Really useful paper on session state.


So this question comes up all the time: “Where should I keep my shopping cart data for my application?” The common knee-jerk response is “use session state”. I find this to typically be the wrong answer if you want to build a resilient and scalable application.

Session state was originally meant for this kind of data (user provided data like a shopping cart). One thing session is not meant for is caching of user profile data. Back in classic ASP there were not a lot of other caching per-user data, so session was the obvious choice, but in ASP.NET (and just .NET in general) there are so many better options. One such example is the data cache in ASP.NET. With the data cache you specifically code to deal with failure (the cache item might not be present) and you can also set very specific conditions per cache item designating how…

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