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Overriding the session storage - PHP

There are many reasons to utilize sessions when creating a web-based application using PHP. Session information, by default, is stored in a file on your web server. But what if that becomes a problem? In this article, I'll talk about why you might want to move your PHP sessions to a database, and show you how to do it.

  1. Storing PHP Sessions in a Database
  2. Why did they fail?
  3. Overriding the session storage
  4. Opening and closing the session
  5. Reading and Writing Session Data
  6. Cleaning up the session
  7. Putting it all together
  8. Finishing it up
By: Rich Smith
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 54
May 02, 2007

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As I just said, the session_set_save_handler() function will allow us to override the default method of storing data.  According to the documentation, here is the format for this function:

bool session_set_save_handler ( callback $open, callback $close, callback $read, callback $write, callback $destroy, callback $gc );

In our example, I'm going to create a session class that can be used to store information to the database instead of to a file.

For starters, create a new file called "sessions.php."  Inside this file, put the following code:

class SessionManager {

   var $life_time;

   function SessionManager() {

      // Read the maxlifetime setting from PHP
      $this->life_time = get_cfg_var("session.gc_maxlifetime");

      // Register this object as the session handler
        array( &$this, "open" ), 
        array( &$this, "close" ),
        array( &$this, "read" ),
        array( &$this, "write"),
        array( &$this, "destroy"),
        array( &$this, "gc" )



In the above example, the SessionManager() class and its constructor are created.  You will notice that instead of merely passing function names into the session_set_save_handler() function, I sent arrays allowing me to identify class methods as the intercepts for the session actions.

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Rich Smith

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