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What is State Management in ASP.NET?

What is State Management in ASP.NET?

In this blog, you will dive into the concepts of state management in ASP.NET and the types and techniques it offers, along with its benefits and real-life applications in the domain of programming.

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Introduction to State Management in ASP.NET

State Management in ASP.NET is the method used to maintain and store the state of a page or application through the number of multiple requests from a single user or among different users.

ASP.NET provides various techniques to manage state, allowing web developers to store and retrieve data efficiently. State management is quite important for scenarios where it’s necessary to maintain information about a user’s interactions with a web application across multiple pages or requests. 

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Types of State Management in ASP.NET

There are two types of state management in ASP.NET i.e. server side and client side. Let us discuss each of them in detail.

Client-Side

Client-side state management refers to the management and storage of data on the client side of a web application, typically within the user’s browser. This is in contrast to server-side state management, where data is stored on the web server.

Client-Side

Server-Side

Server-Side is a type of state management where all the information is stored or retained in the user’s memory. Due to this functionality, there are more secure domains of the website on the server side as compared to client-side state management.

Server-Side

State Management in ASP.NET Techniques

There are various techniques offered in the state management of ASP.NET, which are actually the sub-parts of Client-Side Management and Server-Side Management. Now, we should explore these key techniques that are frequently used in ASP.Net, which are as follows:

State Management in ASP.NET Techniques

1. Client-Side State Management Techniques 

There are five client-side state management techniques that are explained in the below section:

View State

View State within ASP.NET serves as a server-side mechanism used to preserve the values of controls and variables at the page level throughout postbacks.

Example:

<!-- View State is managed automatically by ASP.NET. No direct client-side manipulation is needed. --><asp:TextBox runat="server" ID="txtUserName"></asp:TextBox>

Explanation:

View State is managed by ASP.NET on the server side. It serializes and deserializes control values automatically during postbacks, maintaining state across requests.

Hidden field

Hidden fields are HTML input fields that are not displayed on the page but can store data that can be manipulated through client-side code.

Example:

<!-- Adding a hidden field to the HTML markup -->
<input type="hidden" id="hiddenField" value="Intellipaat" />
<!-- Retrieving data from the hidden field in JavaScript -->
<script>
    var hiddenValue = document.getElementById("hiddenField").value;
    console.log(hiddenValue);
</script>

Output:

Hidden field

Explanation: 

A hidden field with the value “Intellipaat” is added to the HTML markup. JavaScript is used to retrieve the value from the hidden field and log it to the console.

Cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data sent from a web server and stored on the client’s machine.

Example:

// Setting a cookie with JavaScript
document.cookie = "username=Intellipaat; expires=Thu, 20 Jan 2027 00:00:00 UTC; path=/";
// Retrieving a cookie value with JavaScript
function getCookie(name) {
    var match = document.cookie.match(new RegExp('(^| )' + name + '=([^;]+)'));
    if (match) return match[2];
}
var username = getCookie("username");
console.log(username);

Output:

 Cookies

Explanation: 

A cookie named “username” with the value “Intellipaat” is set. The cookie is set to expire on January 20, 2027. Subsequently, the value of the “username” cookie is retrieved and logged to the console.

Control State

Control State is similar to View State but is specifically designed for storing the state of a custom server control.

Example:

<!-- Control State is managed automatically by ASP.NET. No direct client-side manipulation is needed. -->
<custom:MyControl runat="server" ID="myControl"></custom:MyControl>

Explanation: 

Control State is managed by ASP.NET for custom server controls. It ensures that the control’s state is maintained across postbacks.

Query Strings

Query strings are used to pass data between pages by appending key-value pairs to the URL.

Example:

// Appending data to the URL as a query string
window.location.href = "Page2.aspx?username=Intellipaat is the Best Edtech Company";
// Retrieving data from the query string in JavaScript
var username = getParameterByName("username");
console.log(username);
function getParameterByName(name) {
    name = name.replace(/[\[\]]/g, "\\$&");
    var regex = new RegExp("[?&]" + name + "(=([^&#]*)|&|#|$)"),
        results = regex.exec(window.location.href);
    if (!results) return null;
    if (!results[2]) return '';
    return decodeURIComponent(results[2].replace(/\+/g, " "));
}

Output:

Query Strings

Explanation: 

The page URL is updated to include a query string parameter “username=Intellipaat is the Best Edtech Company.” JavaScript is used to retrieve the value of the “username” parameter and log it to the console.

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2. Server-Side State Management Techniques

There are three server-side state management techniques that are mentioned below:

Session

Session state in ASP.NET stores and retrieves user-specific information on the server, ensuring persistent data across multiple requests.

Example:

// Store data in session
Session["UserName"] = "Intellipaat";
// Retrieve data from session
string userName = (string)Session["UserName"];

Output:

 Session

Explanation:

The user’s name “Intellipaat” is stored in the session variable “UserName,” guaranteeing accessibility throughout their session on the website.

Application 

Application state in ASP.NET stores global information accessible to all users of application software, promoting shared data among users.

Example:

// Store data in application state
Application["AppCounter"] = 0;
// Retrieve data from application state
int appCounter = (int)Application["AppCounter"];

Explanation:

A counter variable is stored in the application state, shared among all users of the application, allowing any user to retrieve and modify it.

Cache

Cache in ASP.NET stores frequently accessed data in memory, enhancing performance by avoiding redundant calculations or database queries.

Example:

// Store data in cache with expiration time (e.g., 5 minutes)
Cache.Insert("CachedData", "Intellipaat Software Solution", null, DateTime.Now.AddMinutes(5), TimeSpan.Zero);
// Retrieve data from cache
string cachedData = (string)Cache["CachedData"];

Output:

Cache

Explanation:

The value “Intellipaat Software Solution” is stored in the cache with a 5-minute expiration, enabling data retrieval until it expires. This optimizes performance by avoiding redundant computations or database queries.

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Benefits of State Management in ASP.NET

There are various benefits of state management in ASP.Net, but let us look at some of the key benefits of it.

  • It provides flexibility with various states that help web developers choose the state based on specific application requirements.
  • Ensures secure storage of sensitive data by using server-side state management options like Session.
  • State Management in ASP.NET supports the creation of dynamic and interactive web applications by preserving user inputs and preferences.
  • This state management in ASP.NET also helps in minimizing the data transmission between the client and server, which directly improves overall application performance.

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Application of State Management in ASP.NET

In the above section, we have the benefits of state management, now we should move on to various applications it offers in ASP.NET.

  • SignalIR, a real-time communication library for ASP.NET, uses state management to track and manage connections, providing real-time updates and notifications to clients.
  • It is widely used to retain and manage the user’s shopping cart information, ensuring a seamless shopping experience across pages.
  • State Management In ASP.NET is commonly used in password authentication and user authorization, which helps in identifying and authorizing the users securely throughout the session.
  • ASP.NET State Management is used for temporary storage of data that doesn’t require a database.

Wrapping Up

With the growing emphasis on real-time and interactive user experiences, state management will likely continue to evolve to meet the demands of modern web development. As ASP.NET accepts new technologies, state management will remain a critical component for the development of robust and responsive web applications.

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About the Author

Techical Research Analyst - Front End Development

As a Technical Research Analyst, Kislaya specializes in Front End Development. He is a Full Stack Developer, known for crafting scalable architectures and user-centric interfaces. He has a massive international client base and is an expert in cloud computing, Linux, and Java Script, personifying a commitment to quality and information sharing.