There are various states of management

Client-side State Management

  • View State
  • Hidden Field
  • Cookies
  • Control State

Server-side State Management

  • Session
  • Application Object
  • Caching

We can see a number of ways of doing state management as listed above. But I am going to explain View state, Session State, cookies and difference between viewstate and session in this article.

What is ViewState, Sessions, Cookies and Caching?


Viewstate is a hidden fields in an ASP.NET page, contains state of those controls on a page whose “EnableViewstate” property is “true”.

You can also explicitly add values in it, on an ASP.NET page like:Viewstate.Add( “MVCTest”, “50” );

Viewstate should be used when you want to save a value between different roundtrips of a single page as viewstate of a page is not accessible by another page.

Because Viewstate renders with the page, it consumes bandwith, so be careful to use it in applications to be run on low bandwith


Session variables are usually the most commonly used.

When a user visits a site, it’s sessions starts and when the user become idle or leave the site, the session ends.
Session variables should be used to save and retrive user specefic information required on multiple pages.

Session variables consumes server memory, so if your may have a huge amount visiters, use session very carefully and instead of put large values in it try to put IDs and references


Cookies are some values saved in browsers for a particular website o publicly accessible

The purpose of cookies is to help websites to identify visitors and retrieve their saved preferences
Cookies are also used to facilitate auto login by persisting user id in a cookie save in user’s browser
Because cookies have been saved at client side, they do not create performance issues but may create security issues as they can be hacked from browser.

Difference Between ViewState and Session

Session State contains information that is pertaining to a specific session (by a particular client/browser/machine) with the server. It’s a way to track what the user is doing on the site.. across multiple pages…amid the statelessness of the Web. e.g. the contents of a particular user’s shopping cart is session data. Cookies can be used for session state.

View State on the other hand is information specific to particular web page. It is stored in a hidden field so that it isn’t visible to the user. It is used to maintain the user’s illusion that the page remembers what he did on it the last time – dont give him a clean page every time he posts back.

Hope this have cleared your mind about what is viewstate , sessions, cookies and also the main difference between viewState and session.