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class SessionHelper(View $view, array $settings = array())

As a natural counterpart to the Session Component, the Session Helper replicates most of the component’s functionality and makes it available in your view.

The major difference between the Session Helper and the Session Component is that the helper does not have the ability to write to the session.

As with the Session Component, data is read by using dot notation array structures:

array('User' => array(
    'username' => ''

Given the previous array structure, the node would be accessed by User.username, with the dot indicating the nested array. This notation is used for all Session helper methods wherever a $key is used.

SessionHelper::read(string $key)
Return type:mixed

Read from the Session. Returns a string or array depending on the contents of the session.

Return type:mixed

Read and delete a value from the Session. This is useful when you want to combine reading and deleting values in a single operation.

SessionHelper::check(string $key)
Return type:boolean

Check to see whether a key is in the Session. Returns a boolean representing the key’s existence.

Return type:string

Returns last error encountered in a session.

Return type:boolean

Used to check whether a session is valid in a view.

Displaying notifications or flash messages

SessionHelper::flash(string $key = 'flash', array $params = array())

Deprecated since version 2.7.0: You should use FlashHelper to render flash messages.

As explained in Creating notification messages, you can create one-time notifications for feedback. After creating messages with SessionComponent::setFlash(), you will want to display them. Once a message is displayed, it will be removed and not displayed again:

echo $this->Session->flash();

The above will output a simple message with the following HTML:

<div id="flashMessage" class="message">
    Your stuff has been saved.

As with the component method, you can set additional properties and customize which element is used. In the controller, you might have code like:

// in a controller
$this->Session->setFlash('The user could not be deleted.');

When outputting this message, you can choose the element used to display the message:

// in a layout.
echo $this->Session->flash('flash', array('element' => 'failure'));

This would use View/Elements/failure.ctp to render the message. The message text would be available as $message in the element.

The failure element would contain something like this:

<div class="flash flash-failure">
    <?php echo h($message); ?>

You can also pass additional parameters into the flash() method, which allows you to generate customized messages:

// In the controller
$this->Session->setFlash('Thanks for your payment.');

// In the layout.
echo $this->Session->flash('flash', array(
    'params' => array('name' => $user['User']['name'])
    'element' => 'payment'

// View/Elements/payment.ctp
<div class="flash payment">
    <?php printf($message, h($name)); ?>


By default, CakePHP does not escape the HTML in flash messages. If you are using any request or user data in your flash messages, you should escape it with h when formatting your messages.