As HTTP is a stateless then how to maintain the session between web browser and web server?

HTTP is a "stateless" protocol which means each time a client retrieves a Webpage, the client opens a separate connection to the Web server and the server automatically does not keep any record of previous client request.

Maintaining Session Between Web Client And Server

Let us now discuss a few options to maintain the session between the Web Client and the Web Server −


A webserver can assign a unique session ID as a cookie to each web client and for subsequent requests from the client they can be recognized using the received cookie.

This may not be an effective way as the browser at times does not support a cookie. It is not recommended to use this procedure to maintain the sessions.

Hidden Form Fields

A web server can send a hidden HTML form field along with a unique session ID as follows −

<input type = "hidden" name = "sessionid" value = "12345">

This entry means that, when the form is submitted, the specified name and value are automatically included in the GET or the POST data. Each time the web browser sends the request back, the session_id value can be used to keep the track of different web browsers.

This can be an effective way of keeping track of the session but clicking on a regular (<A HREF...>) hypertext link does not result in a form submission, so hidden form fields also cannot support general session tracking.

URL Rewriting

You can append some extra data at the end of each URL. This data identifies the session; the server can associate that session identifier with the data it has stored about that session.

For example, with;sessionid=12345, the session identifier is attached as sessionid = 12345 which can be accessed at the web server to identify the client.

URL rewriting is a better way to maintain sessions and works for the browsers when they don't support cookies. The drawback here is that you will have to generate every URL dynamically to assign a session ID though page is a simple static HTML page.

karthikeya Boyini
karthikeya Boyini

I love programming (: That's all I know