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Nodejs + Typescript + Redis Cache = <3

05 Mar 2021 / Mihai Nueleanu

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In this post I want to share a simple redis-based cache layer, which you can put in front of various workloads in order to either save execution time, or compute resources.

Usage example

How will we use this cache?

Let's start with an example. Say we have a "products" endpoint which returns the products which should be displayed as recommendations to the user on our fictitious online shop.

Here's the example in practice:

// Define the cache
const cache = new RedisCache(60);

app.get("/products/recommended", async (req: Request, res: Response) => {
// Cache by userId as key
const products = await cache.get<Product[]>(req.userId, () => {
// Here's the function which refreshes the cache
return RecommendationModel.find(req.userId)
)};

res.send(products);
});

Firstly, we want to define the cache with a "time to live" for each value we put in. Secondly, we want to cache each recommendation list, by the user id. And then finally we want to give the cache a way to refresh if the value is not cached yet.

Sounds simple? Let's do it!

The dependancies

For this exercise, we only want to pull in 1 package - redis. So in a command line, we do:

npm install redis

The implementation

import { RedisClient, createClient } from "redis";
import { env } from "../env";

export class RedisCache {
private readonly cache: RedisClient;
private ttl: number;

constructor(ttl: number) {
// [1] define ttl and create redis connection
this.ttl = ttl;
this.cache = createClient({
host: env.REDIS_HOST,
password: env.REDIS_PASSWORD,
});

this.cache.on("connect", () => {
console.log(`Redis connection established`);
});

this.cache.on("error", (error) => {
console.error(`Redis error, service degraded: ${error}`);
});
}

// [2] generic function, takes `fetcher` argument which is meant to refresh the cache
async get<T>(key: string, fetcher: () => Promise<T>): Promise<T> {
// [3] if we're not connected to redis, bypass cache
if (!this.cache.connected) {
return await fetcher();
}

return new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
this.cache.get(key, async (err, value) => {
if (err) return reject(err);
if (value) {
// [4] if value is found in cache, return it
return resolve(JSON.parse(value));
}

// [5] if value is not in cache, fetch it and return it
const result = await fetcher();
this.cache.set(
key,
JSON.stringify(result),
"EX",
this.ttl,
(err, reply) => {
if (err) return reject(err);
}
);
return resolve(result);
});
});
}

// [6]
del(key: string) {
this.cache.del(key);
}

flush() {
this.cache.flushall();
}
}

Alright, now let's break it down.

[1] First off, notice the class definition RedisCache. It has as a constructor argument a ttl (time to live), which is meant for deciding how long the cache should be valid for. Which is quite a convenient setup, for instance if you want different instances of this cache, with different TTL configurations.

[2] Secondly, we define a generic get function, which conveniently returns a promise with the same generic type we've put in. Notice also the fetcher function which is passed as an argument - this function is the way we can refresh the cache, in case the value is not yet stored, or the previous value has already expired.

[3] In case the redis cache is not connected (for example if the connection is in an error state), we "fail" gracefully by simply returning the original fetcher function - which essentially means we bypass the cache.

[4] We try to see if the key exists in the cache. If it does exist, we return the value.

[5] If the key does not exist in the cache, we first execute the fetcher function to fetch the value that we're trying to cache. We then save the this value in the cache, and as a last step, we return it.

That is all. Enjoy!




nodejs
typescript
redis
cache
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Hi, I'm Mihai

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