›› ASP.NET State Service

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The ASP.NET State Service allows ASP.NET web programmers the ability to store session data out-of-process. In case that description made no sense, let's backtrack and clarify a few things.

ASP.NET is a web programming language that makes use of this service. ASP.NET allows web programmers the ability to create sessions, a period of time that a specific user interacts with a Web application. A session acts like an internal memory storing user data, behavior, workflow (anything the programmer deems important) for the duration of the user's time on that particular website.

For example, let's say that you are taking an online geology course through a university. You need to take an online exam, so you log on to the school's website and begin taking the test. From the moment that you log on the website to the moment that you log off, all of your answers are being stored in a session by the web application. For every page that you visit on that website, your answers are stored without you having to re-enter the information. This is made possible because you are given a unique session ID, or session key, that is associated with you as you interact with the website.

As mentioned above, the ASP.NET State Service provides support for storing session data out-of-process. There are basically three ways that session data can be stored: in-process, SQL database, or out-of-process. If session data is stored in-process, the data is stored in ASP.NET's memory space, thus making the ASP.NET process responsible for accessing and maintaining session data. Session data can also be stored in a SQL database, thus making the database responsible for accessing and maintaining session data. If the session data is kept out-of-process, the data is accessed and maintained by a separate process' memory space.

If you do not have Windows Server 2003 or ASP.NET installed, then you will probably not see this service listed. Additionally, if you are not interested in web programming with ASP.NET or do not wish to use out-of-process data storage for your sessions while programming in ASP.NET, then you will not need this service and it is safe to disable it. If you do disable this service, however, out-of-process requests will not be processed. If you are interested in utilizing out-of-process data storage for your sessions while programming in ASP.NET, then you will want to have this service set to Automatic.

Service Name Aspnet_state
Display Name ASP.NET State Service
Executable File Name aspnet_state.exe
Dependencies None
Reciprocal Dependencies None
Default Startup Type Manual
Recommended Startup Type Auto (if use out-of-process data storage for sessions in ASP.NET), Disable (if you do not use ASP.NET or out-of-process data storage for sessions in ASP.NET)

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