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GET call of REST API that contains '/'-slash character in the value of a parameter

Let’s assume that we have the following scenario: I have a public HTTP endpoint and I need to post some content using GET command. One of the parameters contains special characters like “\” and “/”. If the endpoint is an ApiController than you may have problems if you encode the parameter using the http encoder.
using (var httpClient = new HttpClient())
                httpClient.BaseAddress = baseUrl;
                Task<HttpResponseMessage> response = httpClient.GetAsync(string.Format("api/foo/{0}", "qwert/qwerqwer")));
One possible solution would be to encode the query parameter using UrlTokenEncode method of HttpServerUtility class and GetBytes method ofUTF8. In this way you would get the array of bytes of the parameter and encode them as a url token.
The following code show to you how you could write the encode and decode methods.
public class EncoderHelper
    public static string Encode(string content)
        byte[] encodedBytes = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(content);
        string externalIdEncoded = HttpServerUtility.UrlTokenEncode(encodedBytes);

        return externalIdEncoded;

    public static string Decode(string content)
            var decodedBytes = HttpServerUtility.UrlTokenDecode(content);
        string externalId = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(decodedBytes);

        return externalId;
There are also other ways to resolve this problem. This is just one of the possible solution to resolve this problem.
The call of the GET endpoint should look like something like this.
using (var httpClient = new HttpClient())
                httpClient.BaseAddress = baseUrl;
                Task<HttpResponseMessage> response = httpClient.GetAsync(string.Format("api/foo/{0}", EncoderHelper.Encode("qwert/qwerqwer"))));
Also, don't forget that you would need to use the Decode method on the other end.


  1. Why not WebUtility.UrlEncode ?
    (or HttpUtility.UrlEncode if a dependency to System.Web it's ok)

    1. Give it a try and see what is happening when you have "\" and "/" on the server side (in the APIController).

    2. Strange - when the server receives a percent-encoded / (%2F) in the URI, it should not interpret it as a path separator and use it for routing..

    3. You are right, and there seems to be a setting for that in .NET: : genericUriParserOptions="DontUnescapePathDotsAndSlashes"


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