Problems with SharePoint Site and Folder Names

Sure, you can find posts and articles out there with lists of character limitations and restrictions for List and Site names and URLs for SharePoint, but what about combinations of legal characters that will cause you problems?

A long while ago I learned the hard way never to create a folder titled “Forms” within a document library. SharePoint will let you “create” this folder (even though it already exists as hidden for internal purposes), but then will not let you delete it, rename it, and will exhibit other weird behavior.

This week I’ve found another interesting combination. If you create a site and set the URL to “con” the site will be useless. You can set the title to “con” – you just can’t set the URL to that value. I still haven’t figured out why – I haven’t found any mention of this anywhere online.

It’s not related to the template, site permissions, which parent site you’re creating it in, or title. There were no other sites or lists with that name or URL anywhere I’ve tested to cause a conflict. I can use other 3-letter titles, just not that specific one. I’ve tried creating a site with this URL in various locations on the portal as well as another portal entirely. Both portals are running MOSS 2007, one is using AD authentication while the other is using FBA.

On one portal I receive an error that the resource cannot be found when trying to complete the site creation, or attempting to view anything inside the site (including the site settings). When trying to open the mostly-created site in SharePoint Designer I receive an error that “the version of windows sharepoint services running on the server is more recent than the version of sharepoint designer you are using” – only on this one site. I receive just a blank page on the other portal when trying to open the site.

I’m assuming that this is similar to the “Forms” folder issue that I’ve run into before, though I don’t have any hard evidence.

Has anyone else experienced this behavior? Have you found any other “problem” names or URLs?

Thanks to my awesome friend Jim, this does appear to be a known issue… of sorts. I’ve tested this with some of the other “reserved words” (e.g. “AUX”) and confirmed that it’s consistent. See here for more details: