18 Using the Coherence .NET Client Library

This chapter provides instructions for adding the Coherence for .NET client library to an application and describes the Coherence for .NET API, which allows .NET applications to use Coherence clustered services from outside the Coherence cluster.

Documentation of the Coherence for .NET API is available in two locations. The .NET API Reference for Oracle Coherence and also in the doc directory of the Coherence for .NET distribution.

This chapter includes the following sections:

18.1 Setting Up the Coherence .NET Client Library

To use the Coherence for .NET library in your .NET applications, you must add a reference to the Coherence.dll library in your project and create the necessary configuration files.

Creating a reference to the Coherence.dll:

  1. In your project go to Project->Add Reference... or right click References in the Solution Explorer and choose Add Reference.... The Add Reference Window displays.

  2. From the Add Reference window, choose the Browse tab and find the Coherence.dll library on your file system as shown in Figure 18-1.

    Figure 18-1 Add Reference Window

    Description of Figure 18-1 follows
    Description of "Figure 18-1 Add Reference Window"

  3. Click OK.

Next, you must create the necessary configuration files and specify their paths in the application configuration settings. This is done by adding an application configuration file to your project (if one does not exist) and adding a Coherence for .NET configuration section (that is, <coherence/>) to it.


If these configuration files are not specified in the app.config/web.config, Coherence looks for them in both the folder where the application is deployed or, for Web applications, in the root of the Web application.

Example 18-1 Sample Application Configuration File

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <section name="coherence" type="Tangosol.Config.CoherenceConfigHandler, Coherence"/>

Elements within the Coherence for .NET configuration section are:

  • cache-factory-config—contains the path to a operational configuration descriptor used by the CacheFactory to configure IConfigurableCacheFactory and Logger.

  • cache-config—contains the path to a cache configuration file which contains the cache configuration (see "Configuring Coherence*Extend"). This cache configuration descriptor is used by DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory.

  • pof-config—contains the path to the configuration descriptor used by the ConfigurablePofContext to register custom types used by the application. For detailed instructions on using POF, see Chapter 18, "Using the Coherence .NET Client Library."

Figure 18-2 illustrates what the solution should look like after adding the configuration files:

Figure 18-2 File System Displaying the Configuration Files

Description of Figure 18-2 follows
Description of "Figure 18-2 File System Displaying the Configuration Files"

18.2 Using the Coherence .NET APIs

This section highlights the primary Coherence .NET APIs that are used to interact with Coherence caches within a .NET application. The following topics are included in this section:

18.2.1 CacheFactory

The CacheFactory is the entry point for Coherence for .NET client applications. The CacheFactory is a factory for INamedCache instances and provides various methods for logging. If not configured explicitly, it uses the default configuration file coherence.xml which is an assembly embedded resource. It is possible to override the default configuration file by adding a cache-factory-config element to the Coherence for .NET configuration section in the application configuration file and setting its value to the path of the desired configuration file.

Example 18-2 Configuring a Factory for INamedCache Instances

<?xml version="1.0"?>

    <section name="coherence" type="Tangosol.Config.CoherenceConfigHandler, Coherence"/>

This file contains the configuration of two components exposed by the CacheFactory by using static properties:

  • CacheFactory.ConfigurableCacheFactory—the IConfigurableCacheFactory implementation used by the CacheFactory to retrieve, release, and destroy INamedCache instances.

  • CacheFactory.Logger—the Logger instance used to log messages and exceptions.

When you are finished using the CacheFactory (for example, during application shutdown), the CacheFactory should be shutdown by using the Shutdown() method. This method terminates all services and the Logger instance.

18.2.2 IConfigurableCacheFactory

The IConfigurableCacheFactory implementation is specified by the contents of the <configurable-cache-factory-config> element:

  • class-name—specifies the implementation type by it's assembly qualified name.

  • init-params—defines parameters used to instantiate the IConfigurableCacheFactory. Each parameter is specified by using a corresponding param-type and param-value child element.

Example 18-3 Configuring a ConfigurableCacheFactory Implementation

    <class-name>Tangosol.Net.DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory, Coherence</class-name>

If an IConfigurableCacheFactory implementation is not defined in the configuration, the default implementation is used (DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory).

18.2.3 DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory

The DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory provides a facility to access caches declared in the cache configuration descriptor described earlier (see the Client-side Cache Configuration Descriptor section). The default configuration file used by the DefaultConfigurableCacheFactory is $AppRoot/coherence-cache-config.xml, where $AppRoot is the working directory (for a Windows Forms application) or the root of the application (for a Web application).

If you want to specify another cache configuration descriptor file, you can do so by adding a cache-config element to the Coherence for .NET configuration section in the application configuration file with its value set to the path of the configuration file.

Example 18-4 Specifying a Different Cache Configuration Desriptor File

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <section name="coherence" type="Tangosol.Config.CoherenceConfigHandler, Coherence"/>

18.2.4 Logger

The Logger is configured using the logging-config element:

  • destination—determines the type of LogOutput used by the Logger. Valid values are:

    • common-logger for Common.Logging

    • stderr for Console.Error

    • stdout for Console.Out

    • file path if messages should be directed to a file

  • severity-level—determines the log level that a message must meet or exceed to be logged.

  • message-format—determines the log message format.

  • character-limit—determines the maximum number of characters that the logger daemon processes from the message queue before discarding all remaining messages in the queue.

Example 18-5 Configuring a Logger

   <message-format>(thread={thread}): {text}</message-format>

The CacheFactory provides several static methods for retrieving and releasing INamedCache instances:

  • GetCache(String cacheName)—retrieves an INamedCache implementation that corresponds to the NamedCache with the specified cacheName running within the remote Coherence cluster.

  • ReleaseCache(INamedCache cache)—releases all local resources associated with the specified instance of the cache. After a cache is release, it can no longer be used.

  • DestroyCache(INamedCache cache)—destroys the specified cache across the Coherence cluster.

Methods used to log messages and exceptions are:

  • IsLogEnabled(int level)—determines if the Logger would log a message with the given severity level.

  • Log(Exception e, int severity)—logs an exception with the specified severity level.

  • Log(String message, int severity)—logs a text message with the specified severity level.

  • Log(String message, Exception e, int severity)—logs a text message and an exception with the specified severity level.

Logging levels are defined by the values of the CacheFactory.LogLevel enum values (in ascending order):

  • Always

  • Error

  • Warn

  • Info

  • Debug—(default log level)

  • Quiet

  • Max

18.2.5 Using the Common.Logging Library

Common.Logging is an open source library that enables you to plug in various popular open source logging libraries behind a well-defined set of interfaces. The libraries currently supported are Log4Net (versions 1.2.9 and 1.2.10) and NLog. Common.Logging is currently used by the Spring.NET framework and are likely to be used in the future releases of IBatis.NET and NHibernate, so you might want to consider it if you are using one or more of these frameworks in combination with Coherence for .NET, as it allows logging to be consistently configured throughout the application layers.

Coherence for .NET does not include the Common.Logging library. To use the common-logger Logger configuration, download the Common.Logging assembly and include a reference to it in your project. You can download the Common.Logging assembly for .NET from the following location:


The Coherence for .NET Common.Logging Logger implementation was compiled against the signed release version of these assemblies.

18.2.6 INamedCache

The INamedCache interface extends IDictionary, so it can be manipulated in ways similar to a dictionary. When obtained, INamedCache instances expose several properties:

  • CacheName—the cache name.

  • Count—the cache size.

  • IsActive—determines if the cache is active (that is, it has not been released or destroyed).

  • Keys—collection of all keys in the cache mappings.

  • Values—collection of all values in the cache mappings.

The value for the specified key can be retrieved by using cache[key]. Similarly, a new value can be added, or an old value can be modified by setting this property to the new value: cache[key] = value.

The collection of cache entries can be accessed by using GetEnumerator() which iterates over the mappings in the cache.

The INamedCache interface provides several methods used to manipulate the contents of the cache:

  • Clear()—removes all the mappings from the cache.

  • Contains(Object key)—determines if the cache has a mapping for the specified key.

  • GetAll(ICollection keys)—returns all values mapped to the specified keys collection.

  • Insert(Object key, Object value)—places a new mapping into the cache. If a mapping for the specified key exists, its value is overwritten by the specified value and the old value is returned.

  • Insert(Object key, Object value, long millis)—places a new mapping into the cache, but with an expiry period specified by several milliseconds.

  • InsertAll(IDictionary dictionary)—copies all the mappings from the specified dictionary to the cache.

  • Remove(Object key)—Removes the mapping for the specified key if it is present and returns the value it was mapped to.

INamedCache interface also extends the following three interfaces: IQueryCache, IObservableCache, and IInvocableCache.

18.2.7 IQueryCache

The IQueryCache interface exposes the ability to query a cache using various filters.

  • GetKeys(IFilter filter)—returns a collection of the keys contained in this cache for entries that satisfy the criteria expressed by the filter.

  • GetEntries(IFilter filter)—returns a collection of the entries contained in this cache that satisfy the criteria expressed by the filter.

  • GetEntries(IFilter filter, IComparer comparer)—returns a collection of the entries contained in this cache that satisfy the criteria expressed by the filter. It is guaranteed that the enumerator traverses the collection in the order of ascending entry values, sorted by the specified comparer or according to the natural ordering if the "comparer" is null.

Additionally, the IQueryCache interface includes the ability to add and remove indexes. Indexes are used to correlate values stored in the cache to their corresponding keys and can dramatically increase the performance of the GetKeys and GetEntries methods.

  • AddIndex(IValueExtractor extractor, bool isOrdered, IComparer comparator)—adds an index to this cache that correlates the values extracted by the given IValueExtractor to the keys to the corresponding entries. Additionally, the index information can be optionally ordered.

  • RemoveIndex(IValueExtractor extractor)—removes an index from this cache.

Example 18-6 illustrates code that performs an efficient query of the keys of all entries that have an age property value greater or equal to 55.

Example 18-6 Querying Keys on a Particular Value

IValueExtractor extractor = new ReflectionExtractor("getAge");

cache.AddIndex(extractor, true, null);
ICollection keys = cache.GetKeys(new GreaterEqualsFilter(extractor, 55));

18.2.8 QueryRecorder

The QueryRecorder class produces an explain or trace record for a given filter. The class is an implementation of a parallel aggregator that is capable querying all nodes in a cluster and aggregating the results. The class supports two record types: an Explain record that provides the estimated cost of evaluating a filter as part of a query operation and a Trace record that provides the actual cost of evaluating a filter as part of a query operation. Both query records take into account whether or not an index can be used by a filter. See Developing Applications with Oracle Coherence for detailed information on understanding the data provided in an explain plan record and trace record.

To create a query record, create a new QueryRecorder instance that specifies a RecordType parameter. Include the instance and the filter to be tested as parameters of the Aggregate method. The following example creates an explain record:

INamedCache cache = CacheFactory.GetCache(MyCache);

IFilter filter = new OrFilter( 
   new GreaterFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, 100),
   new LessFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, 30));

QueryRecorder aggregator = new QueryRecorder(QueryRecorder.RecordType.Explain);
IQueryRecord record = (IQueryRecord) cache.Aggregate(filter, aggregator);


To create a trace record, change the RecordType parameter to Trace:

QueryRecorder aggregator = new QueryRecorder(QueryRecorder.RecordType.Trace);

18.2.9 IObservableCache

IObservableCache interface enables an application to receive events when the contents of a cache changes. To register interest in change events, an application adds a Listener implementation to the cache that receives events that include information about the event type (inserted, updated, deleted), the key of the modified entry, and the old and new values of the entry.

  • AddCacheListener(ICacheListener listener)—adds a standard cache listener that receives all events (inserts, updates, deletes) emitted from the cache, including their keys, old, and new values.

  • RemoveCacheListener(ICacheListener listener)—removes a standard cache listener that was previously registered.

  • AddCacheListener(ICacheListener listener, object key, bool isLite)—adds a cache listener for a specific key. If isLite is true, the events may not contain the old and new values.

  • RemoveCacheListener(ICacheListener listener, object key)—removes a cache listener that was previously registered using the specified key.

  • AddCacheListener(ICacheListener listener, IFilter filter, bool isLite)—adds a cache listener that receive events based on a filter evaluation. If isLite is true, the events may not contain the old and new values.

  • RemoveCacheListener(ICacheListener listener, IFilter filter)—removes a cache listener that previously registered using the specified filter.

Listeners registered using the filter-based method receives all event types (inserted, updated, and deleted). To further filter the events, wrap the filter in a CacheEventFilter using a CacheEventMask enumeration value to specify which type of events should be monitored.

In Figure 18-2 a filter evaluates to true if an Employee object is inserted into a cache with an IsMarried property value set to true.

Example 18-7 Filtering on an Inserted Object

new CacheEventFilter(CacheEventMask.Inserted, new EqualsFilter("IsMarried", true));

In Example 18-8 a filter evaluates to true if any object is removed from a cache.

Example 18-8 Filtering on Removed Object

new CacheEventFilter(CacheEventMask.Deleted);

In Example 18-9 a filter that evaluates to true if when an Employee object LastName property is changed from Smith.

Example 18-9 Filtering on a Changed Object

new CacheEventFilter(CacheEventMask.UpdatedLeft, new EqualsFilter("LastName", "Smith")); Responding to Cache Events

A feature of the INamedCache interface is the ability to add cache listeners that receive events emitted by a cache as its contents change. These events are sent from the server and dispatched to registered listeners by a background thread.

The .NET Single-Threaded Apartment model prohibits windows form controls created by one thread from being updated by another thread. If one or more controls should be updated because of an event notification, you must ensure that any event handling code that must run as a response to a cache event is executed on the UI thread. The WindowsFormsCacheListener helper class allows end users to ignore this fact and to handle Coherence cache events (which are always raised by a background thread) as if they were raised by the UI thread. This class ensures that the call is properly marshalled and executed on the UI thread.

Here is the sample of using this class:

Example 18-10 Marshalling and Executing a Call on the UI Thread

public partial class ContactInfoForm : Form
    listener = new WindowsFormsCacheListener(this);
    listener.EntryInserted += new CacheEventHandler(AddRow);
    listener.EntryUpdated  += new CacheEventHandler(UpdateRow);
    listener.EntryDeleted  += new CacheEventHandler(DeleteRow);

The AddRow, UpdateRow and DeleteRow methods are called in response to a cache event:

Example 18-11 Calling Methods in Response to a Cache Event

private void AddRow(object sender, CacheEventArgs args)

private void UpdateRow(object sender, CacheEventArgs args)

private void DeleteRow(object sender, CacheEventArgs args)

The CacheEventArgs parameter encapsulates the IObservableCache instance that raised the cache event; the CacheEventType that occurred; and the Key, NewValue and OldValue of the cached entry.

18.2.10 IInvocableCache

An IInvocableCache is a cache against which both entry-targeted processing and aggregating operations can be invoked. The operations against the cache contents are executed by (and thus within the localized context of) a cache. This is particularly useful in a distributed environment, because it enables the processing to be moved to the location at which the entries-to-be-processed are being managed, thus providing efficiency by localization of processing.

  • Invoke(object key, IEntryProcessor agent)—invokes the passed processor against the entry specified by the passed key, returning the result of the invocation.

  • InvokeAll(ICollection keys, IEntryProcessor agent)—invokes the passed processor against the entries specified by the passed keys, returning the result of the invocation for each.

  • InvokeAll(IFilter filter, IEntryProcessor agent)—invokes the passed processor against the entries that are selected by the given filter, returning the result of the invocation for each.

  • Aggregate(ICollection keys, IEntryAggregator agent)—performs an aggregating operation against the entries specified by the passed keys.

  • Aggregate(IFilter filter, IEntryAggregator agent)—performs an aggregating operation against the entries that are selected by the given filter.

18.2.11 Filters

The IQueryCache interface provides the ability to search for cache entries that meet a given set of criteria, expressed using a IFilter implementation.

All filters must implement the IFilter interface:

  • Evaluate(object o)—apply a test to the specified object and return true if the test passes, false otherwise.

Coherence for .NET includes several IFilter implementations in the Tangosol.Util.Filter namespace.

The code in Example 18-12 retrieves the keys of all entries that have a value equal to 5.

Example 18-12 Retrieving Keys Equal to a Numeric Value

EqualsFilter equalsFilter = new EqualsFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, 5);
ICollection  keys         = cache.GetKeys(equalsFilter);

The code in Example 18-13 retrieves all keys that have a value greater or equal to 55.

Example 18-13 Retrieving Keys Greater Than or Equal To a Numeric Value

GreaterEqualsFilter greaterEquals = new GreaterEqualsFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, 55);
ICollection         keys          = cache.GetKeys(greaterEquals);

The code in Example 18-14 retrieves all cache entries that have a value that begins with Belg.

Example 18-14 Retrieving Keys Based on a String Value

LikeFilter  likeFilter = new LikeFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, "Belg%", '\\', true);
ICollection entries    = cache.GetEntries(likeFilter);

The code in Example 18-15 retrieves all cache entries that have a value that ends with an (case sensitive) or begins with An (case insensitive).

Example 18-15 Retrieving Keys Based on a Case-Sensitive String Value

OrFilter    orFilter = new OrFilter(new LikeFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, "%an", '\\', false), new LikeFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, "An%", '\\', true));
ICollection entries  = cache.GetEntries(orFilter);

18.2.12 Value Extractors

Extractors are used to extract values from an object. All extractors must implement the IValueExtractor interface:

  • Extract(object target)—extract the value from the passed object.

Coherence for .NET includes the following extractors:

  • IdentityExtractor is a trivial implementation that does not actually extract anything from the passed value, but returns the value itself.

  • KeyExtractor is a special purpose implementation that serves as an indicator that a query should be run against the key objects rather than the values.

  • ReflectionExtractor extracts a value from a specified object property.

  • MultiExtractor is composite IValueExtractor implementation based on an array of extractors. All extractors in the array are applied to the same target object and the result of the extraction is a IList of extracted values.

  • ChainedExtractor is composite IValueExtractor implementation based on an array of extractors. The extractors in the array are applied sequentially left-to-right, so a result of a previous extractor serves as a target object for a next one.

The code in Example 18-16 retrieves all cache entries with keys greater than 5:

Example 18-16 Retrieving Cache Entries Greater Than a Numeric Value

IValueExtractor extractor = new KeyExtractor(IdentityExtractor.Instance);
IFilter         filter    = new GreaterFilter(extractor, 5);
ICollection     entries   = cache.GetEntries(filter);

The code inExample 18-17 retrieves all cache entries with values containing a City property equal to city1:

Example 18-17 Retrieving Cache Entries Based on a String Value

IValueExtractor extractor = new ReflectionExtractor("City");
IFilter         filter    = new EqualsFilter(extractor, "city1");
ICollection     entries   = cache.GetEntries(filter);

18.2.13 Entry Processors

An entry processor is an agent that operates against the entry objects within a cache.

All entry processors must implement the IEntryProcessor interface:

  • Process(IInvocableCacheEntry entry)—process the specified entry.

  • ProcessAll(ICollection entries)—process a collection of entries.

Coherence for .NET includes several IEntryProcessor implementations in the Tangosol.Util.Processor namespace.

The code in Example 18-18 demonstrates a conditional put. The value mapped to key1 is set to 680 only if the current mapped value is greater than 600.

Example 18-18 Conditional Put of a Key Value Based on a Numeric Value

IFilter         greaterThen600 = new GreaterFilter(IdentityExtractor.Instance, 600);
IEntryProcessor processor      = new ConditionalPut(greaterThen600, 680);
cache.Invoke("key1", processor);

The code in Example 18-19 uses the UpdaterProcessor to update the value of the Degree property on a Temperature object with key BGD to the new value 26.

Example 18-19 Setting a Key Value Based on a Numeric Value

cache.Insert("BGD", new Temperature(25, 'c', 12));
IValueUpdater   updater   = new ReflectionUpdater("setDegree");
IEntryProcessor processor = new UpdaterProcessor(updater, 26);
object          result    = cache.Invoke("BGD", processor);

18.2.14 Entry Aggregators

An entry aggregator represents processing that can be directed to occur against some subset of the entries in an IInvocableCache, resulting in an aggregated result. Common examples of aggregation include functions such as minimum, maximum, sum and average. However, the concept of aggregation applies to any process that must evaluate a group of entries to come up with a single answer. Aggregation is explicitly capable of being run in parallel, for example in a distributed environment.

All aggregators must implement the IEntryAggregator interface:

  • Aggregate(ICollection entries)—process a collection of entries to produce an aggregate result.

Coherence for .NET includes several IEntryAggregator implementations in the Tangosol.Util.Aggregator namespace.

The code in Example 18-20 returns the size of the cache:

Example 18-20 Returning the Size of the Cache

IEntryAggregator aggregator = new Count();
object           result     = cache.Aggregate(cache.Keys, aggregator);

The code in Example 18-21 returns an IDictionary with keys equal to the unique values in the cache and values equal to the number of instances of the corresponding value in the cache:

Example 18-21 Returning an IDictionary

IEntryAggregator aggregator = GroupAggregator.CreateInstance(IdentityExtractor.Instance, new Count());
object           result     = cache.Aggregate(cache.Keys, aggregator);


Example 18-20 and Example 18-21 are simple examples and not practical for passing a large amount of keys or keys that are themselves very large. In such scenarios, use the GroupAggregator.CreateInstance(String, IEntryAggregator, IFilter) method and pass an AlwaysFilter object.

Like cached value objects, all custom IFilter, IExtractor, IProcessor and IAggregator implementation classes must be correctly registered in the POF context of the .NET application and cluster-side node to which the client is connected. As such, corresponding Java implementations of the custom .NET types must be created, compiled, and deployed on the cluster-side node. Note that the actual execution of these custom types is performed by the Java implementation and not the .NET implementation.

See Chapter 17, "Building Integration Objects (.NET)." for additional details.