CoverYourASP --> Using Session variables to maintain state

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This article follows on from my earlier article about Application variables, and how they allow you to store "global" data for use by all your pages.

Session variables are very similar. You can create them and store data in them in exactly the same way:

// create a new Session variable to store the users name
Session ( 'Name' ) = 'James';

// display the name in any page on your site
Out ( 'Your name is ' + Session ( 'Name' ) );

The crucial difference between Application and Session variables is that Session variables are specific to each visitor to your site.

Background: The stateless web

The problem that Session variables have to overcome is that the HTTP protocol that you use to browse the web is stateless. Each request for a page is completely independant of earlier requests, so if you want subsequent pages to "remember" the users name that he entered on your front page you have to store that information somewhere.

This remembering of user-specific data is called "maintaining state". We'll see next how the ASP Session object can help us do just that.

Part 2: Creating a new Session...

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