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Developing Custom PHP Sessions


Ever wondered how to make your own session handling functions with PHP? In this article Brian shows us how to do just that using PHP, MySQL and a bit of maths!

Author Info:
By: Brian Rosner
Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 41
July 21, 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Developing Custom PHP Sessions
  2. · Developing the Backend
  3. · Creating the Session Functions (contd.)
  4. · Using Our Sessions
  5. · Conclusion

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Developing Custom PHP Sessions
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If you were programming a user authorization system for your website, then you would use a session or a cookie to pass data. A session would store the data on the server and reference it by a unique key or ID. As your members browse through the member pages, his/her data could be displayed or used by fetching that data. Alternatively, you could use a cookie that stores the data on the users’ computer. Fetching the data from the cookie would be similar to a session except you use the cookie name: PHP handles the actual retrieval and sorting of the cookie data.

PHP's session handling functions are OK, but what if you wanted to create your own sessions? In this article I will teach you how to create and maintain your own customized sessions. You will have complete control over how your session handles the data and how it fetches the data to make it available in your scripts.

This is very useful because you can track users' IP addresses and other information you can grab with PHP. There are many more advantages to creating your own sessions as compared to using PHP's built-in session handing functions.

In this tutorial I will assume the following things:
  • You have PHP4+ and MySQL installed on your server.
  • You have strong PHP and MySQL skills.
  • You know object-oriented programming for PHP.
Anyhow, let's get started and work those customized PHP sessions!
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