Microsoft is continually evolving its software products and Internet Explorer makes no exception to this rule. As a matter of fact, the Redmond company has just introduced HTTP Cookie handling capabilities to its browser. Essentially, Internet Explorer simply got a bigger cookie jar. Eric Law, IE Program Manager referred to this as a small enhancement for the browser. In this context, Microsoft upped the limit of the maximum volume of cookies Internet Explorer could manage.
"In the past, IE’s cookie jar stored a maximum of 20 cookies per domain. If more than 20 cookies were sent by the server, older cookies were automatically dropped by the browser. The dropped cookies could lead to lost website settings, an empty web shopping basket, or similar problems. In order to store more than 20 name-value pairs per domain, web developers were forced to create a "dictionary cookie", a single cookie that contains multiple name-value pairs," Law revealed.
Following the installation of August Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer, the maximum limit of stored cookies for IE has been increased from 20 to no less than 50. Now the browser will be able to handle no less than 50 cookies per domain, but only after the deployment of the MS07-045 update.
"After you install this update, the following two limits remain unchanged: the document.cookie property can retrieve only 4,096 bytes of a cookie on a client computer (if the cookie string is longer than 4,096 bytes, the property returns an empty string) and Internet Explorer and the HTTP Wininet API ignore the Set-Cookie header if its length exceeds 5,118 bytes," Microsoft revealed.
Law additionally offered some advice for web developers and the most important of them is not to take full advantage of the new cookie storage capabilities of IE, as they can directly affect the size of HTTP requests. "There are three strategies you can use to minimize the impact of cookies on your site’s site performance: minimize the size of your cookies, deliver static content from a different domain and use the Path attribute to send cookies only when necessary," Law added.Microsoft, Internet Explorer 7, IE7, HTTP, Cookies