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SQL Anywhere 12.0.1 » SQL Anywhere Server - Programming » HTTP web services » SQL Anywhere as an HTTP web server » Developing web service applications in an HTTP web server


HTTP session management on an HTTP server

A web application can support sessions in various ways. Hidden fields within HTML forms can be used to preserve client/server data across multiple requests. Alternatively, Web 2.0 techniques, such as an AJAX enabled client-side JavaScript, can make asynchronous HTTP requests based on client state. SQL Anywhere offers the additional capability of preserving a database connection for exclusive use of sessioned HTTP requests.

Any connection scope variables and temporary tables created and altered within the HTTP session are accessible to subsequent HTTP requests that specify the given SessionID. The SessionID can be specified by a GET or POST HTTP request method or specified within an HTTP cookie header. When an HTTP request is received with a SessionID variable, the server checks its session repository for a matching context. If it finds a session, the server utilizes its database connection for processing the request. If the session is in use, it queues the HTTP request and activates it when the session is freed.

The sa_set_http_option can be used to create, delete and change session ids.

HTTP sessions require special handling for management of the session criteria. Only one database connection exists for use by a given SessionID, so consecutive client requests for that SessionID are serialized by the server. Up to 16 requests can be queued for a given SessionID. Subsequent requests for the given SessionID are rejected with a 503 Service Unavailable status when the session queue is full.

When creating a SessionID for the first time, the SessionID is immediately registered by the system. Subsequent requests that modify or delete the SessionID are only applied when the given HTTP request terminates. This approach promotes consistent behavior if the request processing results in a roll-back or if the application deletes and resets the SessionID.

The current session is deleted and replaced with the pending session when an HTTP request changes the SessionID. The database connection cached by the session is effectively moved to the new session context, and all state data is preserved, such as temporary tables and created variables.

For a complete example of HTTP session usage, see %SQLANYSAMP12%\SQLAnywhere\HTTP\session.sql.


Stale sessions should be deleted and an appropriate time out should be set to minimize the number of outstanding connections because each client application connection holds a license seat. Connections associated with HTTP sessions maintain their hold on the server database for the duration of the connection.

For more information about licensing in SQL Anywhere, see [external link]

 See also

Creating an HTTP session
Detecting an inactive HTTP session
Deleting an HTTP session or changing the session ID
HTTP session administration
HTTP session error codes