WebDAV

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Please note: This document is a Draft and still under construction

Any Suggestions, Modifications, New Techniques are more than WELCOME

WebDAV

Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning is an extension to HTTP allowing users to remotely manage and edit files on WWW servers. These files could be shared by these users and/or they can work upon them collaboratively.

The main feature is that you can create, change and move documents on a remote server which is generally a web server or a so called "web share". You can mainly use it for authoring (as the name suggests) the documents on the web share but also for sharing large files that can be accessed from anywhere making it an online storage unit so to speak.

Features

Other features of WebDAV protocol are:
1) locking (overwrite prevention),
2) properties (creation, removal, and querying of information about author, modified date, etc.),
3) name space management (ability to copy and move Web pages within a server's namespace) and
4) collections (creation, removal, and listing of resources).

WebDAV is supported built-in by major Operating systems.

RFC standard number is 2518:
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2518.txt

Mounting/Opening a remote folder on a local machine

You can mount a remote share on the local machine and work on it as if it is a local folder.

MS Windows

IE supports this feature since Win98. Goto File menu -> click on Open -> check the box "Open as Web Folder" and provide the URL.

E.g. (for Zimbra Briefcase) http://<servername>/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase

If the above doesn't work there is a workaround for it in which case you have use the following link:

http://user@domain.com:80/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase

This is dependant on what update level you are on windows. Please refer to the following article for more information:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892211

Only the WebDAV redirector is present in Windows Vista. The original "Web folders" client has been removed. The "Web folders" client is only present if the Microsoft Update for Web Folders is installed.

Another way to implement this is to "Map it as a network Drive/Location".
1) Goto the "Add Network Location Wizard" from the control panel (there are multiple ways of accessing this and also varies based on version of MS windows).
2) Select "Choose a custom network location" and then press Next.
3) Enter the URL: http://<servername>/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase and then click Next.
4) You will be prompted for a username/password. Enter your credentials.
5) Then type in a Name for the Network location and you are done. You can access the Briefcase from this location.
Please note that during testing this did not work on all our test systems, the reason for that is how webDAV is implemented on your site.

Linux

Nautilus This is the easiest way of opening up a WebDAV folder in an Explorer/MAC kind of a view. All you have to do is goto and then provide this link:

http://<servername>/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase and press enter.

The Briefcase will open up in a new window.


Cadaver Another great utility is Cadaver, its a simple CLI based tool (that works similar to ftp) for WebDAV.

You need install the cadaver package or RPM for this. Then goto the command line and type this:
1) cadaver http://<servername>/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase
2) It will prompt you for username and password and after successful login it will then give you the dav prompt
3) help command will give you all the commands available at your disposal.


Mount it on a local folder This could be one of the most popular way of using WebDAV wherein you can mount the remote folder on a local folder just like any other NFS share. This involves installing a few of the following rpms that provide the functionality for supporting "davfs2" filesystem type. Once these are installed and all dependencies resolved, you can use the following command to mount your briefcase and work as if it is a local folder:

mount -t davfs http://<servername>/dav/<username(no need for specifying domain>/Briefcase /<path to mount>
RPMS to install (kindly ensure the RPM architectures - whether its 32bit or 64bit for your system):
davfs2-1.2.2-4.el5.rf.i386.rpm
lwp-1.11-1.i386.rpm
lwp-devel-1.11-1.i386.rpm
rvm-1.9-1.i386.rpm
rvm-devel-1.9-1.i386.rpm
rvm-tools-1.9-1.i386.rpm
ncurses-5.5-24.20060715.i386.rpm
ncurses-devel-5.5-24.20060715.i386.rpm
rpc2-1.21-1.i386.rpm
rpc2-devel-1.21-1.i386.rpm
neon-0.25.5-5.1.i386.rpm
neon-devel-0.25.5-5.1.i386.rpm
Then "fuse" or "coda" kernel modules or both, you can obtain the latest packages from sourceforge. I have tested this on the following:
fuse-2.7.3.tgz
coda-server-6.0.5-1.i386.rpm
coda-client-6.0.5-1.i386.rpm
coda-backup-6.0.5-1.i386.rpm
This didn't work on a few of the test systems running RHEL4 U4 & U5 and RHEL5. I am getting down to the cause for this and will update this page as soon as I have any updates.
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