express express-session mean-stack node.js

When to use saveUninitialized and resave in express-session

I am newbie with the MEAN stack. I read the express-session github doc but there are some options which are unclear to me. Those options are saveUninitialized and resave.

Can anyone please explain with examples what are the advatanges of using saveUninitialized and resave, and what will the effect be if we change the boolean values in those options.


resave: false,
saveUninitialized: true,

Let’s assume that sessions are enabled globally (for all requests).

When a client makes an HTTP request, and that request doesn’t contain a session cookie, a new session will be created by express-session. Creating a new session does a few things:

  • generate a unique session id
  • store that session id in a session cookie (so subsequent requests made by the client can be identified)
  • create an empty session object, as req.session
  • depending on the value of saveUninitialized, at the end of the request, the session object will be stored in the session store (which is generally some sort of database)

If during the lifetime of the request the session object isn’t modified then, at the end of the request and when saveUninitialized is false, the (still empty, because unmodified) session object will not be stored in the session store.

The reasoning behind this is that this will prevent a lot of empty session objects being stored in the session store. Since there’s nothing useful to store, the session is “forgotten” at the end of the request.

When do you want to enable this? When you want to be able to identify recurring visitors, for example. You’d be able to recognize such a visitor because they send the session cookie containing the unique id.

About resave: this may have to be enabled for session stores that don’t support the “touch” command. What this does is tell the session store that a particular session is still active, which is necessary because some stores will delete idle (unused) sessions after some time.

If a session store driver doesn’t implement the touch command, then you should enable resave so that even when a session wasn’t changed during a request, it is still updated in the store (thereby marking it active).

So it entirely depends on the session store that you’re using if you need to enable this option or not.