In my previous post we have seen simple caching using plain PHP. Here we will learn how to implement caching using Framework. We will use ZendFramework-1.12.3. You might wonder that why I am using very old version framework for caching. Don’t worry I will make you zero to hero in caching step by step. In this version caching is very easy to understand also easy to implement. So let’s start!!


Note: You can also refer manual and for demo you can refer my blog.

Zend_Cache provides a generic way to cache any data. Caching in Zend Framework is operated by frontends while cache records are stored through backend adapters (File, Sqlite, Memcache…) through a flexible system of IDs and tags. Using those, it is easy to delete specific types of records afterwards (for example: “delete all cache records marked with a given tag”).

The core of the module (Zend_Cache_Core) is generic, flexible and configurable. Yet, for your specific needs there are cache frontends that extend Zend_Cache_Core for convenience: Output, File, Function and Class.

Example #1 Getting a Frontend with Zend_Cache::factory()

Zend_Cache::factory() instantiates correct objects and ties them together. In this first example, we will use Core frontend together with File backend.

    $frontendOptions = array(
        'lifetime' => 7200, // cache lifetime of 2 hours
        'automatic_serialization' => true

    $backendOptions = array(
        'cache_dir' => './tmp/' // Directory where to put the cache files

    // getting a Zend_Cache_Core object
    $cache = Zend_Cache::factory('Core',

Note: Frontends and Backends Consisting of Multiple Words Some frontends and backends are named using multiple words, such as ‘ZendPlatform’. When specifying them to the factory, separate them using a word separator, such as a space (‘ ‘), hyphen (‘-‘), or period (‘.’).

Example #2 Caching a Database Query Result

Now that we have a frontend, we can cache any type of data (we turned on serialization). for example, we can cache a result from a very expensive database query. After it is cached, there is no need to even connect to the database; records are fetched from cache and unserialized.

    // $cache initialized in previous example
    // see if a cache already exists:
    if( ($result = $cache->load('myresult')) === false ) {

        // cache miss; connect to the database

        $db = Zend_Db::factory( [...] );

        $result = $db->fetchAll('SELECT * FROM huge_table');

        $cache->save($result, 'myresult');

        } else {

            // cache hit! shout so that we know
            echo "This one is from cache!\n\n";



Example #3 Caching Output with Zend_Cache Output Frontend

We ‘mark up’ sections in which we want to cache output by adding some conditional logic, encapsulating the section within start() and end() methods (this resembles the first example and is the core strategy for caching).

Inside, output your data as usual – all output will be cached when execution hits the end() method. On the next run, the whole section will be skipped in favor of fetching data from cache (as long as the cache record is valid).

$frontendOptions = array(
    'lifetime' => 30, // cache lifetime of 30 seconds
    'automatic_serialization' => false // this is the default anyways

$backendOptions = array('cache_dir' => './tmp/');

$cache = Zend_Cache::factory('Output',

// we pass a unique identifier to the start() method
if(!$cache->start('mypage')) {
    // output as usual:
    echo 'Hello world! ';
    echo 'This is cached ('.time().') ';
    $cache->end(); // the output is saved and sent to the browser

echo 'This is never cached ('.time().').';

Simple Demo: I assume that you have installed zend framework 1.12. Here we will use concept of Example #3 for caching. We will use File as backend adapter to store cache records. So create a directory called “cache” inside public folder with read write permission.

Step 1: Add below code in public/index.php before $application->bootstrap() ->run();

    // auto loader
    require_once 'Zend/Loader/Autoloader.php';
    $autoloader = Zend_Loader_Autoloader::getInstance();

    // registry
    $registry = Zend_Registry::getInstance();

    $frontendOptions = array(
        'lifetime' => 7200, // cache lifetime of 2 hours
        'automatic_serialization' => true

    $backendOptions = array(
        'cache_dir' => 'cache/' // Directory where to put the cache files

    $cache = Zend_Cache::factory('Output',
    $registry->set('appCacheObj', $cache);

Step 2: Add below code in indexAction() inside indexController.php

    $appCache = Zend_Registry::get('appCacheObj');
    $cacheId = 'myBigLoop';
    //If cache record is not present then caching will be started from this code
    if($appCache->start($cacheId)) {
    $data = '';
    for ($i = 0; $i < 10000; $i++) {
        $data = $data . $i." ";
    $this->view->data = $data;

Step 3: Add below code in index.phtml inside view folder.

$appCache = Zend_Registry::get('appCacheObj');
    echo $this->data;

//Caching will be ended here

Before caching:

When you will browse your index page( EX: http://localhost/quickstart/public/index.php) 1st time you will get the result 0 to 10000 as output. Now if you will check your cache directory you will find Binary file named “zend_cache—myBigLoop” where myBigLoop was your cacheId. If you will check the time taken to get your output it will be at least more than 70ms.


After caching:

When you will browse index page next time you will get your output from cached files. The time taken to generate output will be 3-4 times faster than previous result.


For time being you can delete your cached record manually from cache folder and experiment on it. We will deal with little complex demo in my next blog and also we will clear cached record through code.


/*Hope you will love it */


2 thoughts on “cACHING uSING zEND fRAMEWORK(zERO tO hERO)

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