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A memcached backed http cache in the form of express middleware


It does the hard work so you don't have to!


What is it?

HTTP Caching implemented as express middleware, with pluggable backends for support for a variety of caching servers (memcached, redis, etc)


  • Set expiry times per-app or per-route. It sets proper headers for client caching
  • Avoids the thundering heard by smartly refreshing the cache
  • Emits hit or miss events so you can track your hitrate
  • Simple invalidations
  • Overrides for custom cache keys and dev mode support
  • Obeys (some) client Cache-Control headers

What does it look like?

var Cacher = require("cacher")
// use the default in memory cache
var cacher = new Cacher()
// or pass in a different cache client (in this cached memcached) for different backend support
CacherMemcached = require('cacher-memcached')
var cacher = new Cacher(new CacherMemcached('host1:12345'))
// as a global middleware
app.use(cacher.cache('seconds', 30))
// or per route
app.get("/long-cache", cacher.cache('days'), ...)
app.get("/short-cache", cacher.cache('minute'), ...)
// will set no-cache headers for routes that we explicitly want to ignore caching on
app.get("/no-cache", cacher.cache(false), ...)
// Backwards compatible with old cache definitions
app.get("/long-cache", cacher.cacheDays(2), ...)
// invalidation support
// listen for events to track cache rate and errors
cacher.on("hit", function(key) {
cacher.on("miss", function(key) {
cacher.on("error", function(err) {
// Dev mode, quickly turn off caching when it gets in the way
var env = process.env.NODE_ENV || 'development'
if (env === 'development') {
  cacher.noCaching = true
// override cache key generation for finer grain control
cacher.genCacheKey = function(req) {
  return req.path + req.header('user-agent')
// override cache TTL based on response
cacher.genCacheTtl = function(res, origTtl) {
  if (res.statusCode >= 400) {
    return 0
  return origTtl


Currently, Cacher comes bundled with an in-memory cache

Backends are distributed as separate modules:

  • cacher-memcached (
  • cacher-redis (

Backend Client Api

If you want to implement your own backend, the API is really simple:

// pass whatever options are needed for connection/options
// provide defaults so a client can be fully instantiated with no parameters
function MyBackend(...) {
// cb is required, cb(err, cacheObject)
MyBackend.prototype.get = function(key, cb) {}
MyBackend.prototype.set = function(key, cacheObject, ttlInSeconds, [cb]) {}
MyBackend.prototype.invalidate = function(key, [cb]) {}

Testing your backend

Run unit tests using your backend by doing the following:

cd Cacher
npm link ../myBackend
CACHER_CLIENT=myBackend npm test