This is more of a request for information so I can broaden my knowledge of document management systems (DMS).
Can someone please explain to me what WebDav is about? I have visited the WebDav web site but it is still not clear to me why people use this as a DMS. There is so much stuff there it is hard to wade through. I still could not determine clearly what WebDav is.
- Why someone would want to use it as their document management system??
- What does it do for the webmaster??
- What does it do for the site visitor??
- How does it help maintain files??
- How easy is it to set up??
- Is it something that is good enough to be included in the pending MyDMS for Moodle??
- Is it really a CVS??
I hear a lot about this WebDav as I surf sites, but I do not really understand it's worth or it's PROs and CONs.
Anyone who can explain WebDav in "layman's terms" and not "IT" or "Techie" terms please help me out with this?
I enjoy playing with MyDMS for Moodle. Again, this is just for information.
Thanks in advance for any and all responses.
Thanks for responding. I am familliar with using "Web Folders" in a "drag and drop" fashion but I did not know it had anything to do WebDav. Also, I did not know that WebDav was a special type of server. Or can it be turned on and off? Also must one be running a Window's server to run WebDav?
Originally Microsoft provided the Web Folder interface only for Windows web servers using a proprietary Microsoft protocol, but then they extended it to WebDav enabled servers (probably due to pressure from the antitrust suits).
I should add that one of the major selling points of the latest versions of WebCT (and also Blackboard, if I remember correctly) is that they are WebDav enabled and thus provide a Web Folder interface for uploading/downloading files. WebCT and Blackboard run on both Windows and Unix servers.
It would be a lot easier to persuade my colleagues to start using Moodle if they could access it immediately from inside Word or Excel.
Am I right? When saving something in Word or Excel, there would be one of the folders called something like "Moodle DMS" and when a user selects this folder he'd get a login screen and the file would magically end up in his part of the Moodle DMS?
CVS and Webdav are systems that share files according RULES
DMS manages files according RULES
So what is the current status of Moodles DMS and where are the RULES for that manager coming from and/or are they organised?
To make a comparison: if I open a file for editing in the eWIKI of Moodle all the other users of eWiki will see a blocked page, until I give it free again. Very, very nice..
I know I'm wandering in a little late but wanted to give some comments based on my experiences with WebDAV in WebCT Campus Edition and Vista.
WebDAV does not have to be bound to a document management system. In WebCT, WebDAV is used to access the files and folders in a course's Manage Files (CE) or File Manager (Vista) through the operating system's file manager (Windows Explorer, Mac Finder) instead of a web page. The equivalent in Moodle would be WebDAV access to the "Files..." area of a course.
With WebDAV, there is no need to zip a collection of files together to get around the limitation of "one file at a time" uploads through a web page as we have now in Moodle "Files...".With WebDAV, one can just drag-n-drop files and folders. Since the inclusion of WebDAV in WebCT, it has been much more pleasant moving files between a local system and the course file space. Some applications such as Dreamweaver also take advantage of WebDAV so files on the server can be directly accessed by the application.
Ideally, I would like to see WebDAV incorporated into Moodle so an instructor can have access to a course Files... regardless of a DMS for student use in collaborative file sharing as part of a group project.
Is a pseudo kind of WebDAV possible?
Is there a way to create (or a script that will do this) a pseudo Explorer type interface so someone using a web site would be able to interact with site files as if in a "WebDAV" type of environment? That is, drag and drop environment?
Is it possible to create something like this on a PHP based web site?
The reason I am asking is that I have not found an affordable web host yet that offers WebDAV.
I work with a few "pseudo Explorer" file browsers where one could interact more extensively with files including multiple file/folder selection for copying and moving. Unfortunately, they are Java applets. IMHO, Java is getting to be bloated problem child and would not like to see any Java as part of Moodle functionality.
With your experience, perhaps you can help us find a solution that
- is open source
- supports WebDAV clients
- works on average webhosts (PHP preferred)
- can have authentication integrated with Moodle
- has a nice web-based GUI for access control, quotas, versions etc
Meanwhile, I would love to hear others' thoughts on the authentication/authorization and GUI requirements.
On the bright side, however, at least two other open source projects currently support -- or have announced development of -- WebDAV access control, versioning, and searching: Jakarta Slide (Java-based) and Catacomb (C-based).
So, for some enterprising PHP developer, the Jakarta Slide and Catacomb projects could serve as reference implementations for extending one of the PHP-based WebDAV projects, HTTP_WebDAV_Server or eZ publish.
Integration of Moodle and WebDAV authentication and authorization mechanisms should probably wait until Moodle 2.x stabilizes.
I've not yet seen a GUI (web-based or otherwise) for WebDAV access control, versioning, etc. This would be a major undertaking.
Arguably, in the meantime, Moodle could benefit from a custom hack which integrates basic WebDAV functionality. I expect to concentrate on this approach.
Thanks for undertaking this.
I was just wondering, could there be a Flash solution for the GUI (a pseudo WebDav interface)???
It sure would be nice to see an existing GUI for configuring WebDAV access control, versioning, etc. I'm currently evaluating Jakarta Slide in this regard. I don't have access to commercial products such as Xythos WFS, which very well may have a nice implementation of such a GUI. Anyone seen an implementation yet?
Addendum: Google for Xythos WFS and read the hits within the top ten entitled "Xythos WFS", which correspond to instructions for various universities' installations of Xythos.