Thursday, January 18, 2007

WebDAV

I'm wondering why Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is not more common. It seems pretty simple and has MS support, yet I never have heard of it being used. Or am I just missing it?
The WebDAV protocol's aim was to make the World Wide Web a readable and writable medium, in line with Tim Berners-Lee's original vision. It provides functionality to create, change and move documents on a remote server (typically a web server or "web share"). This is useful, among other things, for authoring the documents which a web server serves, but can also be used for general web-based file storage that can be accessed from anywhere. Important features in WebDAV protocol include locking (overwrite prevention), properties (creation, removal, and querying of information about author, modified date, etc.), name space management (ability to copy and move Web pages within a server's namespace) and collections (creation, removal, and listing of resources). Most modern operating systems provide built-in support for WebDAV. With the right client and a fast network, it can be almost as easy to use files on a WebDAV server as those stored in local directories.

2 comments:

Kingsley Idehen said...

We use WebDAV extensively all over Virtuoso and OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS).

My Blog is a live ODS instance that uses WebDAV as the backbone of the Web File Server module called ODS-Briefcase (think Spotlight with a Web Frontend).

Eby said...

I've seen more and more things offer WebDav. There's mixed implementations though and some don't offer it due to the set-up with file permissions, etc. It might just be an apache implementation thing though.