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URL rewriting is usually needed to make a URL for a dynamic web page more presentable for the reader or for search engines optimization.

For example, a regular ASP URL might look like this:

A more presentable way of rewriting the URL might be:

of course, you can write HTML/ASP file for each article, but that would be much of I/O overhead on adding/updating articles and for reading too..

one solution is to use an ISAPI filter but many people want to avoid this for due to either the limitation on the skills, a limitation of the hosting service they use, or just to avoid complexity and potential risk. It also makes the solution less portable.

A much simple solution, is to use 404 custom error page in IIS, here are steps and code:
1- Create "URL-Rewrite.asp", under Articles folder.
2- in IIS , right-click on "Articles" folder > properties > Custom errors > Select 404 and click "Edit Properties" ..
set Message Type : "URL", and set URL : "/Articles/URL-Rewrite.asp"
3- Place this code in "URL-Rewrite.asp"
<% option Explicit

Dim Er,ID
Set Er = Server.GetLastError()
If Not Er Is Nothing Then
  '' For 404: URL will be passed as query string
  ID = GetURLID(Request.QueryString )
  'Http error 400 won't raise a code error
  If ID>0 And Er.Number=0 Then
    Response.Status = 200
    Call DisplayArticle(ID)

  ' error 500 or similar  
  ElseIf Er.Number<>0 Then
    Response.Write "Unexpected error was occured"  

  ' undesired URL  
    Response.Status = 404
    Response.Write "Page cannot be found"  
  End if  
End If  
Set Er = Nothing

Function GetURLID(URL)
  ' Extract ID using regular expressions
  Dim ID : ID = 0
  Dim reg : Set reg = New RegExp
  reg.Global = False
  reg.IgnoreCase = True
  reg.Pattern = "^404;\d+).htm$"
  if reg.Test(URL) Then
    ID= reg.Replace(URL ,"$1")
  End If
  Set reg = Nothing
End Function

Sub DisplayArticle(ID)
  '''' here you will place the real code that read article form database and write it
  Response.Write   "<html>" &_
          "<head>" &_
          "<title>Article "& ID &"</title>" &_
          "</head>" &_
          "<body>" &_
          "Content " & ID &_
          "</body>" &_
End Sub

now,when requesting the url "", the IIS doesn't find the file so it transfer execution to the custom error page "" and sending "404;" as query string.
The Transfer happens by calling "server.Transfer" which keeps the existing query string and any form variables available to the page it is transferring to, in our case "URL-Rewrite.asp".


  1. Anonymous // September 8, 2010 at 8:29:00 AM GMT+10  


    Now I am trying to make a url rewrite, I think your code is perfect but i still have problem with this session, could you help me please?

    Sub DisplayArticle(ID)
    '''' here you will place the real code that read article form database and write it

    what do you mean to place the real code from database?
    could you place it with your code please?

    I am waiting for your answer.

    Thanks, Wesley

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Mike MoreWeb developer, jQuery plugin author, social media fan and Technology Blogger.
My favorite topics are: jQuery , Javascript , ASP.Net , Twitter , Google..
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