I have heard great things about the Apache Webserver mod_rewrite extension for quite a while now. I have never investigated it or spent time learning about it because all of the production web servers that I work with are IIS. Today I was spending some time learning some of the intricacies of SEO, and decided I would see what type of solutions there were for URL rewriting in IIS. It turns out that there are quite a few out there, and even a couple that are open souce and freeware.
Making sites that take advantage of URL rewriting requires yet another level of complexity, but if planned for properly, the benefits can be wonderful. The idea of writing URLs is to make your web pages easier for web crawlers to index. Usually web crawlers won't index a page that has more that one or two attributes in the querystring if even that. By rewriting your URLs, you can make a page like: http://345software.com/index.php?page=12&menu=13_24 into http://345software.com/page/12/menu/12_24/index.htm
Thus the spider will be more likely to index the page. You can even drive more benefit out of this by adding in your SEO keywords into the URL rewrite. So maybe you have something like. http://345software.com/page/solutions/menu/software_solutions/index.htm
I will be implementing the URL rewrite functionality on this site in the future. Stay tuned to see what types of issues I run into.