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Brian Swan's Blog: Using SQL Azure to Store PHP Session Data

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 22 October 2011.
PHPDeveloper

In a recent post to his blog Brian Swan takes a look at working with sessions in PHP and, specifically, how to save them to Azure along with all of their data.

In my last post, I looked at the session handling functionality that is built into the Windows Azure SDK for PHP, which uses Azure Tables or Azure Blobs for storing session data. As I wrote that post, I wondered how easy it would be to use SQL Azure to store session data, especially since using a database to store session data is a common and familiar practice when building distributed PHP applications. As I found out, using SQL Azure to store session data was relatively easy (as I'll show in this post), but I did run into a couple of small hurdles that might be worth taking note of.

He uses PHP's own session_set_save_handler to point to his custom Azure handling class with the needed methods (like write, close and destroy). He breaks it out into three simple steps, some with a bit of code attached:

  • Create the database, table, and stored procedure
  • Add the SqlAzureSessionHandler class to your project
  • Instantiate SqlAzureSessionHandler before calling session functions as you normally would

The code for the Azure handling class can be downloaded here.