Friday, May 11, 2012

Improving Efficiency of Output Cache Table

Custom result sets can be produced by stored procedures and web services. A quick look at the sample output cache table and output caching script will give you a few ideas about introducing optimization in the caching.

The datable table CustOrderHist_Cache stores cached output created by concurrent users in the process of interacting with the application. The highlighted columns are the actual output columns produced by the stored procedure.

Sample output cache table designed to work with Northwind.dbo.CustOrderHist stored procedure

The output caching script filters out the data by CacheUserName column to segregate the user-specific result sets. The performance will improve if the column indexed.

The same consideration applies to the column CachExpires.

A single index that includes both CacheUserName and CacheExpires will likely work well in most situations.

The primary key column CacheID is provided to allow selecting data rows in the application user interface. Our sample result set could be changed to use the ProductName  and CustomerID as a compound primary key. It is possible since the stored procedure CustOrderHist produces a list of unique products purchased by a customer. In that case you can delete the CacheID column and simplify the output caching script.

Another area of optimization if the length of time the custom result set remains cached. Most applications will tolerate the data to be “stale” for at least a few minutes if not hours.

The output cache table may end up containing orphan cached data if users are not working with the app on a daily basis. It is a good idea to enhance the caching script with a simple delete statement that wipes out any cached data rows with the cache expiration overdue by a few days.

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