ASP.NET – Global Variables

I know that global variables are bad… but sometimes you have to…

Until a couple of months ago I used the Application object. A student of mine asked me what the difference is between using the Application object and a static class with some nice typed properties?

I said: “I don’t know for sure, but I guess the static class lives only as long as the app domain is living, and the Application object lives “a bit” longer…”
Some tests and a bit of googling (definitely read this to know the details) revealed:

A key reason that the Application object exists in ASP.NET is for compatibility with classic ASP code

Better is to create your own static class that exposes some static properties.

  • Typed (no casting)
  • Performance on accessing static members
  • Memory usage is less with static classes


Accessing static members is generally faster (and less memory intensive, because you don’t need to have instance variables)

Thanks ReSharper for reminding me to make some members static!


Static and instance members of   C# Language Specification explains the difference

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