URL Rewriting in ASP.Net

By Deane Barker on September 25, 2008

The more I work with ASP.Net, the more I’m coming to realize that I sold it short. I used to think it was provincial because it didn’t offer URL rewriting like Apache.

I was so wrong. Even better than Apache, perhaps, there are multiple ways to effect this, some simple, some crazy-powerful. Options and their costs.

  • At the most basic level, you can wildcard the .Net engine to all extensions and use an HttpHandler. This is rock-simple to do. Built-in to .Net.

  • ISAPIRewrite is essentially mod_rewrite for IIS. It works the same way, and has the same syntax. This rewrites URLs long before they even hit the .Net pipeline. $99.

  • UrlRewriter.Net is a standard HttpModule for IIS that will essentially do the same thing from within IIS and .Net. Open-source.

  • Themelia looks powerful beyond belief. It lets you hijack the entire request pipeline and do bizarre and arcane things at any step. Open-source.

I like ASP.Net a little more every day.



  1. You asked about being a hypocrite about your stance on twitter. I think this is an even bigger flip-flop. Some elements of this post remind me of my post from 2006 which originated from an email from you. Glad to see you are coming around!

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