How to use PdoSessionHandler to store Sessions in the Database

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How to use PdoSessionHandler to store Sessions in the Database

The default session storage of Symfony2 writes the session information to file(s). Most medium to large websites use a database to store the session values instead of files, because databases are easier to use and scale in a multi-webserver environment.

Symfony2 has a built-in solution for database session storage called PdoSessionHandler. To use it, you just need to change some parameters in config.yml (or the configuration format of your choice):

New in version 2.1

In Symfony 2.1 the class and namespace are slightly modified. You can now find the session storage classes in the Session\Storage namespace: Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Session\Storage. Also note that in Symfony 2.1 you should configure handler_id not storage_id like in Symfony 2.0. Below, you'll notice that %session.storage.options% is not used anymore.

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# app/config/config.yml
framework:
    session:
        # ...
        handler_id:     session.handler.pdo

parameters:
    pdo.db_options:
        db_table:    session
        db_id_col:   session_id
        db_data_col: session_value
        db_time_col: session_time

services:
    pdo:
        class: PDO
        arguments:
            dsn:      "mysql:dbname=mydatabase"
            user:     myuser
            password: mypassword
        calls:
            - [setAttribute, [3, 2]] # \PDO::ATTR_ERRMODE, \PDO::ERRMODE_EXCEPTION

    session.handler.pdo:
        class:     Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Session\Storage\Handler\PdoSessionHandler
        arguments: ["@pdo", "%pdo.db_options%"]
  • db_table: The name of the session table in your database
  • db_id_col: The name of the id column in your session table (VARCHAR(255) or larger)
  • db_data_col: The name of the value column in your session table (TEXT or CLOB)
  • db_time_col: The name of the time column in your session table (INTEGER)

Sharing your Database Connection Information

With the given configuration, the database connection settings are defined for the session storage connection only. This is OK when you use a separate database for the session data.

But if you'd like to store the session data in the same database as the rest of your project's data, you can use the connection settings from the parameters.yml file by referencing the database-related parameters defined there:

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pdo:
    class: PDO
    arguments:
        - "mysql:host=%database_host%;port=%database_port%;dbname=%database_name%"
        - "%database_user%"
        - "%database_password%"

Example SQL Statements

MySQL

The SQL statement for creating the needed database table might look like the following (MySQL):

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CREATE TABLE `session` (
    `session_id` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
    `session_value` text NOT NULL,
    `session_time` int(11) NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (`session_id`)
) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8;

PostgreSQL

For PostgreSQL, the statement should look like this:

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CREATE TABLE session (
    session_id character varying(255) NOT NULL,
    session_value text NOT NULL,
    session_time integer NOT NULL,
    CONSTRAINT session_pkey PRIMARY KEY (session_id)
);

Microsoft SQL Server

For MSSQL, the statement might look like the following:

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CREATE TABLE [dbo].[session](

[session_id] [nvarchar](255) NOT NULL, [session_value] [ntext] NOT NULL, [session_time] [int] NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED( [session_id] ASC ) WITH ( PAD_INDEX = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS = ON ) ON [PRIMARY] ) ON [PRIMARY] TEXTIMAGE_ON [PRIMARY]

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.