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UrlRewriteFilter Web Site | Documentation

Based on the popular and very useful mod_rewrite for apache, UrlRewriteFilter is a Java Web Filter for any J2EE compliant web application server (such as Resin, Orion or Tomcat), which allows you to rewrite URLs before they get to your code. It is a very powerful tool just like Apache's mod_rewrite.

URL rewriting is very common with Apache Web Server (see mod_rewrite's rewriting guide) but has not been possible in most java web application servers. The main things it is used for are:

  • URL Tidyness / URL Abstraction - keep URLs tidy irrespective of the underlying technology or framework (JSP, Servlet, Struts etc).
  • Browser Detection - Allows you to rewrite URLs based on request HTTP headers (such as user-agent or charset).
  • Date based rewriting - Allows you to forward or redirect to other URL's based on the date/time (good for planned outages).
  • Moved content - enable a graceful move of content or even a change in CMS.
  • Tiny/Friendly URL's (i.e. can be redirected to
  • A Servlet mapping engine (see Method Invocation)

!UrlRewriteFilter uses an xml file, called urlrewrite.xml (it goes into the WEB-INF directory), for configuration. Most parameters can be Perl5 style Regular Expressions or Wildcard Expressions. This makes it very powerful indeed.

See the manual for more information.

Quick Start

  • Add the following to your WEB-INF/web.xml (add it near the top above your servlet mappings (if you have any)): (see filter parameters for more options)
  • Add urlrewrite.xml into your WEB-INF directory. (src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/ for Maven users)
  • Restart the context.

You can visit (or whatever the address of your local webapp and context) to see output (note: this page is only viewable from localhost).

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