PHP Memcached Delete Operations (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

The delete method in PHP's Memcached extension is commonly used to remove a key-value pair from the Memcached server. This can be particularly useful when you want to invalidate specific cached data before it naturally expires due to time or memory constraints.

Code Examples

Here's an example of how to use the Memcached::delete method:

<?php $mem = new Memcached(); $mem->addServer("localhost", 11211); // Store a value for future use $mem->set('my_key', 'Hello, world!', 60); // The value will be stored for 60 seconds // Later on... $response = $mem->delete('my_key'); if ($response) { echo "Key deleted successfully."; } else { echo "Failed to delete key."; } ?>

In this code, we first create a connection to the Memcached server running on localhost at port 11211. We then store a value using set, with a time limit of 60 seconds. Afterwards, we use delete to remove that key-value pair immediately. The delete method returns a boolean indicating whether the deletion was successful.

Best Practices

  1. If your application logic involves deleting keys often, consider setting an appropriate expiration time while storing the key initially, instead of relying on deletes.
  2. Error handling: Always check the return value of the delete function as it helps identify whether the operation was successful or not.

Common Mistakes

  1. Trying to delete a non-existent key: Although this won't throw an error, it will return false and might cause confusion if not handled correctly.
  2. Ignoring the return value: The delete function's return value contains useful information about the success or failure of the operation, which should not be ignored.


Q: What happens if I try to delete a key that doesn't exist? A: The Memcached delete function will simply return false, but it won't raise an error.

Q: Can I delete multiple keys at once? A: Yes, you can use the deleteMulti method to delete multiple keys at once. However, keep in mind that the operation is atomic and will either delete all keys or none at all.

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