Managing Data Entries

Program your applications to create, modify, and manage your cached data entries.

Note: If you do not have the cache’s copy-on-read attribute set to true, do not change the objects returned from the Java entry access methods. See Safe Entry Modification.


Tanzu GemFire calls hashCode() on the key to map an entry within the region. The hashCode() return value must be the same for a given key on every server that hosts the region.

An equals() call return value on a given key also must be the same on every server that hosts the region.

A key may be a primitive type or a custom class. For custom classes, see Classes Used as Keys.

Do not use an enumerated type (enum) for a key. The enum hashCode() may not be overridden, and its hash code is based upon an address. Therefore, the return value for a hashCode() call can be different on each server, violating the restriction that it must return the same value on every server that hosts the region.

Create and Update Entries

To create or update an entry in the cache, use Region.put. For example:

String name = ... 
String value = ...  

Note: You can also use the gfsh put command to add entries to a region, and the get command to retrieve entries from a region. See get and put for more information.

If you want only to create the entry (with a null value and with method failure if the entry already exists), use Region.create instead.

The getAll Operation

The batch operation Region.getAll takes a collection of keys and returns a Map of key-value pairs for the provided keys. If a given key does not exist in the region, then that key’s value in the returned map will be null.

The putAll Operation

The batch operation Region.putAll takes a Map of key-value pairs, puts them into the cache, and then distributes them to all other members.

The design of a client application within a client-server design pattern faces the possibility that a partial operation can occur. Some, all, or none of the specified key-value pairs may be written with putAll. If either ServerOperationException or ServerConnectivityException is thrown, it can indicate an incomplete operation.

// Retry if the exception may be due to a transient cause.
for (int retry = 0; retry < 3; retry++) {
  throwable = null;
  try {
  } catch (ServerOperationException e) {
    throwable = e.getCause();
    if (!(e.getCause() instanceof TimeoutException ||
          e.getCause() instanceof LowMemoryException)) {
      // Not a transient exception. Do not retry.
  } catch (ServerConnectivityException e) {
    throwable = e;

if (throwable != null) {
  // Take appropriate action,
  // such as logging the exception and rethrowing it.
  System.out.println("putAll failed due to " + throwable);
  throw new Exception(throwable);

Either a ServerConnectivityException or a ServerOperationException with a cause of TimeoutException or LowMemoryException can indicate a transient error. A limited quantity of retries of putAll may result in a completed operation. A repeated timeout may imply that the read-timeout value is not long enough to complete the bulk operation; use the org.apache.geode.cache.client.PoolFactory.setReadTimeout method to set the read-timeout value.

Client applications that cannot tolerate partial completion of a putAll operation may embed the operation into a transaction. See Transactions for details.

The processing of a map with many entries and/or extra-large data values may affect system performance and cause cache update timeouts, especially if the region uses overflow or persistence to disk. The processing may also cause a LowMemoryException to be thrown.

The removeAll Operation

The removeAll method takes a collection of keys and removes all of the entries for the specified keys from this region. This call performs the equivalent of callingdestroy(Object) on this region once for each key in the specified collection. If an entry does not exist, then that key is skipped. An EntryNotFoundException is not thrown. This operation will be distributed to other caches if the region’s scope is not set to Scope.LOCAL.

The processing of a map with many entries and/or extra-large data values may affect system performance and cause cache update timeouts, especially if the region uses overflow or persistence to disk. The processing may also cause a LowMemoryException to be thrown.

Safe Entry Modification

When you get an entry value from the cache, by default, the retrieval methods return a direct reference to the cached object. This provides the value as quickly as possible, but also opens the cache to direct, in-place changes.

Note: Do not directly modify cached values. Modifying a value in place bypasses the Tanzu GemFire distribution framework, including cache writers and listeners, expiration activities, and transaction management, and can produce undesired results.

Always change your entries using copies of the retrieved objects—never directly modify the returned objects. You can do this in one of two ways:

  1. Change the entry retrieval behavior for your cache by setting the cache attribute, copy-on-read, to true (the default is false).

    <cache copy-on-read="true">

    When copy-on-read is true, the entry access methods return copies of the entries. This protects you from inadvertently modifying in-place, but negatively impacts performance and memory consumption when copying is not needed.

    These entry access methods return an entry reference if copy-on-read is false and a copy of the entry if copy-on-read is true:

    Region.get result of Region.put EntryEvent.getNewValue Region.values Region.Entry.getValue EntryEvent.getOldValue

  2. Create a copy of the returned object and work with that. For objects that are cloneable or serializable, you can copy the entry value to a new object using org.apache.geode.CopyHelper.copy. Example:

    Object o = (StringBuffer)region.get("stringBuf");
    StringBuffer s = (StringBuffer) CopyHelper.copy(o);
    s.append("Changes to value, added using put.");
    region.put("stringBuf", s);

Retrieving Region Entries from Proxy Members

The Region.values method call applies to the local region instance only. If you call the values method from a client region using the PROXY shortcut, the method call will not be redirected to the server region. To obtain a collection of all values in the Region from a client, you should use interest registration on ALL_KEYS, or use a query.

If you use the Region.get method from a proxy member, the method call will redirect to the region on the server if it cannot find the key locally.

Using gfsh to get and put

You can use the gfsh get and put commands to manage data. See get and put.

For example:

get --key=('id':'133abg124') --region=region1

// Retrieving when key type is a wrapper(primitive)/String
get --key=('133abg124') --region=/region1/region12 --value-class=data.ProfileDetails

get --key=('100L') --region=/region1/region12 --value-class=data.ProfileDetails 
put --key=('id':'133abg125') --value=('firstname':'James','lastname':'Gosling') 
--region=/region1 --key-class=data.ProfileKey --value-class=data.ProfileDetails

put --key=('133abg124') --value=('Hello World!!') --region=/region2

put --key=('100F') --value=('2146547689879658564')  --region=/region1/region12 
--key-class=java.lang.Float --value-class=java.lang.Long