ASP.NET introduces two significant caching features to improve application performance: output caching and data caching. Output caching provides a mechanism for caching rendered versions of pages so that subsequent access to those pages will not have to go through the entire rendering process. You enable output caching on a page by specifying an OutputCache directive, in which you can control the duration the page should be cached, how many different versions of the page should be cached, and whether the page should be cached on downstream proxies and in client browsers. Output caching is also applicable to user controls, where it is called page fragment caching. Applying the OutputCache directive to an .ascx file caches the rendering of that control the first time it is used on a page.

An application-level data cache is available through the Cache property of the HttpContext class. Any object can be inserted into the data cache, and each entry in the cache has its own set of attributes that control its lifetime. Cache entries can specify how long they should stay in the cache either by specifying a fixed time when they should be removed, a duration after the most recent access after which they should be removed, or a dependency on another cache entry or file that should trigger their removal. Entries in the cache are subject to scavenging according to priority, which gives ASP.NET a last recourse for reclaiming memory before bouncing its worker process.

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