Escaping URI Strings

Recently I’ve found myself doing a lot of API queries with PowerShell. I often have a URI with a lot of query parameters and escaping them manually can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

To make life easier, I have started to use [uri]::EscapeUriString(string stringToEscape). It takes one parameter, which is the string to escape. Here is an example to illustrate its usage:

To reverse an escaped string you can use [uri]::UnescapeDataString(string stringToUnescape).

Update – 05/04/2017

An interesting issue was raised on one of my community projects recently. A contributor pointed out that one of our functions did not work when you chose to filter by name and the string passed to the Name parameter contained an ampersand (&).

Get-vRABusinessGroup -Name "Hello & Hello"

The REST API query was using a $filter parameter to return results where the name property was equal to the string passed to the Name parameter of the function. For example:

$URI = "/identity/api/tenants/$($TenantId)/subtenants?`$filter=name%20eq%20'Hello & Hello'"

In this case you should use [uri]::EscapeDataString(string stringToEscape). This method will also escape special characters within a string. So & becomes %26 and allows the request to succeed.

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