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Monitoring and Managing the Cache

To manage the changes in the underlying databases and to monitor cache entries, you need to develop a cache management strategy. You need a process to invalidate cache entries when the data in the underlying tables that compose the cache entry have changed, as well as a process to monitor, identify, and remove any undesirable cache entries.

Choosing a Cache Management Strategy

The choice of a cache management strategy depends on the volatility of the data in the underlying databases and the predictability of the changes that cause this volatility. It also depends on the number and types of queries that comprise your cache, as well as the usage those queries receive. This section provides an overview of the various approaches to cache management.

Disable Caching for the System

You can disable caching for the whole system by setting the ENABLE parameter to NO in the NQSConfig.INI file and restarting the Analytics Server. Disabling caching stops all new cache entries and stops any new queries from using the existing cache. Disabling caching allows you to enable it at a later time without losing any entries already stored in the cache.

Temporarily disabling caching is a useful strategy in situations where you might suspect having stale cache entries but want to verify if they are actually stale before purging those entries or the entire cache. If you find that the data stored in the cache is still relevant, or after you have safely purged problem entries, you can safely enable the cache. If necessary, purge the entire cache or the cache associated with an entire business model before enabling the cache again.

Caching and Cache Persistence Timing for Specified Physical Tables

You can set a cachable attribute for each physical table, allowing you to specify if queries for a that table will be added to the cache to answer future queries. If you enable caching for a table, any query involving the table is added to the cache. All tables are cachable by default, but some tables may not be good candidates to include in the cache unless you use the Cache Persistence Time settings. For example, perhaps you have a table that stores stock ticker data, that is updated every minute. You could use the Cache Persistence Time settings to purge the entries for that table every 59 seconds.

You can also use the Cache persistence time field to specify how long the entries for this table should be kept in the query cache. This is useful for data sources that are updated frequently.

To set the caching attributes for a specific physical table

  1. In the Physical layer, double-click the physical table.
  2. In the Physical Table properties dialog box, in the General tab, make one of the following selections:
    • To enable caching, select the Make table cachable check box.
    • To prevent a table from ever being cached, clear the Make table cacheable check box.
  3. To set an expiration time (maximum lifetime), perform the following steps:
    1. In the Cache persistence time drop-down list, select a value.

      If you select Infinite or until you select a different value, the Cache Persistence time field will not be available.

    2. Complete the Cache persistence time field.
  4. Click OK.
Configure Analytics Server Event Polling Tables

Analytics Server event polling tables store information about updates in the underlying databases. An application (such as one that loads data into a data mart) could be configured to add rows to an event polling table each time a database table is updated. The Analytics Server polls this table at set intervals and invalidates any cache entries corresponding to the updated tables. Event polling tables can be your sole method of cache management or can be used in conjunction with other cache management schemes. Event tables offer less flexibility about choice of cache entries and the timing of purges. For more information about event polling tables, see Setting Up Event Polling Tables on the Physical Databases.

Siebel Business Analytics Server Administration Guide