URL Length for Docs in SharePoint at 260 Characters

A rumor among the SharePoint community was reported as saying that a recent hotfix has fixed a design limit of 260 characters for uploaded document full file URL (includes domain, site collection, site and list name characters.)


Snippet from the above KB:

"This article describes the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 issues that are fixed in the Office SharePoint Server 2007 hotfix package that is dated August 26, 2008.

Consider the following scenario:

  • You enable advanced usage analysis logging on a portal.
  • The SharePoint site contains a document that has a full file URL that exceeds 260 characters.
  • When the document is accessed by users, or the document is crawled by the SharePoint search process on a particular day, visits to the site on that particular day are logged.

In this scenario, when you open Site usage reports, usage for that particular day may have a value of 0."

You can see how if you’re looking for a bullet that refers to the limit in a list of "fixes" it looks like this issue is fixed.  What is fixed is usage logging in a site that happened to have a doc that exceeded the limit.  How did it get in there?  Some API that didn’t prevent it… a mistake.

So I’ve got confirmation from the test team that it is still by design that it is by design that full file URL length for an uploaded document is 260 characters. 

Really you should keep it under 256 characters so people can include the links in link lists.  Also when you start looking at the lists with a view the URLs get even longer, so let’s avoid using 32 character GUIDs in our site collection or list names.  If you’re worried about users putting in really long Site Collection names Bamboo has a site creation management web part for this.  SharePoint Happenings has a free site managment one, and you can also find one in the Extranet Collaboration toolkit.  These are all reference in a recent article on free user management and self service site management (part 2) and site management SharePoint suites (part 3) with much more detail.  You could also manage both list and site creation via workflows with any of the common workflow SharePoint partners like Nintex or K2 or…. 

I know there are some out there who are into automation… So with a limit of really a few hundred (don’t push the sites 2000 limit (you’ll regret it)) sites in a site collection you don’t need to worry about collision of numbered sites.  Also consider a reasonably short character set giving you flexibility with a max of 50,000 site collection names.  You can accomplish this with much fewer characters even with a randomizer.

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