Last week, I was migrating my company's website from our in-house IIS Virtual Private Server to a Dedicated Apache Server in order to improve the website's overall performance and handle more traffic efficiently. For those of you who have hosted a website using Microsoft's IIS Manager, you'll know that it makes use of an XML document named web.config file, whereas in an Apache Server, it's an .htaccess file, which is also used to store rules to write clean and friendly URLs.

Converting from .htaccess to web.config is easy as it's a matter of importing the rules directly on IIS Manager's URL Rewrite module but doing the other way around was also possible but only if you did it manually and I really don't want to waste time on such mundane tasks.

How did I convert it?

A little bit of Regular Expressions, a dash of Javascript and an understanding on how Apache's mod_rewrite works, I decided to build a tool that converts web.config to .htaccess format.

How to use this converter:

  • Paste your web.config XML code on the textfield
  • Hit "Convert" to convert to .htaccess format
  • Please use a valid XML format before converting your code

Code snippet:

//web.config to .htaccess converter
function webConfigToHtaccess()

    // Take input from textarea
    // and parse it into XML

    var xml = $("#webconfig-xml").val(), 
    xmlDoc = $.parseXML(xml), 
    $xml = $(xmlDoc);

    // - Inside each "rule", look for the "action" child node
    // - If it contains multiple parameters, follow the 
    // regular expression pattern: /{R:(d{1})}/
    // - Replace that pattern with a dollar sign and it's parameter
    // - Append "RewriteRule" along with the url and it's rules

        var str = $(this).find("rule>action").attr('url');
        var regex = /{R:(d{1})}/;
            str = str.replace(regex, '$' + RegExp.$1);

        $("#htaccess-code").append("RewriteRule " + $(this).find("rule>match").attr('url')
            + " " + str + "<br>"

Although, I can't really say that it's perfect because I had to make some changes but hey, it's just minor changes and yes, it did save me a lot of time!

Hope you found this article useful!