13.10 Invalidation After Updates or Deletions

The effect of certain methods performed on a resource at the origin server might cause one or more existing cache entries to become non- transparently invalid. That is, although they might continue to be "fresh," they do not accurately reflect what the origin server would return for a new request on that resource.

There is no way for the HTTP protocol to guarantee that all such cache entries are marked invalid. For example, the request that caused the change at the origin server might not have gone through the proxy where a cache entry is stored. However, several rules help reduce the likelihood of erroneous behavior.

In this section, the phrase "invalidate an entity" means that the cache will either remove all instances of that entity from its storage, or will mark these as "invalid" and in need of a mandatory revalidation before they can be returned in response to a subsequent request.

Some HTTP methods MUST cause a cache to invalidate an entity. This is either the entity referred to by the Request-URI, or by the Location or Content-Location headers (if present). These methods are:




In order to prevent denial of service attacks, an invalidation based on the URI in a Location or Content-Location header MUST only be performed if the host part is the same as in the Request-URI.

A cache that passes through requests for methods it does not understand SHOULD invalidate any entities referred to by the Request-URI.