IIS6 vs. IIS7 and IIS7.5: handling URLs with plus sign (+) in base (not querystring)

Solution 1:

After searching for more combinations of IIS and plus, it appears that IIS7[.5] is set up to reject URLs with a plus sign by default out of some fear of the use of that character; that symbol is still allowed in the querystring, though. The solution is to alter the requestFiltering attribute default on <system><webServer><security><requestFiltering> to allow doubly-encoded characters with a command line call (ultimately modifying your ASP.NET web.config):

%windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd set config "Default Web Site" -section:system.webServer/security/requestFiltering -allowDoubleEscaping:true

This may be a bit more dangerous than one prefers to be with their web site, but there didn't appear to be a way to be more specific than a blanket allow. The warnings were regarding the mismatching that could occur between using a plus in a URL and its typical translation as a space. It looks like the only other alternative is to stop using plus characters in your URLs at all.

Solution 2:

I just figured out how to make a rewrite rule to convince IIS7 to map pluses to spaces in URLs. In my case it was to keep legacy bookmarks or hyperlinks working.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <requestFiltering allowDoubleEscaping="True" />
        <rule name="RewriteUserFriendlyURL1" stopProcessing="false">
          <match url="\+" />
            <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
            <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" />
          <action type="Rewrite" url="{UrlDecode:{REQUEST_URI}}" />

See my blog post for further details and references.


Iis 7

Iis 7.5