Finding ASP.NET session state information in the Knowledge Base

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Article ID: 891029 - View products that this article applies to.
ASP .NET Support Voice Column: Finding ASP.NET session state information in the Knowledge Base

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This month we are going to take a look at ASP.NET session state management issues and how to find answers to them in the Knowledge Base (KB). Session state can be a very useful tool for your ASP.NET applications, but there are some issues you need to be aware of depending on the session state mode you are using, whether or not your application is running in a Web farm, and so on. If you have ever come across the following issues or scenarios, then learning how to leverage the KB will prove useful:
  • Session state variables are lost when using InProc mode.
  • Session_End is not fired.
  • You want to use SqlServer mode session state, but you want to store your session state data in a different database than tempdb.
  • Session state appears to be lost when directed to certain Web servers in your Web farm.
  • You want to disable session state at the application level.
  • You want to disable session state at the page level.
  • You want to use session state in your application, but you are not sure which mode to use (SqlServer, StateServer, or InProc).
The majority of the terms we will be using in our search examples in the next sections should be somewhat familiar for those of you that have read the previous installments of this column, but I have listed a cheat sheet explanation in the "General search tips" section at the end of this article to better explain what they mean.

Roadmap documents

Several of the key areas around ASP.NET have roadmap documents for them in the KB. If you are new to ASP.NET or a particular key area, and you are looking for informational content with links and resources associated to that topic, then you will probably find the roadmap article fairly useful. For example, ASP.NET has roadmap articles for state management, HTTP modules and HTTP handlers, server controls, security, and so forth. They are intended to provide some introductory insight into a topic that is straight and to the point. To start with, we will try to find all the roadmap articles around ASP.NET using the following search terms:
kbASPNetSearch kbAudDeveloper kbArtTypeRoadmap
At the time of this writing, the search resulted in eight articles covering the key topic areas identified by the ASP.NET support team, which are the topics I made mention of previously. This is a good start, but in our scenario, we are only looking for articles related to ASP.NET session state. Because ASP.NET session state is actually rolled up under state management as far as the KB keywords are concerned, we need to instruct the KB to limit our results appropriately. To do this, we will add the kbState keyword. Our search terms now become the following:
kbASPNetSearch kbAudDeveloper kbArtTypeRoadmap kbState
Now that we have added the kbState keyword, only the general ASP.NET roadmap (KB 305140) and state management roadmap (KB 307598) articles are returned. The general ASP.NET roadmap article is returned because it contains the kbState keyword, which makes sense due to the fact that it briefly discusses state management and includes a link to the ASP.NET state management roadmap article, 307598.

Filtering by article type

In the previous example we were looking specifically for roadmap articles in the KB, but what if we were looking for bug articles or other types? To do this we will need to provide the desired article type in our search string. The following is a list of the most common types:
  • kbPrb
    This type of article is related to perceived issues with the product. This means that you are experiencing an issue with the product, but it is not a bug.
  • kbInfo
    This is an informational type of article. These types of articles are used to describe a concept or provide additional information around an issue.
  • kbHowToMaster
    These are how-to articles. These are the articles that offer mainly a step-by-step explanation on how to perform a specific task.

    Note We are in the process of adopting new asset tags for KB articles. The kbHowToMaster keyword will be phased out in favor of kbHowTo in the future. For now you may want to try alternative search terms leveraging both keywords until this policy change is in full effect. Look for a future installment of this column to cover this change in greater detail.
  • kbQFE
    This keyword is used to distinguish hotfix articles. These types of articles are used to describe issues where a fix is available for the specific issue described in the article, but may not have been fully tested and is not yet available in a service pack release.
  • kbBug
    This keyword is reserved for articles that call out a specific bug in a product.
To provide an example of these keywords in action, let's assume we are looking for all the bug articles around ASP.NET session state. To find these we will use the kbASPNetSearch, kbAudDeveloper, and kbState keywords from the previous example, but we will replace the kbArtTypeRoadmap keyword with kbBug.
kbASPNetSearch kbAudDeveloper kbState kbBug
This will give us all the bug articles around all versions of ASP.NET listed in the KB. You can also limit your search to a specific version of ASP.NET by using the keyword associated with that particular version instead of the more general kbASPNetSearch keyword. Refer to the "General search tips" section listed at the end of this article for more information.

Refining your search

Keywords can help quite a bit when searching the KB. They make your queries much more precise, and the overall experience of searching the KB more fruitful. You should generally start off with the established KB keywords and then try narrowing down your results using additional terms if necessary. For example, if we are searching for all articles related to ASP.NET session state management when using SqlServer mode, then we may want to try and narrow our results down a little. Since the term SqlServer refers to the specific way that mode is specified in the Web.config file, it might be useful to try an alternate version of your search using "Sql Server" as well. As a general rule, if you are not finding the desired information in your search results, it is a good idea to try your query with an alternate form of more code-specific terms. Our more focused query should appear as follows after applying the additional search terms:
  • kbASPNetSearch kbAudDeveloper kbState SqlServer
  • kbASPNetSearch kbAudDeveloper kbState Sql Server

Additional resources

In this section I have listed some additional non-KB articles around ASP.NET session state management, and some general links to ASP.NET-related Web sites that you may find useful. If you are not familiar with them, then you may want to take a minute and check them out.
  • The official Microsoft ASP.NET site:
    http://www.asp.net
    This is a great place to find new information around ASP.NET. You can use the forums to find answers to your questions, and you might be able to help someone else with issues you’ve already encountered and resolved. Be sure to check out the "Community Sites" section as well.
  • ASP.NET Forums:
    http://forums.asp.net/p/7504/7504.aspx
    A very informative post from the Microsoft ASP.NET site about ASP.NET session state management. This is the kind of great information you can expect to find in the forums:
  • ASP.NET Developer Center:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net
    MSDN Content Strategist Kent Sharkey keeps this site packed full of the latest and most useful information to ASP.NET developers. There are "Developer Center" pages for the key technology areas around .NET. These will provide a good launch pad into the MSDN site and other related resources.

General search tips

Because the goal of this column is to help you better leverage the information contained in the KB, we always wrap up with a cheat-sheet covering the most common keywords. There are tons of great articles on ASP.NET out there, but you generally come to the KB with a particular issue or need. The following search tips are designed to not only help you find the information you need, but to also help you find it faster and with less overall frustration.

When Knowledge Base articles are created, they have specific "product elements" and keywords associated with them. If you know the keywords associated with a product or technology, try using those in place of their more generic English terms during your initial searches. This typically offers a bit more precision than just stringing together words or phrases. The following is a list of tips that should help improve your experience with the KB. For additional information, see the following KB article:
303992 Keywords to search .NET-related Knowledge Base articles
  • When you visit Microsoft Help and Support (http://support.microsoft.com) and click Search the Knowledge Base, try to limit your search by selecting the most relevant product (for example, select "ASP.NET" and not "Visual Studio .NET" or "All Products").
  • When searching the KB, you can narrow down the types of articles returned by supplying the kbAudDeveloper keyword. This filters your search to include only developer-related content. This way you shouldn't have an article on troubleshooting Microsoft Bob issues show up along side a bunch of articles around COM Interop and ASP.NET.
  • The following provides a general ASP.NET-related technology keyword reference:
    • Caching : kbCaching
    • Configuration: kbConfig
    • Connectivity: kbConnectivity
    • State Management: kbState
    • Cookies: kbCookie
    • DataBinding: kbDataBinding
    • Debugging: kbDebug
    • Deployment: kbDeployment
    • HttpRuntime: kbHttpRuntime
    • Migration: kbMigration
    • Page/Web Form: kbWebForms
    • Server Controls: kbservercontrols
    • Validation: kbValidation
    • Security: kbSecurity
  • If your issue applies to Visual Studio .NET directly, then you might try including some of the following keywords:
    • kbVSNET2002Ac (Visual Studio .NET 2002 Academic version)
    • kbVSNET2002EntArch (Visual Studio .NET 2002 Enterprise Architect)
    • kbVSNET2002EntDev (Visual Studio .NET 2002 Enterprise Developer)
    • kbVSNET2002Pro (Visual Studio .NET 2002 Professional)
    • kbVSNET2002Search (Applies to Visual Studio .NET 2002 in general)
    • kbVSNET2003Ac (Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic version)
    • kbVSNET2003EntArc (Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect)
    • kbVSNET2003EntDev (Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Developer)
    • kbVSNET2003Pro (Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional)
    • kbVSNET2003Search (Visual Studio .NET 2003 in general)Development Environment)
    • kbVSNETSearch (Visual Studio .NET, not a specific version)
    • kbVSsearch (Visual Studio in general, not a specific version)
    • kbIDE (Issues with the Integrated
  • Use article type keywords in your queries so that only the appropriate information is returned in your search results:
    • kbPrb
      This type of article is related to perceived issues with the product. This means that you are experiencing an issue with the product, but it isn't a bug.
    • kbInfo
      This is an informational type of article. These types of articles are used to describe a concept or provide additional information around an issue.
    • kbHowToMaster
      These are how-to articles. These are the articles that offer mainly a step-by-step explanation about how to perform a specific task.

      Note We are in the process of adopting new asset tags for KB articles. The kbHowToMaster keyword will be phased out in favor of kbHowTo in the future. For now you may want to try alternative search terms leveraging both keywords until this policy change is in full effect. Look for a future installment of this column to cover this change in greater detail.
    • kbQFE
      This keyword is used to distinguish hotfix articles. These types of articles are used to describe issues where a fix is available for the specific issue described in the article, but may not have been fully tested and is not yet available in a service pack release.
    • kbBug
      This keyword is reserved for articles that call out a specific bug in a product.
As always, feel free to submit ideas on topics you want addressed in future columns or in the Knowledge Base using the Ask For It form.

Properties

Article ID: 891029 - Last Review: May 12, 2007 - Revision: 2.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft ASP.NET 1.0
  • Microsoft ASP.NET 1.1
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbasp KB891029

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