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Where I work, we use cookies; each Perl CGI program in the suite checks the cookie as its first responsibility, using code from a common in-house module. We do this because:
  • We need logout (as varian described).
  • We need auto-logout. The cookie contains a time-stamp, and each new screen (in the group of Perl CGI that has access to restricted information) checks that the time-stamp is within the last 5 minutes, then refreshes the timestamp.
  • Parts of our system are on multiple servers, and we need login to work across them.
  • Different users have permission to change different things. Some can just see the page, others can enter information, still others are allowed to sign and finalize a report. The cookie contains the permissions that indicated who can do what. (We only do this for browsers on trusted machines, inside our firewall and at specific IP addresses.)
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