Polling with ETag caching
Polling for changes (repeatedly asking server if there are any new changes) introduces high load on a GitLab instance, because it usually requires executing at least a few SQL queries. This makes scaling large GitLab instances (like GitLab.com) very difficult so we do not allow adding new features that require polling and hit the database.
Instead you should use polling mechanism with ETag caching in Redis.
How to use it
- Add the path of the endpoint which you want to poll to
- Set the polling interval header for the response with
- Implement cache invalidation for the path of your endpoint using
Gitlab::EtagCaching::Store. Whenever a resource changes you have to invalidate the ETag for the path that depends on this resource.
- Check that the mechanism works:
- requests should return status code 304
- there should be no SQL queries logged in
How it works
- Whenever a resource changes we generate a random value and store it in Redis.
- When a client makes a request we set the
ETagresponse header to the value from Redis.
- The client caches the response (client-side caching) and sends the ETag as
If-None-Matchheader with every subsequent request for the same resource.
- If the
If-None-Matchheader matches the current value in Redis we know that the resource did not change so we can send 304 response immediately, without querying the database at all. The client’s browser uses the cached response.
- If the
If-None-Matchheader does not match the current value in Redis we have to generate a new response, because the resource changed.
Do not use query parameters (for example
?scope=all) for endpoints where you
want to enable ETag caching. The middleware takes into account only the request
path and ignores query parameters. All parameters should be included in the
request path. By doing this we avoid query parameter ordering problems and make
route matching easier.
For more information see: