WebDAV: Next Generation Collaborative Web Authoring

Overview

WebDAV: Next-Generation Collaborative Web Authoring is the complete guide to Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV), the IETF standard for Web authoring and wide area collaboration. Experienced implementer Lisa Dusseault covers WebDAV from bits on the wire up to custom application implementation, demonstrating with extensive examples and traces from real clients and servers. Coverage includes: practical rules for building WebDAV document management systems; step-by-step, Internet Explorer ...

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Overview

WebDAV: Next-Generation Collaborative Web Authoring is the complete guide to Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV), the IETF standard for Web authoring and wide area collaboration. Experienced implementer Lisa Dusseault covers WebDAV from bits on the wire up to custom application implementation, demonstrating with extensive examples and traces from real clients and servers. Coverage includes: practical rules for building WebDAV document management systems; step-by-step, Internet Explorer compatible sample applications; and the latest WebDAV tools. For application designers, software engineers, and information managers.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

LISA DUSSEAULT is co-chair of the WebDAV working group and a major contributor to the WebDAV standard. She is Director of Server Development at Xythos Software, Inc., where she is responsible for development of Xythos's WebDAV server.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

WebDAV is a protocol that allows Web authoring tools and many other document-oriented applications to save documents directly to a Web server and manage the content on the server. Many Internet clients and servers as well as office productivity applications already implement WebDAV. This book explains what WebDAV is, how it works, and how to use it both in Web authoring tools and in custom document-based applications.

Readers

This book assumes only a minimum level of familiarity or comfort with the way the Internet and the World Wide Web work. Readers might want to start with a good Internet book (Stevens98) or a good HTTP book (Krishnamurthy01 or Gourley02) to familiarize themselves with the architecture of the World Wide Web and the protocols and practices that make it work.

This book can be used in many ways:

IT planners can use this book to understand whether WebDAV might serve as a suitable document management standard, before making important software purchasing decisions.

Software implementors who are interested in implementing WebDAV or in adding WebDAV functionality can use this book to learn practical details about WebDAV that aren't in the standard specifications and to learn about resources for the task.

Custom application designers can use this book to understand how to design an application to use the WebDAV document model. This allows the custom application to work seamlessly with WebDAV-capable content applications such as Office 2000.

Webmasters can use this book to understand how they can simplify and streamline their publication and authoring processes using WebDAV-enabled server software and existing HTML-authoring products. Like custom application designers, they will find out how document management can be customized to allow a custom publishing process or workflow process.

Organization of the Book

This book is divided into five main sections.

Introductory Material

Chapter 1, Introduction, introduces WebDAV, and why and how it was developed. Chapter 2, History of Web and Collaborative Authoring, gives more depth on the technologies that existed prior to WebDAV (FTP, HTTP), and the drawbacks that the WebDAV designers knew they needed to overcome. Chapter 3, HTTP Mechanics, provides a review of HTTP that is only necessary if you're not already familiar with HTTP.

How WebDAV Works

Chapter 4, Data Model, provides an overview of WebDAV functionality by explaining the data model, which is crucial to understanding how WebDAV works. Chapter 5, WebDAV Modifications to HTTP, explains how WebDAV extends HTTP methods. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 describe the practical aspects of how the core WebDAV protocol works. These chapters will be useful to developers of WebDAV-enabled software and custom applications. Chapter 9, Putting the Pieces Together, pulls this material together into extended examples.

WebDAV Extensions

Chapter 11, Versioning, and Chapter 12, Multifile Versioning, introduce the WebDAV versioning standard DeltaV in sufficient depth to enable the reader to read the DeltaV specifications and be able to put details into context. Chapter 13, Access Control, introduces the Access Control specification, which is soon to be a standard.

Software and Custom Applications

Chapter 10, WebDAV Products and Tools, introduces a number of client and server software packages that support WebDAV. Chapter 14, Custom WebDAV Applications, and Chapter 15, Designing WebDAV Applications, discuss what custom applications can do with WebDAV, and how to design such custom applications.

Reference Appendixes

Microsoft and Windows Tips and HTTP Status Codes.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

1. Introduction.

What Is Authoring? Third-Generation Web Authoring. WebDAV History. Requirements and Scenarios. Extended Example, Concepts, and Terminology. What WebDAV Is and Is Not. Roles for WebDAV. Summary.

2. History of Web and Collaborative Authoring.

A Brief History of Web Authoring. Network-Enabled Web Authoring Tools. The Standards Revolution in Web Authoring. HTTP, Pre-WebDAV. The File Transfer Protocol. WebDAV for Sharing Documents. Summary.

3. HTTP Mechanics.

URLs. Message Structure. HTTP Methods. HTTP ETags. Beyond the Request/Response Model. HTTP Security. HTTP Headers. Summary.

4. Data Model.

Basic Components. URLs and WebDAV Resources. Using the Hierarchy. Metadata. Locks. Summary.

5. WebDAV Modifications to HTTP.

WebDAV URLs and Feature Discovery. New Response Status Codes. GET. PUT. DELETE. Summary.

6. WebDAV Hierarchy Operations.

Why WebDAV Defines New Methods. MKCOL: Create Collection. MOVE. COPY. Summary.

7. Property Operations.

Property Representation. PROPFIND. PROPPATCH. How Properties Are Stored. Required Properties. Summary.

8. Lock Operations.

Lock Tokens. LOCK Method. UNLOCK Method. Using Locked Resources. Lock-Related Properties. Client Responsibilities. Lock Interactions. Problems with Lock-Null Resources. Summary.

9. Putting the Pieces Together.

Scenario Walk-Through. Open Web Folder. Create a Folder. Create a New File. Editing a File. Close the File. Copy to Publishing Directory. Publish Document. Summary.

10. WebDAV Products and Tools.

Client Software. Server Software. Services. Compliance Tests. Summary.

11. Versioning.

Introduction to Versioning. Core Versioning. Editing Version-Controlled Resources. Labels. Using Existing WebDAV Methods with Versioning. Using Non-DeltaV Clients. Version Trees. Multiple Checkouts with Working Resources. Checkout Determinism. DeltaV Special Mechanisms. Summary.

12. Multifile Versioning.

Workspaces. Change Sets. Branches. MERGE. History of Multiple Resources. Other Feature Interactions. DeltaV Features and Packages. Summary.

13. Access Control.

What Is Access Control? Getting Access Control Information. Setting Access Control Information. Principals. Standardization Challenges. Summary.

14. Custom WebDAV Applications.

Online Photo Album. Email and Calendaring. Presence and Instant Messaging. Pacific National Laboratories. Other Application Ideas. Summary.

15. Designing WebDAV Applications.

Metadata Usage. Performance Considerations. Security Considerations. Technology Considerations. Deployment Considerations. Summary.

Appendix A: Microsoft and Windows Tips.

Supporting Legacy Windows Applications. Internet Explorer Tips. Microsoft WebDAV.

Appendix B: HTTP Status Codes.

Informational Status Codes. Success Status Codes. Redirect Status Codes. Client Failure Status Codes. Server Failure Status Codes. References.

Index.

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Preface

Preface

WebDAV is a protocol that allows Web authoring tools and many other document-oriented applications to save documents directly to a Web server and manage the content on the server. Many Internet clients and servers as well as office productivity applications already implement WebDAV. This book explains what WebDAV is, how it works, and how to use it both in Web authoring tools and in custom document-based applications.

Readers

This book assumes only a minimum level of familiarity or comfort with the way the Internet and the World Wide Web work. Readers might want to start with a good Internet book (Stevens98) or a good HTTP book (Krishnamurthy01 or Gourley02) to familiarize themselves with the architecture of the World Wide Web and the protocols and practices that make it work.

This book can be used in many ways:

IT planners can use this book to understand whether WebDAV might serve as a suitable document management standard, before making important software purchasing decisions.

Software implementors who are interested in implementing WebDAV or in adding WebDAV functionality can use this book to learn practical details about WebDAV that aren't in the standard specifications and to learn about resources for the task.

Custom application designers can use this book to understand how to design an application to use the WebDAV document model. This allows the custom application to work seamlessly with WebDAV-capable content applications such as Office 2000.

Webmasters can use this book to understand how they can simplify and streamline their publication and authoring processes using WebDAV-enabled server software and existing HTML-authoring products. Like custom application designers, they will find out how document management can be customized to allow a custom publishing process or workflow process.

Organization of the Book

This book is divided into five main sections.

Introductory Material

Chapter 1, Introduction, introduces WebDAV, and why and how it was developed. Chapter 2, History of Web and Collaborative Authoring, gives more depth on the technologies that existed prior to WebDAV (FTP, HTTP), and the drawbacks that the WebDAV designers knew they needed to overcome. Chapter 3, HTTP Mechanics, provides a review of HTTP that is only necessary if you're not already familiar with HTTP.

How WebDAV Works

Chapter 4, Data Model, provides an overview of WebDAV functionality by explaining the data model, which is crucial to understanding how WebDAV works. Chapter 5, WebDAV Modifications to HTTP, explains how WebDAV extends HTTP methods. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 describe the practical aspects of how the core WebDAV protocol works. These chapters will be useful to developers of WebDAV-enabled software and custom applications. Chapter 9, Putting the Pieces Together, pulls this material together into extended examples.

WebDAV Extensions

Chapter 11, Versioning, and Chapter 12, Multifile Versioning, introduce the WebDAV versioning standard DeltaV in sufficient depth to enable the reader to read the DeltaV specifications and be able to put details into context. Chapter 13, Access Control, introduces the Access Control specification, which is soon to be a standard.

Software and Custom Applications

Chapter 10, WebDAV Products and Tools, introduces a number of client and server software packages that support WebDAV. Chapter 14, Custom WebDAV Applications, and Chapter 15, Designing WebDAV Applications, discuss what custom applications can do with WebDAV, and how to design such custom applications.

Reference Appendixes

Microsoft and Windows Tips and HTTP Status Codes.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Preface

WebDAV is a protocol that allows Web authoring tools and many other document-oriented applications to save documents directly to a Web server and manage the content on the server. Many Internet clients and servers as well as office productivity applications already implement WebDAV. This book explains what WebDAV is, how it works, and how to use it both in Web authoring tools and in custom document-based applications.

Readers

This book assumes only a minimum level of familiarity or comfort with the way the Internet and the World Wide Web work. Readers might want to start with a good Internet book (Stevens98) or a good HTTP book (Krishnamurthy01 or Gourley02) to familiarize themselves with the architecture of the World Wide Web and the protocols and practices that make it work.

This book can be used in many ways:

IT planners can use this book to understand whether WebDAV might serve as a suitable document management standard, before making important software purchasing decisions.

Software implementors who are interested in implementing WebDAV or in adding WebDAV functionality can use this book to learn practical details about WebDAV that aren't in the standard specifications and to learn about resources for the task.

Custom application designers can use this book to understand how to design an application to use the WebDAV document model. This allows the custom application to work seamlessly with WebDAV-capable content applications such as Office 2000.

Webmasters can use this book to understand how they can simplify and streamline their publication and authoring processes using WebDAV-enabled server software andexisting HTML-authoring products. Like custom application designers, they will find out how document management can be customized to allow a custom publishing process or workflow process.

Organization of the Book

This book is divided into five main sections.

Introductory Material

Chapter 1, Introduction, introduces WebDAV, and why and how it was developed. Chapter 2, History of Web and Collaborative Authoring, gives more depth on the technologies that existed prior to WebDAV (FTP, HTTP), and the drawbacks that the WebDAV designers knew they needed to overcome. Chapter 3, HTTP Mechanics, provides a review of HTTP that is only necessary if you're not already familiar with HTTP.

How WebDAV Works

Chapter 4, Data Model, provides an overview of WebDAV functionality by explaining the data model, which is crucial to understanding how WebDAV works. Chapter 5, WebDAV Modifications to HTTP, explains how WebDAV extends HTTP methods. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 describe the practical aspects of how the core WebDAV protocol works. These chapters will be useful to developers of WebDAV-enabled software and custom applications. Chapter 9, Putting the Pieces Together, pulls this material together into extended examples.

WebDAV Extensions

Chapter 11, Versioning, and Chapter 12, Multifile Versioning, introduce the WebDAV versioning standard DeltaV in sufficient depth to enable the reader to read the DeltaV specifications and be able to put details into context. Chapter 13, Access Control, introduces the Access Control specification, which is soon to be a standard.

Software and Custom Applications

Chapter 10, WebDAV Products and Tools, introduces a number of client and server software packages that support WebDAV. Chapter 14, Custom WebDAV Applications, and Chapter 15, Designing WebDAV Applications, discuss what custom applications can do with WebDAV, and how to design such custom applications.

Reference Appendixes

Microsoft and Windows Tips and HTTP Status Codes.

Read More Show Less

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