ASP.NET has a few default settings for URLs out of the box. These can be configured quite easily in the web.config file within the <system.web>/<httpRuntime> configuration section. Some of these are:
<httpRuntime maxUrlLength=”<number here>”
This number should be an integer value (defaults to 260 characters). The value must be greater than or equal to zero, though obviously small values will lead to an un-useable website. This attribute gates the length of the Url without query string.
<httpRuntime maxQueryStringLength=”<number here>”.
This number should be an integer value (defaults to 2048 characters). The value must be greater than or equal to zero, though obviously small values will lead to an un-useable website.
<httpRuntime requestPathInvalidCharacters=”List of characters you need included in ASP.NETs validation checks” />
By default the characters are “<,>,*,%,&,:,\,?”. However once can easily change this by setting by modifying web.config. Remember, these characters can be specified in a variety of formats. For example, I want the character ‘!’ to be included in ASP.NETs URL validation logic. So I set the following: <httpRuntime requestPathInvalidCharacters=”<,>,*,%,&,:,\,?,!”. A character could also be specified in its xml encoded form. ‘<;’ would mean the ‘<’ sign). I could specify the ‘!’ in its xml encoded unicode format such as requestPathInvalidCharacters=”<,>,*,%,&,:,\,?,$#x0021;” or I could specify it in its unicode encoded form or in the “<,>,*,%,&,:,\,?,%u0021” format.
The following settings can be applied at Root Web.Config level, App Web.config level, Folder level or within a location tag:
<location path="some path here">
<httpRuntime maxUrlLength="" maxQueryStringLength="" requestPathInvalidChars="" />
If any of the above settings fail request validation, an Http 400 “Bad Request” HttpException is thrown. These can be easily handled on the Application_Error handler on Global.asax.
Also, a new attribute in <httpRuntime /> called “relaxedUrlToFileSystemMapping” has been added with a default of false.
<httpRuntime … relaxedUrlToFileSystemMapping="true|false" />
When the relaxedUrlToFileSystemMapping attribute is set to false inbound Urls still need to be valid NTFS file paths. For example Urls (sans query string) need to be less than 260 characters; no path segment within a Url can use old-style DOS device names (LPT1, COM1, etc…); Urls must be valid Windows file paths.
A url like “http://digg.com/http://cnn.com” should work with this attribute set to true (of course a few characters will need to be unblocked by removing them from requestPathInvalidCharacters="" above).
Managed configuration for non-NTFS-compliant Urls is determined from the first valid configuration path found when walking up the path segments of the Url. For example, if the request Url is "/foo/bar/baz/<blah>data</blah>", and there is a web.config in the "/foo/bar" directory, then the managed configuration for the request comes from merging the configuration hierarchy to include the web.config from "/foo/bar".
The value of the public property HttpRequest.PhysicalPath is set to [physical file path of the application root] + "REQUEST_URL_IS_NOT_A_VALID_FILESYSTEM_PATH". For example, given a request Url like "/foo/bar/baz/<blah>data</blah>", where the application root is "/foo/bar" and the physical file path for that root is "c:\inetpub\wwwroot\foo\bar", then PhysicalPath would be "c:\inetpub\wwwroot\foo\bar\ REQUEST_URL_IS_NOT_A_VALID_FILESYSTEM_PATH".