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Tip of the Day
Language: Web Development
Expertise: Beginner
Jul 12, 1999

Directory Browsing

Question:
When the browser is pointed to a directory with no default HTML page then, in most cases, it shows the directory contents. Is it possible to create an HTML page that would internally show the contents of a specified directory without intersecting the link to the "Parent Directory"? Is there any way to scan the directory and dynamically update the HTML page that shows the directory content?

Answer:

The file structure is dynamically generated by the Web server because a property setting allows it to do so. To find that setting in Internet Information Server (IIS) 4, first right-click on the name of the Web site and then select Properties. Check or uncheck the "Directory browsing allowed" checkbox. If you want to turn this feature off, uncheck the checkbox. After you do this, you may want to consider enabling a "default document". This document will be displayed to the user if the user does not explicitly name one.

To enable a default document in IIS 4, right-click on the name of the Web site and select Properties. Next, select the Documents tab and check the "Enable Default Document" checkbox. Finally, click the Add... button to select the file that is to be your default document. You can use the FileSystemObject in your default document to search through folders for files. This will enable you to programmatically determine what files and folders are present on your system. After you have done that, you can use Response.Write to dynamically write out links to only the folders and files you choose. When the user browses to your site, they will receive your default document that displays only the information that you choose.

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