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David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler


    Web app developer since 1994 and former Developer Advocate with Google now residing in Peru. I am currently offering public and private developer training courses in the US and Latin America as well as working on Android, GWT, and App Engine projects.

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Disable Browser Caching in JSF

Posted by David Chandler on August 8, 2006

Browser caching of page content has negative security implications when your application runs on shared terminals (like the public library). You can turn it off with this simple phase listener. Well, maybe. As some of the comments indicate, browsers are finicky, and of course, we never trust the browser, anyway, so using this technique is certainly not a security guarantee of any kind.

package my.util;

import javax.faces.context.FacesContext;
import javax.faces.event.PhaseEvent;
import javax.faces.event.PhaseId;
import javax.faces.event.PhaseListener;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

public class CacheControlPhaseListener implements PhaseListener
{
	public PhaseId getPhaseId()
	{
		return PhaseId.RENDER_RESPONSE;
	}

	public void afterPhase(PhaseEvent event)
	{
	}

	public void beforePhase(PhaseEvent event)
	{
		FacesContext facesContext = event.getFacesContext();
		HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) facesContext
				.getExternalContext().getResponse();
		response.addHeader("Pragma", "no-cache");
		response.addHeader("Cache-Control", "no-cache");
		// Stronger according to blog comment below that references HTTP spec
		response.addHeader("Cache-Control", "no-store");
		response.addHeader("Cache-Control", "must-revalidate");
		// some date in the past
		response.addHeader("Expires", "Mon, 8 Aug 2006 10:00:00 GMT");
	}
}

To register the phase listener, just add this to your faces-config.xml:

	<lifecycle>
		<phase-listener id="nocache">my.util.CacheControlPhaseListener</phase-listener>
	</lifecycle>

61 Responses to “Disable Browser Caching in JSF”

  1. Ward said

    Thanks for the code man, I am having some issues with the back button /JSF and this is exactly the code I need. Much appreciated…

  2. Sushma said

    Thanks a lot…. It works like a charm…

  3. Lowster said

    Worked a treat, thanks.

  4. hermes said

    I am having some issues with Firefox.

  5. Sam said

    do you have a jsf example to trigger this CacheControlPhaseListener ? thanks.

  6. Sam,

    I’ve now packaged it in a jar and included a link to the download in this post. Just drop the jar under WEB-INF/lib for your application. There’s nothing else you have to do to enable it. If you use a proxy tool like Paros, you’ll be able to see the no-cache headers getting written for each request.

    /dmc

  7. Sam said

    Hi:
    I am using myfaces tobago. would there be any configuration need to do? where is the links to get the jar file? thanks again

  8. Sam said

    do I need to add the below config into my existing faces-config.xml? I tried your suggestion above and did not work. thanks agian

    com.learnjsf.util.nocache.CacheControlPhaseListener

  9. JR said

    Interesting that this gets called but does not write into the response. I threw a logger in there to make sure that its getting called but the headers don’t show up in the response.

    Any thoughts on this?
    Thanks

  10. SwappeR said

    What about Firefox 1.5? The code doesn’t work for it, it works only for IE6. Is there any solution for Firefox?

  11. THERE IS A FLAW WITH THIS TECHNIQUE.

    Here is a quote from the HTTP 1.1 specification describing the “no-cache” header:

    no-cache
    If the no-cache directive does not specify a field-name, then a
    cache MUST NOT use the response to satisfy a subsequent request
    without successful revalidation with the origin server. This
    allows an origin server to prevent caching even by caches that
    have been configured to return stale responses to client requests.

    If the no-cache directive does specify one or more field-names,
    then a cache MAY use the response to satisfy a subsequent request,
    subject to any other restrictions on caching. However, the
    specified field-name(s) MUST NOT be sent in the response to a
    subsequent request without successful revalidation with the origin
    server. This allows an origin server to prevent the re-use of
    certain header fields in a response, while still allowing caching
    of the rest of the response.

    Note: Most HTTP/1.0 caches will not recognize or obey this
    directive.

    When this response header is used without any field-name, then the cache is still allowed to store the response. It just can not re-use that response “without successful revalidation with the origin server.” Therefore, the stated aim of preventing “negative security implications when your application runs on shared terminals (like the public library)” is not achieved, since sensitive data may still be store on the shared terminal.

    Consider the use of the “no-store” header, which is more secure, but still not a guarantee of security. Here is a quote from the HTTP 1.1 specification describing the “no-store” header:

    no-store
    The purpose of the no-store directive is to prevent the
    inadvertent release or retention of sensitive information (for
    example, on backup tapes). The no-store directive applies to the
    entire message, and MAY be sent either in a response or in a
    request. If sent in a request, a cache MUST NOT store any part of
    either this request or any response to it. If sent in a response,
    a cache MUST NOT store any part of either this response or the
    request that elicited it. This directive applies to both non-
    shared and shared caches. “MUST NOT store” in this context means
    that the cache MUST NOT intentionally store the information in
    non-volatile storage, and MUST make a best-effort attempt to
    remove the information from volatile storage as promptly as
    possible after forwarding it.

    Even when this directive is associated with a response, users
    might explicitly store such a response outside of the caching
    system (e.g., with a “Save As” dialog). History buffers MAY store
    such responses as part of their normal operation.

    The purpose of this directive is to meet the stated requirements
    of certain users and service authors who are concerned about
    accidental releases of information via unanticipated accesses to
    cache data structures. While the use of this directive might
    improve privacy in some cases, we caution that it is NOT in any
    way a reliable or sufficient mechanism for ensuring privacy. In
    particular, malicious or compromised caches might not recognize or
    obey this directive, and communications networks might be
    vulnerable to eavesdropping.

  12. InterJSF said

    I am getting the following error when I dropped the jar in my web-inf/lib directory –

    [STDOUT] ERROR PhaseListenerManager – Exception in PhaseListener RENDER_RESPONSE(6) beforePhase.
    java.lang.ClassCastException: org.jboss.portlet.JBossRenderResponse
    at com.learnjsf.util.nocache.CacheControlPhaseListener.beforePhase(CacheControlPhaseListener.java:16)

  13. What about scalability? Is it really wise to disable all HTTP caching? Any reasonable web framework should let you configure domain-aware HTTP caching to reduce unnecessary load on the app and datastore.

  14. sue said

    I use this code, half work, and half does not work.

    My application: on the left side use tree for the menu, when I click the back button, the page is rollback, but the menu is not.
    any idea?

    Thanks,

  15. Murtaza said

    I was trying exactly the same concept using Servlet Filter and it was not working. Thank you.

  16. Akram Badr said

    I try to use this but i think it does not work correctly
    for example if I have web site contain a login page and after login page main page contain menu on left hand site if I clicked on menu link 1 ==> you will navigate to page 1 then click menu link 2 ==> you will navigate to page 2 then use back you will get page 1 not ==> page has expired (which is not correct), if you use back again you will get page has expired

    Any help please

    • You might try adding some logging statements to verify that the phase listener is being invoked on the transition from page 1 to page 2. Or use a Firefox plugin like TamperData to verify that the no-cache headers are being set correctly. Also try other browsers.

      • Pradip said

        Hey i’m facing the same problem.
        i have scenario like
        user goes to Search page , from there go to detail page , edit it, save it.
        now if i do back…it works fine in Firefox which takes me to edit page.
        but in IE it displays “page has expired”..

  17. Jigar said

    adding this jar into my project didnt work ..
    it is same as when jar was not present..
    when user clicks on sign out button he/she will be navigated to logoutpage where session will be destroyed..
    and then he/she will be forwarded to home page ..
    but as user clicks back button he gets all the pages..which he must not..
    browser :firefox 3.0

  18. Jigar said

    it isnt working …
    by just putting it into current project.

  19. [...] no-caching on your web application using the phaselistener (jsf [...]

  20. I updated this post to incorporate some of the comments and remove a dead link.

  21. kamaraju said

    will it work for firefox

  22. kamaraju said

    i have tried in it its not working with fire fox how to resolve it ..

  23. [...] no-caching on your web application using the phaselistener (jsf [...]

  24. Ibra said

    it works thank. You save the day.

  25. Al said

    Very helpful code. It did the job for my req. Thanks.

  26. Justin said

    Very useful code. Thanks for sharing

  27. Om said

    Hi,
    I tried ur code and it worked fine. I just wanted to know waht if I have multiple faces-config.xml. For me it is working fine by just including it in one but is there anything more I need to do.

  28. Rajasekhar said

    Very useful code. I need one more help when we click of F5 or browser refresh in jsf application it should come out to LogOut page.

    In Rich faces how to do this one? and also how to hide JSESSiONID in URL?

  29. Juan said

    I was really need it this :).

    Im using icefaces, i did a asyncronic shopping cart and when i added an item and navigate to other section and pressed the back button the item that i preview added didnt appear in screen but it was on session scope.

    I did also a asyncronic login and i had the same issue.

    Now everything is working. Thank you so much, i test it in Mozilla 5.0 and IE 7

  30. Vikas said

    Excellent Post, just worked fine for me.

  31. Sanket Saxena said

    Thanks David, I have faced same problem. It works with your posted code

  32. Sanket Saxena said

    Thanks David for putting a great suggestion, It help us to overcome from various cache problem.

    • Sanket Saxena said

      Hi Devid,
      I have implemented your posted code, and this is working perfectly in all browsers except IE6. Have you any idea or suggestion to overcome from this problem (IE6 browser cache issue)

  33. ther are another way to do this:
    FacesContext facesContext = event.getFacesContext();
    HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) facesContext.getExternalContext().getResponse();
    response.addHeader(“Pragma”, “no-cache”);
    response.addHeader(“Cache-Control”, “no-cache”);
    response.setHeader(“Cache-Control”, “no-store”);
    response.addHeader(“Cache-Control”, “must-revalidate”);

  34. Excellent – works perfectly fine.

  35. Neeraj Kumar Sharma said

    You can Add this also Thanks Man

    FacesContext facesContext = event.getFacesContext();
    HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) facesContext.getExternalContext()
    .getResponse();

    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “no-cache”); // HTTP 1.1
    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “no-store”); // HTTP 1.1
    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “must-revalidate”); // HTTP 1.1
    // response.setHeader(“Pragma”,”no-cache”); //HTTP 1.0
    response.setHeader(“Allow”, “GET”); // Allowing GET Method only
    response.setHeader(“Allow”, “POST”);// Allowing POST Method only
    response.setDateHeader(“Expires”, -1); // prevent caching at the proxy server

  36. alex said

    Bueno tengo un problema tratando de evitar cuando den F5 en el navegador reenvie la solicitud a mi servlet lo cual no debe de pasar, podrian explicarme como es que funciona esto por favor.

    donde tendria que ponerlo en el dopost o en el formulario jsp.?

    entre etiquetas etc…

    FacesContext facesContext = event.getFacesContext();
    HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) facesContext.getExternalContext()
    .getResponse();

    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “no-cache”); // HTTP 1.1
    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “no-store”); // HTTP 1.1
    response.setHeader(“Cache-control”, “must-revalidate”); // HTTP 1.1
    // response.setHeader(“Pragma”,”no-cache”); //HTTP 1.0
    response.setHeader(“Allow”, “GET”); // Allowing GET Method only
    response.setHeader(“Allow”, “POST”);// Allowing POST Method only
    response.setDateHeader(“Expires”, -1); // prevent caching at the proxy server

  37. surtep said

    Don’t fool yourself…the previous page expires only the first time.
    You enter on the old url again of your app it still go to it!

    The cache gets recreated by your browser.

  38. [...] I have in place a phase listener, basically a slightly modified version of this http://turbomanage.wordpress.com/2006/08/08/disable-browser-caching-in-jsf/ [...]

  39. [...] I have in place a phase listener, basically a slightly modified version of this http://turbomanage.wordpress.com/2006/08/08/disable-browser-caching-in-jsf/ [...]

  40. Naveen said

    I have implemented it using filters
    web.xml modifications

    BrowserCacheHandlerFilter
    com.legaledcenter.util.BrowserCacheHandlerFilter

    BrowserCacheHandlerFilter
    Faces Servlet

    BrowserCacheHandlerFilter–>

    public void doFilter(ServletRequest servletRequest, ServletResponse servletResponse, FilterChain filterChain) throws IOException, ServletException {

    String path = ((HttpServletRequest) servletRequest).getServletPath();
    if(!path.startsWith(“/javax”) ){
    HttpServletResponse res = (HttpServletResponse) servletResponse;
    res.setHeader(“Cache-Control”, “no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate”); // HTTP 1.1.
    res.setHeader(“Pragma”, “no-cache”); // HTTP 1.0.
    res.setDateHeader(“Expires”, 0); // Proxies.
    }
    filterChain.doFilter(servletRequest, servletResponse);
    }

  41. nanajoe said

    thanks a lot! it works perfectly

  42. Thiruppathi said

    hi friend…

    how to session logout the copied url from one tab to another tab in same browser…plz help me
    thanks in advance

    by thiru

  43. hkcoderh said

    Nicely written and explained.

    I tried you code, i have done the same process as explained above. But, still my JSF Page is maintaining session. I tried in FireFox + IE.

    Could you suggest anything?

  44. aarif said

    when i am using this code then i am not able to login into my application why so…..

  45. aarif said

    @Override
    public void doHeaders(RenderRequest request, RenderResponse response)
    {
    logger.debug(“>> LoginPortlet:::doHeaders()”);
    logger.debug(“>> LoginPortlet:::doHeaders() “+request+””+response);

    Element resElement = response.createElement(“link”);
    resElement.setAttribute(“Pragma”, “no-cache”);
    resElement.setAttribute(“Cache-Control”, “no-cache”);
    resElement.setAttribute(“Cache-Control”, “no-store”);
    resElement.setAttribute(“Cache-Control”, “must-revalidate”);
    resElement.setAttribute(“Expires”, “-1″);
    response.addProperty(MimeResponse.MARKUP_HEAD_ELEMENT,resElement);

    logger.debug(“<“+resElement.getAttribute(“Pragma”));
    logger.debug(“<“+resElement.getAttribute(“Cache-Control”));

    logger.debug(“<< LoginPortlet:::doHeaders()");

    }

  46. aarif said

    add below code in portlet.xml…..

    javax.portlet.renderHeaders
    true

    now enjoy clear cache, dont forget to paste above method

  47. I’m extremely impressed along with your writing talents as well as with the structure in your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to look
    a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  48. wiggin said

    Thanks that solves my problem with my views that fetch data from the database, it was concerning, because when the data changed into database the view still remained without any change. I was already began to guess that the problem lies into browser cache, now i can confirm it.

  49. aarif said

    David can i have your email id.?

    regards,
    aarif mohammad
    http://www.javatechnologycenter.com

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