Goodbye cache, hello real-time updates

Published by Vic Drover on

One of the core features of Watchful is the ability manage outdated versions of Joomla add-ons even including Joomla 1.5.

This involves detecting the presence of newer add-on versions, notification of the site owner, easy, 1-click updating, and even custom monitoring like the LESS app.

Of course, much if this functionality was made possible when remote extension updates were first added to the Joomla core in version 1.6.

Unfortunately, performance concerns necessitated the addition of a caching mechanism in Joomla itself specifically for extension updates. For a typical user in the backend of a Joomla web site, clearing the cache and requesting fresh information on available updates became the norm.

And as a result of this cache, Watchful customers experienced a similar problem of stale extension update alerts magnified across all the sites in their Watchful Dashboard.

To address this, we added a Purge Cache button to the Watchful Dashboard in December of 2013 so accurate update information could be obtained in bulk.

But this was only a temporary solution as clearing the cache manually complicates usability.

Today we are thrilled to announce that a permanent solution has been implemented and the Purge Cache button in the Watchful dashboard has been finally removed.

A permanent solution

The solution to the problem was clear from the beginning โ€” we had to devise a way to sever our reliance on the update information presented to us by each and every remote Joomla site.

In short, we spent the best part of the last year creating and testing a self-learning database for Joomla extension updates.

As a result, weโ€™ve had a great performance boost as Watchful no longer requests this information from the remote sites.

In addition, we can process all the update information from our database locally on our servers and immediately determine what updates are needed for a site in real time. Thus, caching is no longer needed.

What about me?

For Watchful users, Iโ€™m happy to report that the update information in your Watchful dashboard will always be fresh and purging the cache is no longer necessary.

As noted above, the button has now been removed from the Watchful.

If you happen to be in the backend of your Joomla site and you see available updates in the Extension Manager that are not present in Watchful, just purge the cache (in Joomla 3, this is performed via the Find Updates button).

This is not necessary of course, and over time Joomla will clear the stale updates automatically (when the cache expires).

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