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RE: WebDAV property schema lookup

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 19:14:03 +0200
To: "Gary Cowan" <Gary.Cowan@Tally.Hummingbird.com>, "DAV" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JIEGINCHMLABHJBIGKBCAELIEFAA.julian.reschke@gmx.de>
> From: w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org
> [mailto:w3c-dist-auth-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Gary Cowan
> Sent: Monday, April 08, 2002 6:53 PM
> To: 'Clemm, Geoff'; DAV
> Subject: RE: WebDAV property schema lookup
> 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.

Well, there is. What you don't have is an interoperable  way to *discover*
them (and their datatypes, descriptions).

> 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.

Thus one needs a generic schema-based protocol that allows discovery of
mandatory properties and their types. This is what Microsoft Sharepoint
already implements.

> 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
> applications.

It certainly can be solved (without changing WebDAV), but it requires a lot
of work.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clemm, Geoff [mailto:gclemm@rational.com]
> Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 9:59 PM
> To: DAV
> 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
>    exposed.
> 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
> inhibiting
>    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.
> Cheers,
> Geoff
Received on Monday, 8 April 2002 13:14:38 UTC

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