

    cf restage APP-NAME