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RE: WebDAV property schema lookup

From: Gary Cowan <Gary.Cowan@Tally.Hummingbird.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 12:53:25 -0400
Message-ID: <39FB3B2B1509CE43A251C50896C9BA95089376@tallyx1>
To: "'Clemm, Geoff'" <gclemm@rational.com>, DAV <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Server defined(live) properties are supported in that they can be queried,
but there is no methodology that allows users to manipulate these properties
from disparate WebDAV clients. 

One of the characteristics of most if not all enterprise DM systems is that
they are highly customizable. Thus the metadata properties for documents
managed by the system can and quite often due change from site to site, and
obviously change from industry to industry. For instance a law firm requires
different metadata properties than a manufacturing firm. 

I suppose the holy grail would be to have WebDAV clients construct a dynamic
properties dialog. This may not be practical in which case a redirection
mechanism or a UI container such as a browser window could possibly be used.
I am just thinking off the top of my head right now. I understand this is
not an easy issue to resolve. If it can be resolved then WebDAV could
potentially completely replace hardwired integration with desktop
-----Original Message-----
From: Clemm, Geoff [mailto:gclemm@rational.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 9:59 PM
Subject: RE: WebDAV property schema lookup

   From: Gary Cowan [mailto:Gary.Cowan@Tally.Hummingbird.com]

   This situation illustrates a fundamental weakness with WebDAV in
   respect to enterprise document management systems. The WebDAV
   philosophy assumes that the client is controlling the properties of
   a resource/document and the server mearly acts as a store for the
   property information.

That is incorrect.  WebDAV explicitly supports both "dead" (client-defined)
and "live" (server-defined) properties.

   Wheras a DM server maintains extensive metadata for a given
   resource especially when vertical market applications have been
   built on top of the DM system.

Yes, WebDAV was designed with this in mind.

   WebDAV does not provide a methodology by which this metadata can be

Perhaps you could explain what you have in mind as "a methodology
by which this metadata can be exposed"?

   As such DM systems must still construct proprietary client
   applications causing users to perform authoring in the authoring
   tool while performing DM specific actions in the DM client.

As is the case for versioning systems.  To deal with this problem, we
defined an interoperable set of live properties (and a few new
methods) to provide authoring tools with a mechanism for interacting
with a wide range of versioning systems.  The WebDAV protocol proved
to be very amenable to this kind of extension.

   At this point in time it still makes more sense for DM systems to
   construct tight integration mechanisms within the context of the
   authoring application. This gives the DM system the ability expose
   its own metadata to the user during document creation/editing.

Yes, until you agreed on an interoperable set of DM live properties,
each client will need a custom integration with each server.

   WebDAV is a very attractive protocol but this one limitation is
   its extensive use within the enterprise DM community. 

The only group that could define an interoperable set of properties
for enterprise DM is the enterprise DM community itself.  I encourage
you to do so.

Received on Monday, 8 April 2002 12:53:58 UTC

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