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Personalization via cookies and database

One of the first proposed solution to the problem of personalization of Internet shopping was the mechanism of cookies. Since files with cookies can be stored by active Web-marts on PC hard drives, nothing prevents them from keeping the information about the content of the basket of shopping at an online store. The great advantage of this technique is its simplicity, which allows to speed up the creation of programs using it. But the disadvantages are not less than the advantages.

The use of cookies causes fear and doubt in regard to the ethical legality (is it allowed to record information on another’s computer without the owner’s consent in order to use it later). The second difficulty is the limitation on the amount of data that can be stored in cookies. The last and decisive counter-argument is the inability to transfer the files. Cookies are associated with a particular computer, not with a specific person. If you go to your favorite page, using another computer, no one will recognize you.

Usually, it is the database that is used as an instrument to record user information. Internet user data are stored in one place, so they are at risk to be damaged or lost. Huge amount of data has to be duplicated (backup), and it takes a lot of time. In addition, the server usually requires authorization, and everyone knows that memorizing a dozen passwords is contrary to human nature. Therefore there is a need for a mechanism that allows the user to find the forgotten password. All this requires additional efforts and sources.

An interesting idea regarding personalization is a combination of simplicity of cookies mechanism with effective access to information database. Thanks to this hybrid solution, information may be stored by the server, thereby obtaining independence from the computer that is used at the moment.

In this case individual user settings are stored in the database server, and authorized access to the database is provided by the cookies.

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