What is a Session?

Posted On 2008-04-30 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: Web server
Tags: Webmaster Related General Networking 
Views: 1501

A session refers to all the connections that a single client might make to a server in the course of viewing any pages associated with a given application. Sessions are specific to both the individual user and the application. As a result, every user of an application has a separate session and has access to a separate set of session variables.

This logical view of a session begins with the first connection to an application by a client and ends after that client''s last connection. However, because of the stateless nature of the web, it is not always possible to define a precise point at which a session ends. A session should end when the user finishes using an application. In most cases, however, a web application has no way of knowing if a user has finished or is just lingering over a page.

Therefore, sessions always terminate after a time-out period of inactivity. If the user does not access a page of the application within this time-out period, ColdFusion interprets this as the end of the session and clears any variables associated with that session.

The default time-out for session variables is 20 minutes. You can change the default time-out on the Memory Variables page of the ColdFusion MX Administrator Server tab.

You can also set the time-out period for session variables inside a specific application (thereby overruling the Administrator default setting) by using the cfapplication tag sessionTimeout attribute. However, you cannot use the cfapplication tag to set a time-out value that is greater than the maximum session time-out value set on the Administrator Memory Variables page.

Your application can also manually end a session, for example, when a user logs out.

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