WebDAV stands for “Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning”. It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote Web servers. Using WebDAV, it is possible to upload files to a server or to rename files on the server.
BSCW supports the WebDAV protocol as a server so that you may use a WebDAV client, i.e. a client application also supporting the WebDAV protocol, to navigate through your workspaces, open and edit documents, write them back to the server, transfer them from one workspace to another etc. Please note that WebDAV support must be activated for your BSCW server. If in doubt, ask your BSCW administrator.
The most relevant applications that support WebDAV include Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and the Office package. In the following, we will concentrate on these applications (for other applications that also support WebDAV see www.webdav.org). They offer the following advantages if you use them for accessing BSCW via WebDAV:
o Your BSCW workspaces are represented as Web folders in Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. You may browse your workspaces as is usual in Windows Explorer.
o You may copy, paste or delete the BSCW objects represented using ‘drag & drop’ or right mouse clicks.
o You may open Microsoft Office documents directly within a Web folder – the corresponding Office application is launched automatically. After having edited the document, you may write the document back to the BSCW server by using ‘Save’ or ‘Save As...’ There is no need for a local save and subsequent upload.
In order to connect to the BSCW server using WebDAV, it is recommended that you proceed as follows:
• Open “My Network Places” (either from your desktop or within Windows Explorer).
• Select “Add Network Place”.
• Confirm twice with [Next].
• Enter the URL of your BSCW server (e.g. http://your-bscw-server/bscw/bscw.cgi) and confirm with [Next].
• You will then be prompted for your BSCW user name and password.
• You may give a name to this network resource.
• Click [Finish].
If everything works fine, you will finally see a new item in your “Network Places” in Windows where you get access to the BSCW server. Your home folder (‘user-name’) is accessible via the alias folder ‘home’. You may now browse your workspaces using the Windows Explorer, and upload or download files (using copy and paste or drag & drop).
In case the method described above does not work (e.g. password dialog keeps popping up), please consult the FAQ (frequently asked questions) on WebDAV at the BSCW website (http://www.bscw.de) for hints on trouble-shooting.
The Microsoft implementation of WebDAV is not fully compliant with the WebDAV standard, which leads to the following problems:
o Dialog boxes and error messages are sometimes misleading.
o Blanks and special characters in BSCW object names may not be represented correctly in the Web folder view of Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer.
o The superior folder is shown in the current folder.
o Drag & drop within the same folder results in a copy operation.
Attention: In order to close the WebDAV connection to your BSCW server, it is not sufficient to close the browser window or to remove the WebDAV folder – the network connection is still active! Now, if other people want to set up WebDAV under their own user name, still your private workspaces will open up in spite of the other person using the correct user name and password. To avoid this, log off from Windows (“start > Shut Down... > Log off your-user-name”) and log in again. This is needed, when other people have access your local system.