Make Web Application Stateless Yet Still Do Somthing Useful?

Jun 10, 2010

the web should follow the REST principle and be completely stateless. Therefore a single URL should identify a single resource, without having to keep the navigation history of each user....and I read the Wikipedia page and it really sounds good, but I don't get how to actually implement it. I'm working in ASP .NET Webforms NOT MVC.

For example, in the application I am about to build - I need my user to Login before I allow them to do anything. There are a couple of hoops they have to jump through before they are allowed to do much useful - like Accept T's and C's and confirm their basic details are unchanged. Finally they are allowed to do somthing they really want like BuyAProduct!It seems to me (I come from the HEAVILY stateful world of the Rich client) that I need state to record what they have done and infer from that what they are allowed to do. I don't see how I can support them (say) bookmarking the BuyAProduct URI. When they arrive at the bookmark how do I know if they have logged in and if they agreed to the T's and C's and if they dutifully checked their basic details?

I love the idea of the app being stateless, partly because it seems to completely solve the problem of "What the heck do I do when the user clicks on the Back and Forward buttons?" I don't see how I can still get it to work properly. I feel I am missing somthing really fundamental about this.

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