How to prevent ajax requests to follow redirects using jQuery

How to prevent ajax requests to follow redirects using jQuery

I use the jQuery ajax functions to access a web service, but the server, instead of returning a response with a status code describing a problem, the request is redirected to a page with a 200 header, describing the problem. I can’t make any changes to this, so I need to solve it on the client somehow.
Example:
A request goes to some URL which is not found, so I receive a 302 Redirect to another location. A new request is sent, and I receive a 200 OK, thus preventing the error callback to fire.
Is there some way I can prevent the ajax request to follow redirects and instead invoke a callback, preferably the error method. Alternatively, is it possible to detect if a redirect has happened in the client?

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

I find your question interesting, but the problem in whole seems me more a misunderstanding. At least I’ll try to explain my understanding of the problem.

The silent (transparent) redirection is the part of XMLHttpRequest specification (see here especially the words “… transparently follow the redirect …”). The standard mention only that the user agent (the web browser) can prevent or notify of certain kinds of automatic redirections, but it’s not a part of XMLHttpRequest. It’s the part of HTTP client configuration (OS configuration) or the web browser configuration. So jQuery.ajax can’t have any option where you can prevent redirection.

You can see that HTTP redirection is the part of HTTP protocol and not a part of XMLHttpRequest. So it’s on the another level of abstraction or the network stack. For example the data from the XMLHttpRequest can be retrieved from the HTTP proxy or from the local browser cache, and it’s the part of HTTP protocol. Mostly the server which provide the data and not the client can influence on caching.

You can compare the requirement from your question with the requirement to prevent changing of IP address of the web server or the changing of the IP route during the communication. All the things can be interesting in some scenarios, but there are parts of another level of the communication stack and can’t be managed by jQuery.ajax or XMLHttpRequest.

The XMLHttpRequest standard say that the client configuration can have options which prevent redirection. In case of “Microsoft world”, which I better know, you can look at WinHttpSetOption function which can be used to set WINHTTP_OPTION_DISABLE_FEATURE option with the WINHTTP_DISABLE_REDIRECTS value. Another way are the usage of WINHTTP_OPTION_REDIRECT_POLICY option with the WINHTTP_OPTION_REDIRECT_POLICY_NEVER value. One more feature which one can use in Windows is the WinHttpSetStatusCallback function which can set callback function received some notifications like WINHTTP_CALLBACK_FLAG_REDIRECT.

So it’s do possible to implement your requirements in general, but the solution will be probably not independent from the operation system or the web browser and be not on the level of jQuery.ajax or XMLHttpRequest.

Solution 2:

I don’t believe it is possible. The underlying library (XHR) makes the new request transparently. That being said, what I have done in these situations (usually a session-timeout type of deal that takes me to a login page) is send back a custom response header. I also have setup a global ajax handler that checks for the presence of that header, and responds appropriately when present (for example, redirecting the whole page to the login screen).

In case you’re interested, here’s the jQuery code I have to watch for that custom header:

/* redirects main window when AJAX request indicates that the session has expired on the backend. */
function checkSession(event, xhr, ajaxOptions)
{
    if (xhr.readyState == 4)
    {
        if(xhr.getResponseHeader("Login-Screen") != null && xhr.getResponseHeader("Login-Screen").length)
        {
            window.location.href='sessionExpired.html'; //whatever
        }
    }
}

$(document).ajaxComplete(checkSession)

Solution 3:

I found a feature to check if your call has been redirected. It’s xhr.state(): if it’s “rejected” then a redirection happened.

Example with success callback:

request.success(function(data, textStatus, xhr)
{
    if(xhr.state() == "resolved")
    {
        //no redirection
    }
    if(xhr.state() == "rejected")
    {
        //redirection
    }
});

Example with error callback:

request.error(function(xhr, textStatus)
{
    if (xhr.state() == "rejected")
    {
        //redirection
        location.href = "loginpage";
    } else
    {
        //some other error happened
        alert("error");
    }
});

Solution 4:

I can’t possibly add to the insightful wisdom of the previous coders who’ve responded, but I will add a specific case that others may find useful to know about.

I came across this 302 silent redirect in the context of SharePoint. I have some simple Javascript client code that pings a SharePoint sub-site, and if it receives a 200 HTTP response, it relocates to that site, via window.location. If it receives anything else, it gives the user a notice that the site doesn’t exist.

However, in the case where the site exists but the user does not have permission, SharePoint silently redirects to an AccessDenied.aspx page. SharePoint has already done the HTTP 401 authentication handshake at the server/farm level – the user has access to SharePoint. But the access to the sub-site is handled I suppose using database flags of some sort. The silent redirect bypasses my “else” clause, so I can’t throw up my own error. In my case, this is not a show-stopper – it is consistent predictable behavior. But it was a little surprising, and I learned something about HTTP requests in the process!

Solution 5:

I was interested in the same thing and could not find the state() method mentioned by Takman and did a little digging for myself. For the sake of people turning up here in search of an answer, here are my findings:

As stated multiple times, you cannot prevent redirects, but you can detect them. According to MDN you can use the responseURL of the XMLHttpRequestObject, which will contain the final URL the response came from, after all redirects. Only caveat is that it is not supported by Internet Explorer (Edge has it). Since the xhr/jqXHR passed into the success/done function of jquery is an extension of the actual XMLHttpRequest, it should be available there, too.

Solution 6:

I suppose you receive a 200 response because the second time there is no redirection, because the 404 page does not expire, it is saved in the cache. That is to say that the second time the browser gives you the page in the cache.
There is a property “cache” in the ajax jquery.
http://api.jquery.com/jQuery.ajax/

You should write it to “false”