View Source Nebulex.Adapters.Nil (Nebulex v2.6.1)

The Nil adapter is a special cache adapter that disables the cache; it loses all the items saved on it and it returns nil for all the read and true for all save operations. This adapter is mostly useful for tests.


Suppose you have an application using Ecto for database access and Nebulex for caching. Then, you have defined a cache and a repo within it. Since you are using a database, there might be some cases you may want to disable the cache to avoid issues when running the test, for example, in some test cases, when accessing the database you expect no data at all, but you could retrieve the data from cache anyway because maybe it was cached in a previous test. Therefore, you have to delete all entries from the cache before to run each test to make sure the cache is always empty. This is where the Nil adapter comes in, instead of adding code to flush the cache before each test, you could define a test cache using the Nil adapter for the tests.

One one hand, you have defined the cache in your application within lib/my_app/cache.ex:

defmodule MyApp.Cache do
  use Nebulex.Cache,
    otp_app: :my_app,
    adapter: Nebulex.Adapters.Local

And on the other hand, in the tests you have defined the test cache within test/support/test_cache.ex:

defmodule MyApp.TestCache do
  use Nebulex.Cache,
    otp_app: :my_app,
    adapter: Nebulex.Adapters.Nil

Now, we have to tell the app what cache to use depending on the environment, for tests we want MyApp.TestCache, otherwise it is always MyApp.Cache. We can do this very easy by introducing a new config parameter to decide what cache module to use. For tests you can define the config config/test.exs:

config :my_app,
  nebulex_cache: MyApp.TestCache,

The final piece is to read the config parameter and start the cache properly. Within lib/my_app/application.ex you could have:

def start(_type, _args) do
  children = [
    {Application.get_env(:my_app, :nebulex_cache, MyApp.Cache), []},


As you can see, by default MyApp.Cache is always used, unless the :nebulex_cache option points to a different module, which will be when tests are executed (:test env).