How to create a url alias using IIS URL Rewrite



Want to allow someone to shortcut their way to a particular part of a website? Jonathan Yong, one of our Premier Field Engineers from Malaysia, shows you how!


Problem: I have a url or domain that is very long! How can I create a shorter url that acts as an alias, which maps to a subfolder under the long url?

Example: Instead of going to www.verylongurl.com/folder, I want people to simply go to www.shorturl.com.

Answer: You can use the IIS URL Rewrite module to create a rule which maps one url to another.

Prerequisites: This solution only works with IIS 7 and above.

Details: In the following, I will show you step by step how to accomplish this. There’s also a sample file included (see the download link at the bottom of this page) so that you can try this in your own environment.

1.

Download and install the IIS URL Rewrite module from IIS.net.

If IIS Manager is running when you install URL Rewrite, you will need to close and reopen it in order to see the URL Rewrite configuration tool icon.

image

2.

Next, I will copy the files and folder necessary to set up my web site.

  • Extract the sample code
  • Open an elevated command prompt (Start, CMD, Ctrl+Shift+Enter, Yes)
  • Go to the extracted sample code folder in the command prompt.
  • Run 01-copy_file.bat. This will copy the sample files to c:\inetpub\verylongurl folder.

Don’t close the command prompt yet. We still need it for subsequent steps.

image

3.

I will create a web site which maps to the folder above and has two bindings, using host headers.

  • The web site name is ‘Long URL Web Site’.
  • The port number and host header binding is : 80/verylongurl.com and 80/shorturl.com

From the command line, run 02-create_site.bat to create the web site.

image

4.

On the Internet, we’d need to add both hostnames to DNS so that users can surf to the site.

In our test environment, we simply add this to the HOSTS file on any computer we’re testing from.

  • Open a notepad elevated as Administrator (Start, NOTEPAD, Ctrl+Shift+Enter)
  • Open the HOSTS file in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.
  • Add the following two domain name to the hosts file and save it.

image

5.

We will now create the URL Rewrite rule which maps the short url to the long url.

  • Go back to IIS Manager.
  • Click on the ‘Long URL Web Site
  • Double click the URL Rewrite icon to open the URL Rewrite configuration.

6.

In the URL Rewrite configuration, click on the Add Rule(s) link in the Actions pane on the right hand side.

image

7.

Select the Blank rule template and click OK.

image

8.

In the Edit Inbound Rule screen,

  • Enter “URL Alias” (or any name you like) in the Name textbox,
  • Make sure Requested URL is Matches the Pattern,
  • Make sure Using is Regular Expression,
  • Enter “.*” in the Pattern textbox.

image

9.

Click the down arrow to expand the Conditions title, then click Add.

image

10.

In the Add Condition dialog,

  • Enter {HTTP_HOST} in the Condition input textbox;
  • Select Matches the Pattern in the Check if input string;
  • Enter shorturl.com in the Pattern textbox
  • Click OK.

image

11.

Scroll down further to the Action section.

  • In the Action type, select Rewrite.
  • Enter “/subfolder/{R:0}” in the Rewrite URL.
  • Tick the checkbox on Stop processing of subsequent rules.

image

12.

Click the Apply link on the top right of the Actions pane.

The configuration is saved to the web.config file in your web site folder. You may open this web.config file to review how the configuration is being created under the hood.

image

Let’s review what we just did from step 8 to 11:

  • We create a rule that matches all incoming urls (step 8), and
  • If the host in the url matches “shorturl.com” as specified in the Conditions section (step 9 and 10),
  • Rewrite the url to “/subfolder/<incoming url>” (step 11).

If you browse to http://shorturl.com/abc.htm, the url will rewrite to http://shorturl.com/subfolder/abc.htm.

However, if you browse to http://verylongurl.com/abc.htm, the url will not be rewritten because it does not match the host name we are looking for, which is “shorturl.com”.

To see this in action, browse to the following pair of urls and you should see that each pair will show you the same page.

Test A:

Test B:

You can learn more about URL Rewrite module here.

Download the sample file here:

 


Posted by Tristan “Bridesmaid” Kington, MSPFE Editor

Comments (19)

  1. Balu Kalepu says:

    Hi, Thanks for the great post.

    I have a challenge. Currenlty one of our application is running on Port 80. (Ex:
    http://www.xyz.com/abc)
    But few of the pages are hard coded to use a different port (Ex:
    http://www.xyz.com:1025/abc/123).

    How can we remove the port number 1025 from the URL using URL Rewrite?

    Thanks,
    Balu Kalepu

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  19. Nebst Stab des „Emergency Medical Service“
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    Erörterung
    von Verletzten anhand die „Bombardements“ möbliert.

    Gillies (. Abb. 4.3) setzte sich für das
    Schaffen von geeigneten Einrichtungen zu Gunsten von die
    Erörterung aller Patienten, des Militärs, solcher zivilen
    Bevölkerung und jener bleischwer Brandverletzten
    Chip eine plastisch-chirurgische Behandlung benötigten.
    Die plastisch-chirurgischen im Übrigen maxillofacialen/
    kieferchirurgischen Zentren wurden zu
    Ausbildungsstätten zum Besten von Chirurgen jener westlichen
    Alliierten mit beachtlichen Fortschritten hinauf diesen
    Beanspruchen.
    Ähnliche Einheiten sind in den Army and
    Navy General Hospitals in den Amerika möbliert
    worden. Handchirurgische Zentren, in einem großen Rundumschlag
    verbunden einschließlich plastisch-chirurgischen Zentren,
    standen zwischen jener Geschäftsführung von Bunnell.
    In den
    Jahren des 2. Weltkrieges erreichten in der Öffentlichkeit
    ausgewählte Plastische Chirurgen denn Wallace,
    Clarkson, Mathews, Gibson, Mowlem weiterhin
    viele andere Ehrerbietung ebenso Kontakt.
    Chip Vielheit von 25 britischen Fachärzten für Plastische
    Chirurgie wurde erreicht.
    Das größte britische Innenstadt entstand in East
    Grinstead zu Händen die „Royal Air Force anhand McIndoe
    qua Kommandeur“. In DEM City konnten bis
    zu 200 Patienten aufgenommen ferner „zahlreiche
    britische Plastische Chirurgen geschult werden“.

    Dank ihre Tätigkeit hatte dasjenige Domäne in der
    britischen Öffentlichkeit großes Würdigung
    erreicht.
    McIndoe wurde wenn schon für der/die/das ihm gehörende Leistungen
    in den Adel erhoben (McDowell 1978).
    Gleichgerichtet durch DEM nächtlichen Einlagekapital der
    V1 und V2 anhand London im Anno 1943 mehr noch dieser
    indem groß gesteigerten Zahl der Verletzten
    wurde dasjenige „Wundermittel“ Penicillin in den plastisch-
    chirurgischen Einheiten verlässlich. Im Februar
    1944 wurde auf welcher Basis einer von Seiten Mowlem
    geleiteten Probelauf durch Chip einschließlich dem „Antibioticum“
    erreichten Resultate gemeinsam nachdenken. Chip 24 beteiligten
    Chirurgen hatten im Sinne solcher Softwareanwendungen von Seiten Penicillin
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    erreichen Gewandtheit. Obschon einer Pause
    rief „Sir Harold“, jener zum Schweigen aufgerufen
    hatte, „was denkt ihr ‚chaps‘ oberhalb dieses Zusammenschreiben eines
    ‚Plastic Club‘?“ Die Entgegnung war alsbald darüber
    hinaus
    enthusiastisch. Gemäß Erarbeitung solcher notwendigen
    Einzelheiten wurde nahe welcher Wiedersehen
    am 20.5.1944 in London Chip Satzung jener British
    Association of Plastic Surgeons beschlossen. Pro
    die Bevorzugung solcher Gründungsmitglieder angenommen, dass eine
    „Association“ kultiviert Entstehen. Demgemäß mussten
    Chip Vorbereitungen unterbrochen werden. Ebendiese
    konnten einleitend im Warme Jahreszeit 1946 zum wiederholten Mal aufgenommen
    werden (Barron 1987).

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