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Exploring Session in ASP.NET


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Exploring Session in ASP.NET

Web is stateless, which means a new instance of a web page class is re-created each time the page is posted to the server. As we all know, HTTP is a stateless protocol, it can't hold client information on a page. If the user inserts some information and move to the next page, that data will be lost and the user would not be able to retrieve that information. What do we need here? We need to store information. Session provides a facility to store information on server memory. It can support any type of object to store along with our own custom objects. For every client, session data is stored separately, which means session data is stored on a per client basis.

Advantages:

·         It helps maintain user state and data all over the application.

·         It is easy to implement and we can store any kind of object.

·         Stores client data separately.

·         Session is secure and transparent from the user.

Disadvantages:

·         Performance overhead in case of large volumes of data/user, because session data is stored in server memory.

.cs code

// Set value in Seesion

Session.Add("UserId", txtId.Text);

 

//Get value from Session

string strId = Convert.ToString(Session["UserId "];

//Remove session values

Session.Abandon();

 

Session-State Modes

ASP.NET session state supports several different storage options for session data. Each option is identified by a value in the SessionStateMode enumeration. The following list describes the available session state modes:

·         InProc mode, which stores session state in memory on the Web server. This is the default.

·         StateServer mode, which stores session state in a separate process called the ASP.NET state service. This ensures that session state is preserved if the Web application is restarted and also makes session state available to multiple Web servers in a Web farm.

·         SQLServer mode stores session state in a SQL Server database. This ensures that session state is preserved if the Web application is restarted and also makes session state available to multiple Web servers in a Web farm.

·         Custom mode, which enables you to specify a custom storage provider.

·         Off mode, which disables session state?

These mode are described briefly below,

In-Process Mode

In-process mode is the default session state mode and is specified using the InProc SessionStateMode enumeration value. In-process mode stores session state values and variables in memory on the local Web server.

State Server Mode

StateServer mode stores session state in a process, referred to as the ASP.NET state service, which is separate from the ASP.NET worker process or IIS application pool. Using this mode ensures that session state is preserved if the Web application is restarted and also makes session state available to multiple Web servers in a Web farm.

To use StateServer mode, you must first be sure the ASP.NET state service is running on the server used for the session store. The ASP.NET state service is installed as a service when ASP.NET and the .NET Framework are installed. The ASP.Net state service is installed at the following location:

systemroot\Microsoft.NET\Framework\versionNumber\aspnet_state.exe

To configure an ASP.NET application to use StateServer mode, in the application's Web.config file do the following:

·         Set the mode attribute of the seesionState element to StateServer.

·         Set the stateConnectionString attribute to tcpip=serverName: 42424.

<configuration>

  <system.web>

    <sessionState mode="StateServer"

      stateConnectionString="tcpip=SampleStateServer:42424"

      cookieless="false"

      timeout="20"/>

  </system.web>

</configuration>

 

SQL Server Mode

SQLServer mode stores session state in a SQL Server database. Using this mode ensures that session state is preserved if the Web application is restarted and also makes session state available to multiple Web servers in a Web farm.

To configure an ASP.NET application to use SQLServer mode, do the following in the application's Web.config file:

·         Set the mode attribute of the sessionState element to SQLServer.

·         Set the sqlConnectionString attribute to a connection string for your SQL Server database.

The following example shows a configuration setting for SQLServer mode where session state is stored on a SQL Server named "SampleSqlServer":

<configuration>
<system.web>
<sessionState mode="SQLServer"
sqlConnectionString="Integrated Security=SSPI;data 
        source=SampleSqlServer;" />
</system.web>
</configuration>

 

To configure SQLServer mode for a Web farm, in the configuration file for each Web server, set the sessionState element's sqlConnectionString attribute to point to the same SQL Server database. The path for the ASP.NET application in the IIS metabase must be identical on all Web servers that share session state in the SQL Server database.

Installing the Session State Database Using the Aspnet_regsql.exe Tool

 

To install the session state database on SQL Server, run the Aspnet_regsql.exe tool located in the systemroot\Microsoft.NET\Framework\versionNumber folder on your Web server. Supply the following information with the command:

The name of the SQL Server instance, using the -S option.

The logon credentials for an account that has permission to create a database on SQL Server. Use the -E option to use the currently logged-on user, or use the -U option to specify a user ID along with the -P option to specify a password.

The -ssadd command-line option to add the session state database.

By default, you cannot use the Aspnet_regsql.exe tool to install the session state database on SQL Server Express. In order to run the Aspnet_regsql.exe tool to install a SQL Server Express database, you must first enable the Agent XPs SQL Server option using Transact-SQL commands like the following:

EXECUTE sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1

RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE

GO

 

EXECUTE sp_configure 'Agent XPs', 1

RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE

GO

 

EXECUTE sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0

RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE

GO

 

By default, the Aspnet_regsql.exe tool will create a database named ASPState containing stored procedures that support SQLServer mode. Session data itself is stored in the tempdb database by default. You can optionally use the -sstype option to change the storage location of session data.

For example, the following command creates a database named ASPState on a SQL Server instance named "SampleSqlServer" and specifies that session data is also stored in the ASPState database:

aspnet_regsql.exe -S SampleSqlServer -E -ssadd -sstype p

 

In SQLServer mode, you can configure several computers running SQL Server to work as a failover cluster, which is two or more identical computers running SQL Server that store data for a single database. If one computer running SQL Server fails, another server in the cluster can take over and serve requests without session-data loss. To configure SQL Server mode for a failover cluster, you must specify -sstype p when you execute the Aspnet_regsql.exe tool so that session state data is stored in the ASPState database instead of the tempdb database. Storing session state in the tempdb database is not supported for a SQL Server cluster.

Custom Mode

Custom mode specifies that you want to store session state data using a custom session state store provider. When you configure your ASP.NET application with a Mode of Custom, you must specify the type of the session state store provider using the provider’s sub-element of the sessionState configuration element. You specify the provider type using an add sub-element and include both a type attribute that specifies the provider's type name and a name attribute that specifies the provider instance name. The name of the provider instance is then supplied to the custom Provider attribute of the sessionState element to configure ASP.NET session state to use that provider instance for storing and retrieving session data.

The following example shows elements from a Web.config file that specify that ASP.NET session state use a custom session state store provider:

<configuration>
<connectionStrings>
<add name="OdbcSessionServices" 
      connectionString="DSN=SessionState;" />
</connectionStrings>
<system.web>
<sessionState 
      mode="Custom"
customProvider="OdbcSessionProvider">
<providers>
<add name="OdbcSessionProvider"
type="Samples.AspNet.Session.OdbcSessionStateStore"
connectionStringName="OdbcSessionServices" 
          writeExceptionsToEventLog="false" />
</providers>
</sessionState>
</system.web>
</configuration>

 


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