I'm setting a session variable from external file using ajax:

define( '_JEXEC', 1); 
define( 'JPATH_BASE', realpath(dirname(__FILE__) .'/' ) );
require_once ( JPATH_BASE .DS.'includes'.DS.'defines.php' );
require_once ( JPATH_BASE .DS.'includes'.DS.'framework.php' );

$session    = JFactory::getSession();
$mainframe = JFactory::getApplication('site');

// $session->clear( 'ss');
if (isset($_POST['v'])) {
$value = filter_input(INPUT_POST, 'v', FILTER_SANITIZE_NUMBER_INT);
$session->set('ss', $value);
$response = $session->get('ss');
// echo $response;
} else {
    echo $session->get('ss');

So with that I'm setting my session var from external file, now the problem I have is retrieving it, say you need to retrieve that session value from a helper file:

public function calculation($carreton) {
// lots of line to make some calculations
$session =& JFactory::getSession();
if ($session->get('ss') == 1) {
    $seg = 1000;
    $subtotal_e = $subtotal + $seg;
} else {
 $subtotal_e = 0;
// Final results
return $someArrs;

So the IF a = b is working fine the problem is retrieving the values from the session that I have set from external file...

Any idea how to retrieve that value?.. maybe I'm setting it wrong, the file that sets the session is in the root file... domain.com/sess.php but the helper file is in components/com_carreton/helper/file.php

Any ideas?

Thank you.

  • Why do you not make the ajax call to a view in the component? You can do a raw view and the request will arrive with a whole Joomla context.
    – Laoneo
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 6:05
  • What version of Joomla are you using?
    – TryHarder
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 0:44

3 Answers 3


Your using the wrong session. If you follow the logic down the class chain for $mainframe->initialize you will find, depending on your version of joomla, a line like https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/blob/staging/libraries/joomla/application/web.php#L1062

$session = JSession::getInstance($handler, $options);

That session creation call contains the variables in the options tag which define the name of the cookie used for the session.

By calling JFactory::getSession() before initialize you have created a session which most likely has a different cookie name or id number. Instead use

$mainframe = JFactory::getApplication('site');
$session    = $mainframe->getSession();
  • Would $session = JFactory::getSession(); do the same thing as $session = $mainframe->getSession(); ?? Or is this also incorrectly starting the session?
    – TryHarder
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 1:05
  • I really can't say, in theory after the application is initialized, both methods should return the same session. Getting the session from the application object ensures you get the same session used by the cms. If the application class was programmed properly, it will set the session property in JFactory to match but I have no confidence that it is.
    – garyamort
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 1:58
  • Thanks. The reason I asked is because I've had session variables go missing (intermittently) in the past. I was using $session = JFactory::getSession();
    – TryHarder
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 2:55
  • Sorry for my veeerrry late response, you are correct, I was using a different "cookie id" and since the request was made to an external file where there is not "cookie id" present at that moment then My session was with a different ID thus making it impossible to retrieve., what I end up doing was to move my WS to run within the CMSFrameWork thus picking up every move Joomla was making to the sessions.
    – Tanker
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 21:36

If you turn debug on from the system tab in your global configuration, you will be able to see what you have in the session in the debug panels at the bottom of the screen.

I would avoid using an external file, why not use a function in a controller to do the ajax call instead?


Try this!

$session   =& JFactory::getSession();

$mainframe = JFactory::getApplication('site');
  • Please explain your code-only suggestion. Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 7:55

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