Forcing end user browsers to clear cache

I recently had an opportunity to pull an old trick out of my bag of goodies during a recent PeopleTools 8.54 upgrade I was assisting on.  The Question: How can we force all the users of PeopleSoft to clear their browser cache without needing to ask the users to do it manually?  The scenario was this:  After upgrading to PeopleTools 8.54 some users were experiencing problems with page formatting that the team had tracked down to a browser caching issue.  Although the PIA instances were built fresh and had no cache to start with, some browser versions were not refreshing the cached files which had changed.  If these users cleared their browser cache the problem immediately went away.

My recommended solution:  Change the cache paths on the web profile.  The web profile allows us to set the path of the PIA cache directories.  They all default to /cache, my suggestion, was to change these settings to /cache2.  Although this does not really clear the browsers cache, it does change the path the browser expects all these files to be at.  This causes the browser to download them again fresh since the path has changed.  The Result:  Users now had all the current 8.54 web files and pages rendered properly.  Problem solved without fancy client login or group policy scripts.

2 thoughts on “Forcing end user browsers to clear cache
  1. Note – this works for perfectly for tools objects, however last time I tested, if you change the cache path, some of the managed content / ckeditor images still point to /cache (only really an issue within the Enterprise Portal / PIH product IIRC)

    • Good point Richard, ckeditor has it’s own path and I’ve had clients who have created their own custom paths areas at PORTAL.war/ which obviously this wont help either. In my experience, the web cache issues I’ve run across have always been PeopleTools JavaScript related, and this does the trick for those.
      As always, Thanks for the feedback!

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