State management is the art of retaining information between requests. Usually, this information is user-specific (such as a list of items in a shopping cart, a user name, or an access level), but sometimes it's global to the whole application (such as usage statistics that track site activity). Because ASP.NET uses a disconnected architecture, you need to explicitly store and retrieve state information with each request. The approach you choose to store this data can dramatically affect the performance, scalability, and security of your application. Remember to consult Table 7-3 and Table 7-4 to help evaluate different types of state management and determine what is best for your needs.