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The property cache is a feature that was introduced in release 15.04. It is available in the C++, C, Java and Objective-C language bindings of AllJoyn Core.

The purpose of the property cache is to reduce network traffic and to improve application response times by avoiding unnecessary round trips on ProxyBusObject::GetProperty and ProxyBusObject::GetAllProperties calls for cacheable properties.

Optional Feature

The property caching feature is optional, and not enabled by default. You have to enable it on a per-ProxyBusObject basis. Once enabled, it applies to all interfaces that ProxyBusObject instance supports.

Cacheable Properties

Cacheable properties are those that leverage the org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.PropertiesChanged signal mechanism. Such properties are annotated with the org.freedesktop.DBus.Property.EmitsChangedSignal annotation:

  • if the annotation value is true, clients will be informed of the new value of the property as soon as the value changes.
  • if the annotation value is invalidates, clients will be informed that any value they may have cached for that property is now invalid, but the new value is not sent along with the notification. Clients must perform a GetProperty call to retrieve the new value.
  • if the annotation value is false (the default, if the annotation is not present), the property is not cacheable, and no notifications will be emitted upon changes in the property value.

Note: recent DBus specifications allow a fourth value for the annotation (const), but this is currently not supported by AllJoyn.

Lazy Caching

The property caching mechanism is lazy: it does not actively try to acquire values for all properties in the proxy object. Rather, it snoops incoming PropertiesChanged signals and GetProperty replies to fill the cache. Applications that want to have a pre-filled cache have to perform a ProxyBusObject::GetAllProperties call immediately following the enabling of the property cache for a proxy object.


The property cache is completely transparent for applications. The only code change you need to take advantage of the functionality is the addition of a single ProxyBusObject::EnablePropertyCaching call.

ProxyBusObject pbo(bus, unique_name, path);

Subsequent calls to ProxyBusObject::GetProperty, ProxyBusObject::GetPropertyAsync, ProxyBusObject::GetAllProperties or ProxyBusObject::GetAllPropertiesAsync will opportunistically return values from the cache if applicable.

Service-side Requirements

The property caching mechanism is extremely simple, but it assumes that the service side (i.e. the peer that exposes objects on the bus) behaves correctly. If you cannot be certain that the peers you will interact with comply with the requirements listed below, your best bet is to not enable property caching.

Respect Property Annotations

If the interface definition states that certain properties are cacheable, i.e. the appropriate annotations are present in the interface definition, the service must emit the PropertiesChanged signal at the appropriate times. Failure to do so will result in inconsistent caches at client side, and undefined behavior.

Emit PropertiesChanged Signals as Sessioncast Signals

The PropertiesChanged signal (which is emitted via the BusObject::EmitPropChanged method) must not be emitted as a broadcast signal (i.e. with session id 0). It should be emitted as a sessioncast signal on all sessions that have potentially interested listeners.

The most convenient method for emission is to use the sentinel SESSION_ID_ALL_HOSTED value for the session id. The framework will then emit the signal on all sessions hosted by the application.

busobj.EmitPropChanged("org.alljoyn.example.Foo", {"Bar"}, 1, SESSION_ID_ALL_HOSTED);
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