April 2, 2018

Filed under: Automation,Web/Tech — Marcus Tettmar @ 5:48 pm

If you ever need to send a path as a URL parameter in an HTTP request, be sure to “escape” it to avoid the path delimiters (“\” symbols) being seen as delimiters in the URL path.

E.g. let’s say you need to send a filename as a parameter in a GET request, like this:

https://someserver.com/resource?filename=c:\my files\subfolder\filename.txt

If we fail to escape those “\” characters we are likely to get a server error or a 404 not found error at best. The space character in the above example is also likely to upset things!

We can solve this by using VBScript’s Escape function to “URL Encode” the string. What this does is replace the special characters with a special code made of a % symbol and two hexadecimal digits. E.g. a space character is replaced with %20.

So, we should use the Escape function something like this:

Let>strFilename=c:\my files\subfolder\filename.txt
VBEval>Escape("%strFilename%"),strFilename

Then we can safely do:

HTTPRequest>https://someserver.com/resource?filename=%strFilename%,,GET,,strResponse

If you were to paste the URL into Google Chrome or IE you will find that behind the scenes they apply this encoding for you.

Tip: A great way to test HTTP requests is to use http://webhook.site – this gives you a special URL you can send your data to (in place of your real web service) and for each request you make it will show you what it received. Try manually sending a filename like the one above using your web browser and you’ll see those % codes being added for you.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment