Working with Custom Error Pages Using ASP.NET
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by SANJIT SIL
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Handling specific errors

The customErrors section of the web.config file allows us to handle individual errors differently. Errors are distinguished by their HTTP error codes; we can also specify a particular page to redirect to that is based on the HTTP error code that is raised.

The followings are some of the most common errors.

400: Bad Request - This means the request could not be understood by the server.  The request                                                   

        was denied due to a syntax error in the request.

401:  Unauthorized - This means the request requires authentication.

402: Payment required - This means the data is not accessible at the time.  The owner of the    

       space has not yet paid his or her service provider or the server was unable to serve the data

       that was requested.

403: Forbidden - This means the IP address or the username/password entered were not correct  

       and the request was denied as there was no permission to access the data.

404: Not found - This means the document requested either no longer exists or has            

       never existed on the server.

405: Method not allowed- Means the method you are using to access the document is not

       allowed.

408: Request Timeout - Means the server has closed the socket due to communications

        between the client and server taking too long.

414: The URL requested is too long.

500: Internal server error. The server encountered an error - This is most often caused by a

        scripting problem, a failed database access attempt, or similar reasons.

503: Service unavailable- This means the server is overloaded or down for maintenance and was

       unable to process the client request.

A complete HTTP status code listing is available online.  We may expand the customErrors section of the web.config file to handle specific error codes.  We can achieve the expansion by adding error elements under the customErrors element.  The following sample shows how we may accomplish this.

Listing 10

<customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="CustomErrorPage.aspx">
<error statusCode="400" redirect="ErrorPage400.aspx" />
<error statusCode="401" redirect="ErrorPage401.aspx" />
<error statusCode="402" redirect="ErrorPage402.aspx" />
<error statusCode="403" redirect="ErrorPage403.aspx" />
<error statusCode="404" redirect="ErrorPage404.aspx" />
<error statusCode="408" redirect="ErrorPage408.aspx" />
<error statusCode="414" redirect="ErrorPage414.aspx" />
<error statusCode="500" redirect="ErrorPage500.aspx" />
<error statusCode="503" redirect="ErrorPage503.aspx" />
</customErrors>

The above sample handles each specific error with the corresponding page.  The statusCode attribute of the error element designates the error and the redirect attribute defines the page to use.  This allows us to customize the error message based upon the error encountered.  The default error page handles any error that is not specified.


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