2 months ago, I kick started a whole new series of articles in SharePoint 2010 with the “Cloudy SharePoint: Office 365 and Azure” article. In that article, I emphasized how Azure will put you out of a job, unless of course you choose to learn it :).
Carrying that theme further, I am glad to see my next article is now online. In this article, I talk about a rather common scenario that needs a solution in SharePoint, which is, “Session State in SharePoint”. Even though the title is session state, really I am talking about solving a core need, using AppFabric and SharePoint. And for a good measure, I show Windows Server AppFabric, the code for Azure AppFabric is identical. So even if you are not ready to jump on the Azure bandwagon today (lets say, you have a behind the times boss :)), these are concepts you can use TODAY!
Excerpt from the beginning of the article -
The title of this article is a misnomer, but I still picked this title because it is indeed the problem we are trying to solve. The problem is session state, especially in-process session state, is just evil. It makes your application less predictable, less reliable, less scalable, and locks you out of possibilities such as Windows Azure.
Not just Windows Azure, it also makes it somewhat less suitable for a load balanced stateless environment. It is thus for a good reason that SharePoint discourages the use of session state. The usual solution for the lack of session state we rely on is for the browser to maintain session information, an approach that leads to things like bloated viewstate. It could be argued that most Web Forms-based architectures, including SharePoint, suffer from bloated viewstate. So that isn’t an ideal solution either. The reality is, as evil as session state may be, we do need it. It’s a necessary evil.
But let’s step back for a moment and examine the real problem we are trying to solve. We are trying to have stateful information persist across a stateless protocol, and we want to do it in a scalable form. Out of process session state seems to solve that problem, but that introduces a few more challenges of its own. It introduces the additional server hop, and it is a server-side solution only. And it introduces potential additional complexity for the administrator and setup issues.
I hope you enjoy reading, “Session State in SharePoint 2010”. More fun stuff to follow. w00t! Happy SharePointing.