Configure session state for InfoPath Forms Services (Office SharePoint Server)
Updated: March 26, 2009
Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007
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InfoPath Forms Services uses session state to store the large amount of transient data generated while filling out a form. As a result, front-end Web servers can remain stateless between round trips, and each postback is not burdened with carrying large amounts of session state information over narrow bandwidth pipes. Other methods of state management, such as in process, are not supported for farms with multiple front-end Web servers. Session state can only be used with Web applications that are associated with a Shared Services Provider (SSP). For more information about SSPs, see Plan Shared Services Providers.
In order for the session state database to be properly maintained, the SQL Agent must be turned on for the instance of Microsoft SQL Server where session data is stored. If the SQL Agent is not turned on, expired sessions are not automatically expunged from the session table and may eventually pose a storage problem.
If you are deploying Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, such as in a single-server deployment, expired sessions must be expunged manually. SQL Server 2005 Express Edition does not include the SQL Agent, and it cannot run automated stored procedures.
Configure session state for Forms Services
You can configure session state settings such as state type and session thresholds for InfoPath Forms Services across the entire farm. If any of the thresholds are exceeded, the user's session is terminated, resulting in the loss of all form data, and an error is entered in the event log for the server. The error message shown to the user is "session has exceeded the amount of allowable resources."
To configure form session state, see step 12 in Configure InfoPath Forms Services for Office SharePoint Server.
Session state versus Form view
You can configure InfoPath Forms Services to use the Session State service (the default option) or Form view (ASP.NET view state) to control how user sessions are managed. When you configure InfoPath Forms Services to use the Session State service, all browser sessions are maintained on the SQL Server database, which uses little network bandwidth, but has a cumulative performance impact on the computer running SQL Server. When you are using Form view, sessions are maintained on the client browser, and all session data is included in each postback to the server, up to 40 KB of session data. This approach uses more bandwidth than using session state does, but it does not affect the performance of the computer running SQL Server. Once session data reaches 40 KB in size, the session automatically transitions to session-state management.
We recommend the use of Form view in environments with smaller groups of users, because it reduces the impact on the computer running SQL Server. If your InfoPath Forms Services deployment will have many users, particularly if session data is below 40 KB for many high-usage form templates, session state is likely a better choice. If Form view is used, the bandwidth used by browser sessions of 40 KB or fewer can be monitored if there is a concern that network performance might be adversely affected.
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This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:
See the full list of available books at Office SharePoint Server technical library.