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Re: MS Webfolder WebDAV Client: Authentication issue with handling of replies to PUT requests

From: Alex Jalali <alex@ubudesign.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 12:20:35 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <27543.>
To: "Jim Whitehead" <ejw@soe.ucsc.edu>
Cc: w3c-dist-auth@w3.org, "Andy Staudacher" <andress@ee.ethz.ch>

There are many issues with MS webfolders and if you want their
mini-redirector to work, it is even worst.

We've managed to get it to work with our i2drive.com server but with so
much headache. I hate them so much. if you work for MS you should kill
your self or something.

Anyway here are some things that may help.

1. get a tool called "nettool" or similar that lets you see and trace the
request/response to your server.

2. add the addHeader("MS-Author-Via", "DAV") in your response

4. MS may send the username as username@domain or username\domain
depending on how it feels like, so depending on if you want to use BASIC
or DIGEST authentication, you will need to extend the base Authenticator
and handle the username differently. Digest would be more difficult
becasue the digest send is based on that format of username.

5. if you use JDBCRealm then you will also have to extend that and deal
similar way.

6. another odd thing about mini redirector, and maybe webfolder too is
that the root can not be the starting point of the webdav

so it has to be http://domain/rootofyourwebdav/

It will ask for the / path with OPTION and at this point if you require
authentication it will not respond with any credentials and fails. but
still needs a ok response. after that when it asks for /webdav with
PROPFIND, etc... that's when you can send the WWW-Authenticator response

7. There are also bunch of issues related to the properties that it looks
for with the PROPFIND that you have to provide to it or it fails. such as
read-only etc. but i don;t remember them.

8. These links may also provide you with some information about their errors.


> Sending on behalf of Andy Staudacher <andress@ee.ethz.ch> (cc'ed). If
> you have any insight into these issues, please let Andy know.
> - Jim
> Hi
> Problem:
> Windows Webfolders does not show an authentication popup Window when the
> server responds with a HTTP 401 to a PUT request although the response
> includes a WWW-Authenticate header.
> Questions:
> 1. Is this type of handling of PUT request replies a known issue for
> the MS
> Webfolders WebDAV client?
> 2. Are there any workarounds?
> Detailed problem description:
> We have developed a PHP based WebDAV server (for gallery.sf.net) and
> we are
> experiencing a problem with Microsoft's built-in WebDAV client
> (Microsoft
> Webfolders, "Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider DAV").
> Depending on how the server is configured, the client needs to
> authenticate
> for specific requests.
> By default any WebDAV client can connect to our WebDAV server and get a
> listing of all folders / files without authentication. MKCOL and PUT
> requests require authentication by default though.
> Our WebDAV server implementation replies with a HTTP 401 'Authorization
> Required' status with a WWW-Authenticate header to both requests
> (MKCOL and
> PUT). While Windows Webfolders shows an authentication Window to the
> user
> when receiving our response to a MKCOL request, it does not so for our
> response to PUT a request.
> All what the user sees when a PUT request fails with a HTTP 401 is a
> small
> Window with a short, generic error message.
> This is a major usability problem. Our end-users are usually not very
> tech-savvy and thus rely on what is installed by default (MS Windows /
> Windows Webfolders) and without being able to upload files, the WebDAV
> components of our server doesn't make much sense.
> Notes:
> - Other clients (e.g. cadaver) work flawlessly with our WebDAV server.
> - Client: Tested with Windows XP. Mounting / discovery is done via IE7
> ("Microsoft-WebDAV-MiniRedir/5.1.2600") and MKCOL/PUT requests are
> done via
> Webfolders ("Microsoft Data Access Internet Publishing Provider DAV")
> - Server: Apache2 / IIS + mod_php + Gallery 2.2 + Gallery WebDAV module
> Some rather silly workarounds:
> - Listing a virtual "login" folder which when requested always
> returns HTTP
> 401 with a WWW-Authenticate header.
> - Requiring authentication for all operations, thus the client would
> have to
> authenticate before it could even send a PUT request. (Unlikely to
> happen)
> - (only for devs) Instructing the user to force authentication by always
> creating a folder first. (Once authenticated, the authentication
> headers are
> included in PUT requests as well.)
> Of course we would prefer a solution that would simply trigger the
> authentication popup of Windows Webfolders.
> Thanks,
>   - Andy Staudacher, Gallery.sourceforge.net developer
Received on Monday, 29 January 2007 20:40:25 UTC

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