Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between a Session State and a View State

Session State vs View State

As is already known, the Web as it is can be defined as stateless. This means that each time a specific Web page is needed, it must be recreated each and every time it is posted to the server. The HTTP protocol, on the other hand, cannot hold client information on a page. It is for this reason that it is recommended that state management be used. State management is a means that allows for the management of the state of the page and the server side as well.

There are two types of state management.  These are session state and view state. The main difference that is found between the two is that view state management mainly deals with the client end of state management. Its configuration is to make state management easy for the end user. On the other hand, there is session state management which mainly deals with the server end of the Web, allowing for the ease of content management from this end too.


View state is maintained at a single level only which is the page level. This limits the changes that can be made on the page. On the other hand, session state is maintained in the session level. If you desire to see view state, you can only do so on a single page only and not any others. This is a stark contrast to session state which is available in all pages provided that these pages fall within the confines of a user session.

Information that is gathered in view state is stored for the client only and cannot be transferred to any other place. The session state has its information stored within the server and can be accessed by any person that has access to the server where the information is stored. When view state is used, the values posted of a particular page persist in the browse area that the client is using and post back only when the entire operation is done. This is a stark contrast when compared to session state where the data remains available until the time that that the session is completed or the browser closes. In all this time, the data is available by the server.

In using the view state, there is a tendency for the persistence of page-instance-specific data whereas the use of session state comes with a tendency for a persistence of user-specific data available on the server side. The validity of view state comes in especially in postbacks. It is also important to note that view state is synonymous with serializable data only. Security in view state is not guaranteed as the data is exposed to the client. If data security is needed, it can be encrypted. Session state, on the other hand, is only valid for type objects.


View State

– Maintained at page level only.

– View state can only be visible from a single page and not multiple pages.

– Information stored on the client’s end only.

– View state will retain values in the event of a postback operation occurring.

– View state is used to allow the persistence of page-instance-specific data.

Session State

– Maintained at session level.

– Session state value availability is in all pages available in a user session.

– Information in session state stored in the server.

– In session state, user data remains in the server.  The availability of the data is guaranteed until either the user closes the session or the browser is closed.

– Session state is used for the persistence of user-specific data on the server’s end.

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