Quick Summary of WebDAV: Standards-based File Sharing

WebDAV, short for "Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning," is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol that provide remote file management and collaborative editing of files. WebDAV support is included in most modern operating systems including the Explorer in Windows 2000 and above, the finder in Mac OS X, and Webdavfs in Linux. Additionally, a number of file transfer applications and Web publishing tools such as Dreamweaver and Contribute include a WebDAV client.

Popular WebDAV servers include Apache modDAV, Novell iFolder, Microsoft SharePoint, and Xythos.

Typically a mounted WebDAV share appears as a network disk similar to CIFS. Offline replication are not automatic. However Windows XP has some replication facilities and replication can be enabled with third party utilities.

Some benefits of WebDAV are that it is platform independent, broadly supported, based on open standards, file type agnostic, can support a wide range of authentication, encryption and PKI, can integrate with directory services, and is increasingly available by ISPs such as MSN, dotMac and Dreamhost. Some detractors to WebDAV include a lack of support for change notification and poor support of revision control in most current WebDAV clients.

Author: Ben Gross

One Comment

  1. Posted July 24, 2005 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Planning to add a webDAV interface to Lotus Domino documents and attachments also has started: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dominodav/

    🙂 stw

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