Maintain a user session

Chong-ho (Alex) Yu, Ph.D., MCSE, CNE


HTTP is stateless and connectionless. Since the Web server does not recognize the user, every page request is treated as a fresh request. However, I want to let the user "maintain the session." To be specific, when the user accesses two or more databases through the Web, he/she does not need to relogin over and over, given that Web security is not used.


There are several ways to achieve this goal such as using record ID, cookie, and token. I prefer the last method to the other two. Basically, the token passing method is to capture a value into a token. This token can be passed to other pages and the value contained in the token can be used later. To create a token, in the first page insert the following hidden input. If you want to put more than one field value into the token, use a comma to separate them:

	<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-token" VALUE="[FMP-field:user_ID]">

To keep on passing the token, the subsequent pages should carry the following hidden input even if the token is not used in those pages:

	<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-token" VALUE="[FMP-CurrentToken]">

At some point the user may leave the current database and go into another database. The following hidden input can let the user open another database without relogging in.


	<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-op" VALUE=eq> 
	<INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME="user_ID" VALUE="[FMP-CurrentToken]">



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