WebDAV State of Adoption Report


State of Adoption Report

January 20, 2000

It has been a little less than a year since the WebDAV Distributed Authoring
Protocol, RFC 2518, was issued by the IETF.  I'm very pleased to report that
in that time, there has been very strong adoption of the WebDAV protocol.
Due to the hard work of the members of this working group, and the people
who have written and deployed WebDAV applications, there are now thousands
of people every day who get useful work done using the WebDAV protocol.
Over the next few years, we'll see this number increase into the millions,
as WebDAV technology diffuses broadly into the platforms, programs, and
devices we use on a daily basis, and as people better learn when and how to
use WebDAV.  Furthermore, as efforts like Advanced Collections, DASL, and
Delta-V expand the capabilities of WebDAV, they open up new applications and
audiences, leading to yet more users of the protocol.  Though WebDAV
adoption has already been strong, in many respects we are just at the
beginning of a long, 20+ year long arc for this protocol.

The purpose of this report is to highlight where WebDAV adoption stands
today by listing clients and servers that support WebDAV.  Though WebDAV
devotees will already know much of this information as individual items,
most people are surprised when they see it all put together in one place --
there is more here than people expect.  This report lists 10 client
applications, 2 publically available client API libraries, 17 WebDAV servers
(12 class-2, 5 class-1), and 2 WebDAV-enabled Web storage sites.  These
applications run on a range of platforms, with client support for Windows,
Unix, and MacOS, and server support for Windows and Unix. WebDAV benefits
from strong commercial and open source development, showing that the
protocol has a broad spectrum of support beyond any one company or
institution.  Finally, the WebDAV-enabled storage sites are gaining users
rapidly, with one site, My Docs Online, currently adding 500 new WebDAV
users a week.


  Office 2000 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
    Provides remote collaborative authoring of documents,
    spreadsheets, and presentations via Web Folders.

  Internet Explorer 5
    Web Folders interface allows interaction with a remote Web
    site appear to behave as if it were a local file folder.
    Provides drag-and-drop upload and download to a Web site.
    [Windows] ** Free download **

    Allows a remote Web site to be edited in a local directory,
    then synchronized and uploaded, providing a CVS-like model
    of interaction.
    [Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2, Win32, IRIX, Solaris, SunOS, Digital Unix,
probably others too]
    ** Free Download, Open Source **

    Provides a Mac Finder-like interface that allows interaction
    with a remote Web site to behave as if it were a local file
    folder.  Provides drag-and-drop upload and download to a
    Web site.
    [MacOS 8.5 or higher]  ** Free download, open source **

    A command-line tool for interacting with a remote Web site.
    Analogous to the Unix "ftp" command.
    [Linux, SunOS]  ** Free download, open source **

  DAV Explorer
    Provides a Windows Explorer like interface for a remote WebDAV
    server. Supports resource locking.  Allows the protocol stream
    to be logged to a file.  Useful for debugging servers.
    [Java-based, tested on SunOS, Windows]
    ** Free download, open source **

    Excosoft's Documentor product allows remote XML authoring via
    [Windows 95/98/NT, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX] ** Free eval download **

  WebDev for PHP
    A client application that allows remote management of PHP-based
    Web sites via the WebDAV protocol.
    [Windows] ** Free eval download **


    A Java-based client API for WebDAV, comes with IBM's DAV4J server.
    [Java-based, Windows]  ** Free download **

  DAVLib for MacOS
    A C++ library for developing WebDAV client applications for MacOS.
    [MacOS] ** Free download, open source **


  Apache mod_dav
    A module for the Apache Web server providing full class-2 WebDAV
    support. Has a storage layer interface that can be mapped to
    multiple repository types.
    [Linux, Win32, other Unix variants]
    ** Free download, open source **

  Netware 5.1
    Novell's Netware 5.1 provides full class-2 WebDAV support.

  Net Publisher
    Novell's Net Publisher provides full class-2 WebDAV support
    integrated with Novel Directory Service (NDS).  Adds WebDAV
    support to IIS 4, Netscape ES 3.0 or higher.

    IBM's DAV4J server, available on the AlphaWorks site, provides
    a full Java-based class-2 WebDAV server.  Provides interfaces
    for easily integrating multiple repository types.
    [Windows]  ** Free download **

  Internet Information Services 5 (IIS 5)

    Microsoft's IIS 5 server provides a class-2 WebDAV server
    that is tightly integrated with the Windows 2000 filesystem and
    access control permissions.
    [Windows 2000]

  Exchange 2000
    Microsoft's Exchange 2000, currently in Beta 3, provides WebDAV
    access to its Web Store repository.
    [Windows NT/2000]

  Xythos Storage Server
    A full class-2 WebDAV server using an Oracle database as its
    repository.  Provides quota support. Xythos is also the first
    server to provide compliant DASL support.
    ** Free use on www.sharemation.com site **

  WebSite Director
    CyberTeam's WebSite Director project is a class-2 WebDAV
    server integrated with workflow technology.
    [WindowsNT, BSDI, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux, SGI, Solaris, SunOS]
    ** Free account available **

  DataChannel Server 4.0
    DataChannel Server 4.0 provides class-2 WebDAV access into their

    Zope is a development environment for creating Web sites,
    and provides a class-1 WebDAV server.
    [Most Unix, WindowsNT]
    ** Test accounts available **

    WebRFM is a CGI-Perl program that implements a class-1 WebDAV
    server, along with some legacy HTTP methods supported by
    AOLserver, and Netscape Enterprise Server.
    [Unix variants]
    ** Free download, open source **

  Intraspect Knowledge Server
    Knowledge Server provides a full class-2 WebDAV server interface.
    [WinNT 4]

  Glyphica PortalWare
    Glyphica's PortalWare product line contains class-2 WebDAV support.

  Python davserver / GROUP.lounge
    Provides a class-1 WebDAV server written in Python, along with
    Python classes designed for reuse.  This server is used inside
    the GROUP.lounge document collaboration environment.
    ** Freely available, open source **

    The first Python WebDAV server, developed at Xerox PARC.
    Currently unavailable due to legal issues.

    A testbed class-1 DAV server written in Perl, designed to be as easy
    as possible to understand and install, requiring no external modules,
    such as XML parsers, HTTP modules, etc.
    ** Freely available, source is public domain **

  FrontPage Server Extensions clone -- with WebDAV support
    A WebDAV server written in Perl, with some support for the FrontPage
    server extensions.
    ** Freely available **


  A surprise for WebDAV was the emergence of the Web storage site as a
  strong adoptor of WebDAV technology. These sites typically offer
  20 Meg of storage for free, and the ability to share files with other
  users of the site.  Access to files is via a Web interface, or via
  WebDAV.  The ease of access to remote Web sites provided by Web Folders
  is motivating adoption of WebDAV by many storage sites.  This, in turn,
  is introducing WebDAV to a large, new audience.

    The first WebDAV-enabled storage site, offering
    20 Meg of storage, non-DAV versioning, DASL support.
    Uses the Xythos Storage Server.

  My Docs Online!
    Also offering 20 Meg of storage. Currently with over
    3,000 WebDAV users after just six weeks of offering WebDAV
    capability. Apparently there would be more WebDAV users,
    except there are recurring reports of difficulty accessing
    WebDAV capability through legacy, non-HTTP/1.1 compliant
    proxies.  MyDocsOnline uses a modified version of
    Apache mod_dav.

- Jim Whitehead <ejw@ics.uci.edu>
Chair, IETF WebDAV Working Group

Received on Thursday, 20 January 2000 13:56:07 UTC