Sunday, June 13, 2010

Configuring a Grails App for Clustering using Ehcache

Clustering Grails using Ehcache is very easy. Here is how to do it in just a few simple steps.

1) Grails 1.3.1 installed. Download Grails here if you don't already have it installed.
2) Terracotta 3.2.1 installed. Download Terracotta here if you don't already it installed.

This post assumes you have Grails installed to $GRAILS_HOME and Terracotta installed to $TERRACOTTA_HOME.

Before setting up your application for clustering, we'll need a Grails app. If you don't already have a Grails app, let's create one. We just repeat the steps listed on the Grails Quick Start Page. I will create a simple application called "Events" which create and stores events:

Step 1. Create the application

$ grails create-app events

Step 2. Create a domain class

grails create-domain-class Event

Edit the generated Event domain class grails-app/domain/events/Event.groovy and add some fields to it:

package events
class Event {
Date date
String title

Step 3. Create a controller

$ grails create-controller Event

Edit the grails-app/controllers/events/EventController.groovy to implement default scaffolding:

package events

class EventController {
def scaffold = Event

Step 4. Run the app

$ grails run-app

And browse to http://localhost:8080/events/event

Now we have a complete Grails application. Let's add Terracotta:

Step 5. Configure your domain class for caching

You will need to tell Hibernate that your domain class is cacheable. Edit the domain class at grails-app/domain/events/Event.groovy and add the cache directive:

package events

class Event {
static mapping = {
cache true

Date date
String title

Step 6. Configure Grails to use the latest version of Ehcache with Terracotta support built-in

Edit the config file at grails-app/conf/BuildConfig.groovy. Update the section which imports the default global settings like so to update the depencencies to the latest version of Ehcache (sidenote, Ehcache version 2.1.0 depends on Terracotta version 3.2.1, don't get confused by the version numbers - they don't line up because the two products are different even if owned by the same company):

grails.project.dependency.resolution = {
// inherit Grails' default dependencies
inherits( "global" ) {
// uncomment to disable ehcache
// excludes 'ehcache'
runtime 'net.sf.ehcache:ehcache-core:2.1.0'
runtime 'net.sf.ehcache:ehcache-terracotta:2.1.0'

<rest of file here>

Step 7. Configure Ehcache to use Terracotta.

By default Ehcache caches are not configured for Terracotta support. Enable this by overriding the built-in Ehcache defaults by adding the file grails-app/conf/ehcache.xml with the following contents:

<ehcache name="EventCache">
&;t'terracottaConfig url="localhost:9510"/>

Step 8. Start a Terracotta Server

Terracotta requires that a Server is running. Start it now:


Step 9. Start a developer console

To observe caching in action, start a Terracotta Developer Console:


Step 10. Run the app again

$ grails run-app

You can monitor the cache stats in the Terracotta Developer Console. To do so, make sure you turn on statistics gathering:
  1. Click on Ehcache
  2. Click on Statistics
  3. Find the "Enable Statistics" button and click it

The following screen shot shows where to click:

Now, navigate to the application at http://localhost:8080/events/event. Create an event. After creating the event, you are left on a page that views the event. Press "Refresh" on your browser a few times, and notice that you get activity in the Developer Console Statistics window.

Here's what it should look like:

That's it - have fun with clustered Ehcache for Grails!