PHPBuilder - Custom Session Handlers in PHP4

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Custom Session Handlers in PHP4

by: Ying Zhang
July 30, 2000

This document describes how to customize the session handlers in PHP4. We will provide examples of how to write a fully functional session handler that works with DBM files and one that works with a MySQL database.

New to PHP4 was a set of native session handling functions which was badly missing from PHP3. By default, each session is stored as a separate file in your temporary directory (eg. /tmp in Unix). This may or may not be appropriate depending on your requirements. For example, if you have a bunch of web/PHP servers on different machines, you can't easily share sessions between them (well you could save the sessions on an NFS share but that would be slow). Another problem is that you potentially have thousands or even millions of session files cluttering up your file system (you run a big site right <grin>).

Fortunately for us, the developers of PHP4 were forward thinking enough (thanks!) to provide the ability for users like you and me to extend the session handling routines.
This document is written to explain these session handlers a bit and to provide two working examples of how you can extend the session handlers. Our first example will be to make the session handlers save session data into DBM files. Our second example will have our sessions save into a MySQL database.
Before you proceed, download the attachment and extract it into your web document directory.

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