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ASP Cookies

Like ASP Sessions, ASP Cookies are used to store information specific to a visitor of your website. This cookie is stored to the user's computer for an extended amount of time. If you set the expiration date of the cookie for some day in the future it will remain their until that day unless manually deleted by the user.

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If you have read through the Sessions lesson you will notice that ASP Cookies code has several similarities with ASP Sessions.

ASP Create Cookies

Creating an ASP cookie is exactly the same process as creating an ASP Session. Once again, you must create a key/value pair where the key will be the name of our "created cookie". The created cookie will store the value which contains the actual data.

In this example we will create a cookie named brownies that stores how many brownies we ate during the day.

ASP Code:

<%
'create the cookie
Response.Cookies("brownies") = 13 
%>

Now that we've created this cookie, how do we get that information back from the user's computer?

ASP Retrieving Cookies

To get the information we have stored in the cookie we must use the ASP Request Object that provides a nice method for retrieving cookies we have stored on the user's computer. Below we retrieve our cookie and print out its value.

ASP Code:

<%
Dim myBrownie
'get the cookie
myBrownie = Request.Cookies("brownies")
Response.Write("You ate " & myBrownie & " brownies")
%>

Display:

You ate 13 brownies

Note: Be sure you see that when you create a cookie you use Response.Cookies, but when you retrieve a cookie you use Request.Cookies.

ASP Cookie Expiration Date

Unlike real life cookies, in ASP you can set how long you want your cookies to stay fresh and reside on the user's computer. A cookie's expiration can hold a date; this date will specify when the cookie will be destroyed.

In our example below we create a cookie that will be good for 10 days by first taking the current date then adding 10 to it.

ASP Code:

<%
'create a 10-day cookie
Response.Cookies("brownies") = 13 
Response.Cookies("brownies").Expires = Date() + 10
'create a static date cookie
Response.Cookies("name") = "Suzy Q." 
Response.Cookies("name").Expires = #January 1,2009#
%>

ASP Cookie Arrays or Collections

Up until now we have only been able to store one variable into a cookie, which is quite limiting if you wanted to store a bunch of information. However, if we make this one variable into a collection it can store a great deal more. Below we make a brownies collection that stores all sorts of information.

ASP Code:

<%
'create a big cookie
Response.Cookies("brownies")("numberEaten") = 13 
Response.Cookies("brownies")("eater") = "George" 
Response.Cookies("brownies")("weight") = 400 
%>

ASP Retrieving Cookie Values From a Collection

Now to iterate through the brownies collection we will use a for each loop. See our for loop tutorial for more information.

ASP Code:

<%
For Each key In Request.Cookies("Brownies")
	Response.Write("<br />" & key & " = " & _
	 Request.Cookies("Brownies")(key))	
Next
Response.Cookies("brownies")("numberEaten") = 13 
Response.Cookies("brownies")("eater") = "George" 
Response.Cookies("brownies")("weight") = 400 
%>

Display:

numberEaten = 13
eater = George
weight = 400
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