||HTTP State Management Specification
||Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a result of continuous work by the WAP Forum to define an
industry-wide specification for developing applications that operate over wireless communication
networks. The scope of the WAP Forum is to define a set of specifications to be used by service
applications for wireless communication devices. The wireless market is growing very quickly and
reaching new customers and services. To enable operators and manufacturers to meet the
challenges in advanced services, differentiation and fast/flexible service creation, WAP defines a
set of protocols in transport, session and application layers. For additional information on the
WAP architecture, refer to "Wireless Application Protocol Architecture Specification" [WAP].
This specification defines the HTTP state management model for the WAP architecture. The WAP
HTTP state management model is an implementation of the HTTP State Management
Mechanism, also known as "cookie management", as defined in [RFC2109]. On the World Wide
Web, the HTTP State Management mechanism stores state information in a file ("cookie") on the
client, as defined in [RFC2109]. The same mechanism can also be used over the WAP protocols,
as HTTP headers are used to convey all state and state manipulation information.
Some WAP user agents may have motivation to store and manage cookies locally, as defined in
[RFC2109]. This functionality follows precisely the current World Wide Web model, where cookies
are typically stored and managed by regular web browsers.
This specification defines an additional mechanism to let an intermediate proxy store and manage
cookies on behalf of the WAP client, as an alternative to client-local storage and management.
Storing cookies in the network has many advantages. WAP user agents may have a limited storing
capacity. When cookies are stored in the proxy, they do not have to be transmitted across the air,
for every request/response transaction. In case the user changes device, and cannot move the
cookies from the old device to the new one, the user can still access the cookies in the proxy via
the new device. On the other hand, storing and managing cookies in the client allows the user to
gain the benefit of the same cookies independent of the access point used. This aspect becomes
more important in the future in conjunction with WAP gateway roaming architecture. Some users
may prefer storing private information in the client, instead of depending on the security of the
network. Because both models are complementary, this specification defines a dual approach to
WAP HTTP state management, while still maintaining full interoperability between the
implementations and RFC2109.