WebDAV: an old horse but still useful!

My first encounter with WebDav protocol back in 2004-05 when I was writing the web part for SharePoint. WebDav is an old protocol of the ’90s but still very useful in certain scenarios.

WebDAV (RFC 4918) is an extension to HTTP, the protocol that web browsers and web servers use to communicate with each other. The WebDAV protocol enables a webserver to behave like a fileserver too, supporting collaborative authoring of web content. For an example, one can edit a word document online directly on the server using WebDav protocol. A web server that supports WebDAV simultaneously works like a fileserver. So, that’s a powerful capability.

In many of its use cases, WebDAV is being replaced by more modern mechanisms like Wikis, cloud solutions, etc. But it is still a reliable workhorse when the right servers and clients are matched, so it’s still encountered in many different applications.

Some of the servers which have implemented WebDav:

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Microsoft IIS
  • Box.com
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Subversion
  • Git
  • Microsoft Office
  • Apple iWork
  • Adobe Photoshop etc.

WebDav RFC: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4918

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