ASP.NET Tutorial – Easy Steps to Move from Session InProc Mode to Session StateServer

ASP.NET Tutorial – Easy Steps to Move from Session InProc Mode to Session StateServer

What is In-Process Mode in ASP.NET?

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. It is the only mode that supports the Session_OnEnd event.
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What is State Server Mode in ASP.NET?

StateServer mode stores session state in a process, referred to as the ASP.NET state service, that 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 sessionState element to StateServer.
  • Set the stateConnectionString attribute to tcpip=serverName:42424.
To use StateServer mode in a Web farm, you must have the same encryption keys specified in the machineKey element of your Web configuration for all applications that are part of the Web farm. For information on how to create machine keys, see article 313091, “How to create keys by using Visual Basic .NET for use in Forms authentication,” in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com.

When You Should Move from Session InProc Mode to Session StateServer?

If your website has large number of visitors and session timeout can cause problem, It is better to change Session Mode Session=”InProc” to Session=”StateServer”.

Main Advantage of Session StateServer (Best to choose while hosting on third party server)

  1. Session is persistent and reliable.
  2. Avoid Session Timeout due to Memory shortage on server (IIS Setting).

Main Disadvantage

  1. Poor Performance compare to Session=”InProc”
  2. Session_End Event would not fire.

Steps for Moving Session InProc Mode to Session StateServer Mode

Step 1: Start Asp.net State Service

  1. Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
  2. Select Asp.Net State Service.
  3. Right Click on Asp.net State Service and choose start from popup menu.
If you forget to Start Service you will receive following error.

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

Unable to make the session state request to the session state server. Please ensure that the ASP.NET State service is started and that the client and server ports are the same.  If the server is on a remote machine, please ensure that it accepts remote requests by checking the value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\aspnet_state\Parameters\AllowRemoteConnection.  If the server is on the local machine, and if the before mentioned registry value does not exist or is set to 0, then the state server connection string must use either ‘localhost’ or ‘127.0.0.1’ as the server name.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. 

Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: Unable to make the session state request to the session state server. Please ensure that the ASP.NET State service is started and that the client and server ports are the same.  If the server is on a remote machine, please ensure that it accepts remote requests by checking the value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\aspnet_state\Parameters\AllowRemoteConnection.  If the server is on the local machine, and if the before mentioned registry value does not exist or is set to 0, then the state server connection string must use either ‘localhost’ or ‘127.0.0.1’ as the server name.

Step 2: Change Session Mode in Web.Config File

Note: You can adjust timeout minutes based on your requirement.  Let the tcpip server to be localhost i.e. 127.0.0.1. Most webhosting company uses these settings unless you have different IP for StateServer and  You are not required to change Port Number.

Step 3: Make All Object Serializable

You should make all object in your website to serializable.
Note: To take advantage of Session StateServer or SQLServer or Custom Mode, object needs to be serialized.
Example:  If your project contains class files for creating DAL (Data Access Layer), you should append Serializable to every class definition in order to make class Serializable.

Understanding Serialization in C#

IMPORTANT While doing Serialization
Remember SQLConnection cannot be serialized.
You might receive following error if you don’t handle this situation.

Unable to serialize the session state. In ‘StateServer’ and ‘SQLServer’ mode, ASP.NET will serialize the session state objects, and as a result non-serializable objects or MarshalByRef objects are not permitted. The same restriction applies if similar serialization is done by the custom session state store in ‘Custom’ mode.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.
Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: Unable to serialize the session state. In ‘StateServer’ and ‘SQLServer’ mode, ASP.NET will serialize the session state objects, and as a result non-serializable objects or MarshalByRef objects are not permitted. The same restriction applies if similar serialization is done by the custom session state store in ‘Custom’ mode.

So to handle this situation you need to do following thing.
  1. Mark SQLConnection Object as NonSerialized
    [NonSerialized] protected SqlConnection _mainConnection;
  2. Mark your Class as Serializable and derive from IDeserializationCallback

Example:

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