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Pathom uses caching to optimize the speed of critical points in the resolution process.

What Pathom caches

There are two things that Pathom caches:

Planning computation

When there is a query, Pathom computes the plan and then runs it.

The plan can be simple or complex. It takes into consideration the query, indexes, and available data. Given those are the same, it hits the cache.

This cache is set in the key ::pcp/plan-cache* in the environment. You can set it with the helper pcp/with-plan-cache.

Here is an example to setup a durable cache for the planner, which I recommend as a good default:

(:require [com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.indexes :as pci]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.operation :as pco]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.planner :as pcp]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.interface.eql :as p.eql]))

(pco/defresolver full-name [{::keys [first-name last-name]}]
{::full-name (str first-name " " last-name)})

; setup with defonce to keep during reloads
(defonce plan-cache* (atom {}))

(def env
(-> (pci/register full-name)
(pcp/with-plan-cache plan-cache*)))

(defn handle [tx]
(p.eql/process env tx))

Resolver call

Pathom caches the resolver result based on the resolver name, input, and parameters.

This cache is set in the key ::pcr/resolver-cache* in the environment. You can set it with the helper pcr/with-resolver-cache.

Cache lifecycle

By default, the environment has no cache, but the standard interfaces have their own cache definitions.

EQL Process

When you use the EQL interface, the runner automatically creates caches for planning and resolvers, these caches live for that transaction process and then are discarded.

Smart Maps

Smart maps use a durable form of the cache by default. The smart maps add the caches at initialization, and they are persisted when variations of that Smart Map are created.

This means, for example, when you assoc on a Smart Map, the new returned Smart Map still shares the same plan and resolver caches.

The cache protocol

In the namespace com.wsscode.pathom3.cache you can find the CacheStore protocol.

(defprotocol CacheStore
(-cache-lookup-or-miss [this cache-key f])
(-cache-find [this cache-key]))

This protocol is implemented by Pathom to Atom and Volatile, so you can use any of those as a cache-store.

Persistent caching

There are cases in which a persistent cache can save some processing time in the application.

For example, a Pathom server handling API requests for serving some UI. This kind of service tends to receive the same queries over and over. Instead of re-planning on every query, you can use a more persistent cache to re-use this computation across requests.

Here is an example of making such a configuration:

; define the query, use atom to ensure proper concurrent access
(defonce persistent-cache-plan* (atom {}))

(def env
(-> (pci/register my-resolvers)
(pcp/with-plan-cache persistent-cache-plan*)))

(defn handle-request [tx]
(p.eql/process env tx))

This way, Pathom will re-use that same cache.


If you are sure your application won't try to concurrently write to the cache, you can use a (volatile! {}) instead of the atom to gain some performance.

A concern with this approach is that this cache will grow forever, and depending on how variadic the requests are, that can turn into an issue. To solve this, we can use a more robust cache strategy.

Using core.cache

If you are running Pathom on the JVM, you can use the excellent core.cache library to implement more robust cache stores.

To demonstrate it, we will make a persistent cache using a LRUCache from core.cached:

(:require [clojure.core.cache.wrapped :as cc]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.cache :as p.cache]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.indexes :as pci]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.operation :as pco]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.connect.planner :as pcp]
[com.wsscode.pathom3.interface.eql :as p.eql]))

(pco/defresolver full-name [{::keys [first-name last-name]}]
{::full-name (str first-name " " last-name)})

; create a new record type to use core.cache implementation
(defrecord CoreCacheStore [cache-atom]
(-cache-lookup-or-miss [_ cache-key f]
(cc/lookup-or-miss cache-atom cache-key (fn [_] (f))))

(-cache-find [_ cache-key]
(find @cache-atom cache-key)))

; helper to start a new LRU cache
(defn lru-cache [base threshold]
(-> (cc/lru-cache-factory base :threshold threshold)

; create a cache that holds only the latest 100 read plans
(defonce plan-cache* (lru-cache {} 100))

(def env
(-> (pci/register full-name)
(pcp/with-plan-cache plan-cache*)))

(defn handle [tx]
(p.eql/process env tx))

Custom cache store per resolver

You may want to have different caches for different resolvers, for this case you can set the ::pco/cache-store configuration on your resolver, and it will try to use the cache from the keyword mentioned there.

(pco/defresolver on-custom-cache [{:keys [foo]}]
{::pco/cache-store ::my-cache*}
{:bar "baz"})

(def env
(-> (pci/register on-custom-cache)
(assoc ::my-cache* (atom {}))))

You need to provide this custom cache, otherwise it will fallback to the default resolver cache.

Disable cache

If you want to disable the cache, here is how.

Turn cache off

To completely turn off a cache, set it with a nil value. This way, Pathom will keep the nil value, and on an attempt to use the cache, it will skip it.

Per resolver

You can disable the resolver cache per resolver. To do so, set ::pco/cache? false in the resolver configuration.

Naming convention

Pathom uses the suffix -cache* for all cache attributes. Its recommend that users also follow this pattern for reading consistency.