Thursday, June 16, 2011

Session Overview

ASP.NET Session state provides a place to store values that will persist across page requests. Values stored in Session are stored on the server and will remain in memory until they are explicitly removed or until the Session expires.

Storing and retrieving a value in the Session is as simple as:


Session["Name"] = "Hrishi"; // or Session.Add ("Name","Hrishi"); // retrievingstring

Name = (string)Session["Name"];

By default the Session will be created within the same process that your web site runs in (InProc). This is controlled by a setting in the web.config file:

Although running the Session In Process is very convenient, it does mean that all Session values will be lost whenever the application recycles (such as when deploying updates) . There are alternate modes you can use that will allow the Session state to survive even when the application recycles.

The available options are:

* Off - No session state will be stored
* InProc - (The Default) Session state exists within the process the web is using
* StateServer - Session data is sent to the configured stateserver service
* SQLServer - Session data is store in the configured sql server database

Both the StateServer mode and the SQLServer mode allow Session state to survive an application recycle. But, when storing reference type objects (such as class instances), they can only be stored to StateServer or SQLServer if they have been marked with the Serializable attribute.

An important consideration for using Session state is that the Session does expire. By default, if a user does not access their Session data within 20 minutes (by default), the Session will expire and all items that had been stored in the Session will be discarded. Because of this, it is important to check the object that is returned from the Session to see if it exists or if it is null before you try to work with it. For example

object sessionObject = Session["someObject"]; if (sessionObject != null) {  myLabel.Text = sessionObject.ToString(); }

The Session Timeout is adjustable through a web.config setting but increasing the timeout value can put memory pressure on your server that may be undesirable

Other commonly used Session methods are:
  1. Session.Abandon() - removes the Session and all items that it contains
  2. Session.Clear() - removes all items from the Session
  3. Session.RemoveAll() - removes all items from the Session
  4. Session.Remove("itemName") - removes the item that was stored under the name "itemName"
    Reference : MSDN

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