Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Usage
    1. Setting Data
    2. Getting Data
    3. Getting All Data
    4. Checking if a Session Has a Key
    5. Deleting Data
    6. Flushing All Data
    7. Flashing Data
    8. Regenerating the Id
  3. Session Handlers
  4. Middleware
  5. Using Sessions In Controllers
  6. Id Generators
  7. Encrypting Session Data
  8. Configuration


HTTP is a stateless protocol. What that means is that each request has no memory of previous requests. If you've ever used the web, though, you've probably noticed that websites are able to remember information across requests. For example, a "shopping cart" on an e-commerce website remembers what items you've added to your cart. How'd they do that? Sessions.

Note: Although similar in concept, Opulence's sessions do not use PHP's built-in $_SESSION functionality because it is awful.

Basic Usage

Opulence sessions must implement Opulence\Sessions\ISession (Opulence\Sessions\Session comes built-in).

Setting Data

Any kind of serializable data can be written to sessions:

use Opulence\Sessions\Session;

$session = new Session();
$session->set('someString', 'foo');
$session->set('someArray', ['bar', 'baz']);

Getting Data

$session->set('someKey', 'myValue');
echo $session->get('someKey'); // "myValue"

Getting All Data

$session->set('foo', 'bar');
$session->set('baz', 'blah');
$data = $session->getAll();
echo $data[0]; // "bar"
echo $data[1]; // "blah"

Checking if a Session Has a Key

echo $session->has('foo'); // 0
$session->set('foo', 'bar');
echo $session->has('foo'); // 1

Deleting Data


Flushing All Data


Flashing Data

Let's say you're writing a form that can display any validation errors after submitting, and you'd like to remember these error messages only for the next request. Use flash():

$session->flash('formErrors', ['Username is required', 'Invalid email address']);
// ...redirect back to the form...
foreach ($session->get('formErrors') as $error) {
    echo htmlentities($error);

On the next request, the data in "formErrors" will be deleted. Want to extend the lifetime of the flash data by one more request? Use reflash().

Regenerating the Id


Session Handlers

Session handlers are what actually read and write session data from some form of storage, eg text files, cache, or cookies. All Opulence handlers implement \SessionHandlerInterface (built-into PHP). Typically, they read and write session data using middleware. The following are session handlers built-into Opulence:


The best place to read and write session data with the handler is in middleware. Opulence comes with a class middleware baked-in: Opulence\Framework\Sessions\Http\Middleware\Session.

Note: This middleware is an abstract class. If you're using the skeleton project, you can simply use the middleware Project\Application\Http\Middleware\Session to finish extending it. Otherwise, you can roll your own session middleware.

Typically in middleware, your handler will read from session storage using data passed in through the request. After the request has been handled and a response generated, the session data is written back to storage via the handler.

Using Sessions in Controllers

To use sessions in your controllers, simply inject it into the controller's constructor along with a type hint:

namespace Project\Application\Http\Controllers;

use Opulence\Sessions\ISession;

class MyController
    private $session;

    // The session will be automatically injected into the controller by the router
    public function __construct(ISession $session)
        $this->session = $session;

Id Generators

If your session has just started or if its data has been invalidated, a new session Id will need to be generated. These Ids must be cryptographically secure to prevent session hijacking. If you're using Opulence\Sessions\Session, you can either pass in your own Id generator (must implement Opulence\Sessions\Ids\Generators\IIdGenerator) or use the default Opulence\Sessions\Ids\Generators\IdGenerator.

Note: It's recommended you use Opulence's IdGenerator unless you know what you're doing.

Encrypting Session Data

You might find yourself storing sensitive data in sessions, in which case you'll want to encrypt it. To do this, use the useEncryption() and setEncrypter() methods. setEncrypter() requires an instance of Opulence\Sessions\Handlers\ISessionEncrypter. For convenience, if you're also using Opulence's cryptography library, you can use the Opulence\Sessions\Handlers\SessionEncrypter class.

use Opulence\Cryptography\Encryption\Encrypter;
use Opulence\Sessions\Handlers\FileSessionHandler;
use Opulence\Sessions\Handlers\SessionEncrypter;

$sessionEncrypter = new SessionEncrypter(new Encrypter('mySecretApplicationKey'));
$handler = new FileSessionHandler('path/to/my/session/files');

Now, all your session data will be encrypted before being written and decrypted after being read. Learn more about encryption.


If you're using the skeleton project and you'd like to configure your session, you can do so in config/http/sessions.php. Your environment config in config/environment/ contains a variable SESSION_HANDLER, which should point to the handler class to use (defaults to FileSessionHandler). For cache-backed sessions, also contains the variable SESSION_CACHE_BRIDGE. This should point to the class that implements Opulence\Cache\ICacheBridge.