Distributed Enterprise Java Caching Software Gets Native Search

Java clustering infrastructure provider Terracotta has added native search capability to its Ehcache product line. Ehcache Search is designed to let users of the Java caching solution query data stored within the product's in-memory cache, according to the company

Ehcache (pronounced “ee-ache-cash”) is the widely deployed open-source Java caching solution Terracotta acquired in 2009. Enterprise production deployments of Ehcache are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. It ships as a component in Hibernate ORM, the Spring Framework, Alfresco CMS, and the Liferay portal. Ehcache is available under an Apache 2 license.

 The new Ehcache Search API is designed to allow users to execute "arbitrarily complex queries" against either a standalone cache or a Terracotta clustered cache with pre-built indexes. Searchable attributes may be extracted from both keys and values, the company says, and keys, values, or summary values can all be returned.

"By leveraging in-memory data stores to support both transactional and analytical applications, enterprises can conceive applications that were unimaginable beforehand," said Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini in a statement. "By combining the analytical and transactional dimensions in the same application, users can analyze business trends ‘as things happen,' thus improving their insights and responsiveness."

Terracotta is promoting the new search capability in combination with its BigMemory product, a pure Java Ehcache add-on that provides an off-heap cache for "an instant and effortless" large memory footprint for hundreds of thousands of Java applications, explained Terracotta CEO Amit Pandey. BigMemory allows Java apps to cache 64 GBs or more of data in an off-heap store that's not subject to garbage collection.

“By combining Ehcache's fast, flexible access to in-memory data with BigMemory's effortless large memory footprint for hundreds of thousands of Java applications, we are defining a new approach for companies to gain insights into their transactional data to make business-winning decisions," Pandey said.

San Francisco based Terracotta is the founding company of the open source Terracotta project. Terracotta clusters Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) to create a shared memory pool at the Java application tier, which can be used to share data among servers. This shared memory pool can also be employed to coordinate the work of many JVMs. The company's Java infrastructure solution is a commercial offering based on the open-source project.


Terracotta is currently offering both an open source and enterprise edition of Ehcache Search. More information is available on the Terracotta website (

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].