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Manual Chapter: Creating User-Defined URL Categories and Filters for APM
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Configuring user-defined URL categories and filters

On a BIG-IP® system without a URL database, if you want to control traffic based on the type of URL being requested, and you have many URLs to consider, you should configure user-defined URL categories and user-defined URL filters. This approach provides good performance, ease-of-use, and the ability to use the URL Category and the URL Filter Assign agents in a per-request policy.

If you have only a few URLs that you want to treat differently, you can probably skip creating user-defined URL categories and filters and use a simple URL Branching agent in a per-request policy. In this case, you specify the URLs that you want to match directly in the URL Branching agent.

To configure user-defined URL categories and URL filters, complete these tasks.

Task summary

Configuring user-defined URL categories

Configure a user-defined URL category to specify a group of URLs over which you want to control access.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Web Gateway > URL Categories .
    The URL Categories table displays. If you have not created any URL categories, the table is empty.
  2. Click Create.
    The Category Properties screen displays.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the URL category.
  4. From the Default Action list, retain the default value Block; or, select Allow.
    Note: A Confirm Box action in a per-request policy subroutine serves the purpose of enabling appropriate choices in a forward proxy (outbound) configuration. Currently, Access Policy Manager® does not support a similar action for reverse proxy.
  5. Add, edit, or delete the URLs that are associated with the category by updating the Associated URLs list.
  6. To add URLs to the Associated URLs list:
    1. In the URL field, type a URL.
      You can type a well-formed URL that the system must match exactly or type a URL that includes globbing patterns (wildcards) for the system to match URLs.
    2. If you typed globbing patterns in the URL field, select the Glob Pattern Match check box .
    3. Click Add.
      The URL displays in the Associated URLs list.
    These are well-formed URLs:
    • https://www.siterequest.com/
    • http://www.siterequest.com:8080/
    • http://www.sitequest.com/docs/siterequest.pdf/
    • http://www.sitequest.com/products/application-guides/
    This URL *siterequest.[!comru] includes globbing patterns that match any URL that includes siterequest, except for siterequest.com or siterequest.ru.
    This URL *://siterequest.com/education/* includes globbing patterns that match any HTTP URL that includes siterequest.com/education, but that do not match any HTTPS URLs if Category Lookup specifies that the input is SNI or CN.Subject.
    Important: For SNI or CN.Subject input, Category Lookup uses scheme:://host for matching, instead of matching the whole URL.
  7. Click Finished.
    The URL Categories screen displays.
  8. To view the newly created URL category, expand Custom Categories.
    The custom URL category displays in the Sub-Category column.
Add or edit a URL filter to specify an action (allow, block, or confirm) for the custom category.

Configuring user-defined URL filters

You configure a URL filter to specify how to process requests for content in URL categories: allow, block, or confirm access. You can configure multiple URL filters.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Web Gateway > URL Filters .
    You can click the name of any filter to view its settings.
    The URL Filters screen displays.
  2. To configure a new URL filter, click one of these options.
    • Create button: Click to start with a URL filter that allows all categories.
    • Copy link: Click for an existing URL filter in the table to start with its settings.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the URL filter.
  4. Click Finished.
    The screen redisplays. An Associated Categories table displays. It includes each URL category and the filtering action that is currently assigned to it. The table includes a Sub-Category column. Any URL categories that were added by administrators are subcategories within Custom Categories
  5. To specify that you want to block access to particular categories or subcategories, select them and click Block.
    Important: When you select a category, you also select the related subcategories. You can expand the category and clear any subcategory selections.
  6. To specify that you want to allow access to particular categories or subcategories, select them and click Allow.
  7. To specify that you want the user to confirm access for particular categories or subcategories, select them and click Confirm.
To use a URL filter, you must include a URL Filter item in a per-request policy. A per-request policy runs each time a user makes a URL request.
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