WebDAV - Introduction

WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) or simply DAV is a protocol.

WebDAV is not a API or an application. It is a specification, a protocol, a set of extension to existing HTTP protocol.

WebDAV is defined by RFC2518 as an HTTP extension framework with a plug point for the access and management of hierarchical data , for example, in content management systems. WebDAV stores the data in collections. A folder represents a WebDAV collection.

Apart from distributed authoring, WebDAV is also targeted to provide other benefits like:
1.      Network file system suitable for internet
2.      Supporting remote software development teams
3.      Common interface to a wide range of repositories, such as databases, file systems, document management, configuration management, etc
4.      WebDAV has no restrictions on the type of documents which can be authored
5.      Concurrency control
6.      Meta-data or Properties
7.      name space management (ability to copy and move Web pages within a server's namespace)
8.      collections (creation, removal, and listing of resources)

This protocol consists of a set of new methods and headers for use in HTTP. The added methods include:
  • PROPFIND — used to retrieve properties, stored as xml, from a resource. It is also overloaded to allow one to retrieve the collection structure (a.k.a. directory hierarchy) of a remote system.
  • PROPPATCH — used to change and delete multiple properties on a resource in a single atomic act
  • MKCOL — used to create collections (a.k.a. a directory)
  • COPY — used to copy a resource from one URI to another
  • MOVE — used to move a resource from one URI to another
  • LOCK — used to put a Lock on a resource. WebDAV supports both shared and exclusive locks.
  • UNLOCK — to remove a lock from a resource

WebDAV Clients

Few webdav clients listed below,
  1. Microsoft WebFolders(Inbuild in O.S),
 To connect to WebDAV for WebSphere Portal by using WebFolders, proceed as follows:
  • Open “my network places” .
  • Add Network place , Nextà Select “choose another network location” and next
  • Enter the WebDAV url to access.

  • Enter your user ID and password for the portal.
  • Type a name for the network place and click Next.
  • Click Finish.

Microsoft WebFolders Fix for XP (you may need download and install small patch), ClickHere to download.

You can also use MS-Office product to open the webDAV files.

  1. AnyClient, (Freeware)
 Can download from the here

  1. BitKinex (Freeware)
 Can download from the here  

  1. WebDrive (WebDrive is supported by WebSphere Portal)

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