WebDAVget help

Webdav.sfu.ca is available for departments, groups, clubs and unions who wish to publish non-personal pages. Personal pages should be published to the ftp.sfu.ca server via FTP. Temporary pages (for example, a group project for an undergraduate course) should also be published to the ftp.sfu.ca server.

 

Newer versions of Dreamweaver, GoLive and other web composition programs contain instructions on how to publish web pages via WebDAV. Once you’ve obtained space on webdav.sfu.ca you should follow the publishing instructions in your program’s manual.

 

WebDAV can also be used in a mode where you connect to the space from your PC or Macintosh desktop and drag your web files from your local disk into the space.

Obtaining space

E-mail webmaster+webdav@sfu.ca and ask for WebDAV space. State the purpose of your web pages and suggest a suitable (descriptive) URL. Please indicate whether this is new space, or for migrating pages from pyramid.sfu.ca or fraser.sfu.ca—if so, state the location of the files on pyramid or fraser.

Also indicate who should have publishing rights to your space. If this is you alone, rights will be granted to your SFU Computing Account (the one you use for e-mail). The alternatives, for shared publishing, are to grant rights to several named computing accounts, or to an SFU mailing list to give all the list members publishing rights to the space.

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Private URL for accessing your space  

You will be sent you a URL to publish to. It will look like this example:

https://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name

or

http://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name

(Use https if possible. If it doesn’t work, use http.)

In your web publishing package, follow the instructions on how to set up a WebDAV site. Specify your URL to publish to. Enter the same username and password that you use to access SFU e-mail. If you are asked to set “Authorization”, set it to Basic.

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Public URL for viewing your pages

The URL to give out for public viewing is http://www.sfu.ca/something which the you will be given upon setup of the space. For example:

http://www.sfu.ca/department-name

Notice that the public URL is on the www.sfu.ca server. In contrast, the webdav.sfu.ca URL is for your own publishing purposes only.

Restricting who can view your pages

The mechanisms described in detail here can be used to restrict who can view the pages that you’ve published via WebDAV. You can restrict access to one or more named people, to the members of any SFU mailing list, or to anyone in the SFU community. In all cases, people trying to access the pages will be prompted for a username and password, and they would enter those they use for their SFU e-mail.

Alternatively you can restrict access to a username / password combination that you invent (useful if you want a non-SFU person to access your pages.)

Changing who will publish/maintain the pages

The person who currently has access can e-mail webmaster+webdav@sfu.ca and indicate the WebDAV URL for your pages, also the computing account(s) of the new person or people who should have access to the pages.

Connecting to your WebDAV space from your desktop   

You can connect to your WebDAV space so that it looks like an attached disk on Windows or Macintosh machines. This is useful for dragging files between your desktop and the WebDAV space, and for checking out your folder and sub-folder structure. Note that “editing files in place” and “deleting files by dragging directly to the Recycle or Trash” only work in Windows XP and Mac OS X. Others should drag the files to local desktop space first.


Windows 7 & Windows Vista 

  • Ensure that your Windows Vista installation is up-to-date, specifically, this update:Software Update for Web Folders (KB907306)
  • Select "Computer" from the Start menu
  • Click "Map Network Drive"
  • Click "Connect to a Web site that you can use to store documents and pictures"
  • Click Next
  • Click "Choose a custom network location"
  • Enter your WebDAV URL (e.g. https://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name) and click Next
  • Type in your username and password when asked
  • Give the connection a name (e.d. Global Health Governance WebDAV) and click Next
  • Click Finish.
  • The WebDAV connection will show up in under Network Locations in the Computer window.
  • if you have difficulties connecting to WebDAV using the built-in Windows WebDAV support, consider using a WebDAV client instead - see below


Windows XP/2000:  

  • Click on My Network Places (in “XP View” for XP users)
  • Click on Add Network Place
  • Click on Add Site
  • Type in your WebDAV URL
    (e.g. https://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name)
  • Type in your username and password when asked
  • if you have difficulties connecting to WebDAV using the built-in Windows WebDAV support, consider using a WebDAV client instead - see below


Windows, any version, using a non-Microsoft WebDAV Client

Some Windows-based computers are difficult to use with WebDAV due to the interaction of various patches that affect the built-in WebDAV support.

If you have difficulties such as repeated requests for login to WebDAV, even after successfully logging in, freezing transfer windows, or the inability to make a connection to a known-good WebDAV space, try a different client that doesn't rely on the built-in Windows WebDAV support.

Some suggestions are below. Though we don't make any particular guarantees or provide official support for these products, these have all been used on campus:

  • Dreamweaver and other web publishing packages typically have their own WebDAV support built in and are compatible with the SFU WebDAV server. If you are using such a package to design your pages, it is often simplest to use the "remote site" connection to update your site, which avoids the use of the OS WebDAV support altogether.
  • Free 3rd party clients such as BitKinex operate correctly, and are often faster than the built-in WebDAV support
  • Paid, commercial WebDAV-client implementations such as WebDrive have additional features that may be useful, such as the ability to mount a WebDAV space as a "drive letter" in Windows

Mac OS X (10.4 or newer):  

  • In the Finder select Go
  • Select Connect to Server
  • Type in your WebDAV URL
    (e.g. https://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-nam)
  • Type in your username and password when asked
  • Your WebDAV space will show up on your desktop


Mac OS X (versions prior to 10.4):  

  • In the Finder select Go
  • Select Connect to Server
  • Type in your WebDAV URL
    (e.g. http://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name - note that https will not work)
  • Type in your username and password when asked
  • Your WebDAV space will show up on your desktop


Mac OS 9 and older:  

Restoring your web pages from backup

Your web pages are automatically backed up hourly, nightly and weekly, into space that is named the same as your WebDAV URL with .snapshot added to the end. For example,

https://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name/.snapshot

or

http://webdav.sfu.ca/web/department-name/.snapshot

(Use https if possible. If it doesn’t work, use http.)

Try connecting to your “.snapshot” URL via WebDAV in your web composition package. If it works, you’ll see a list of sub-directory names denoted by times (hourly,daily, etc). Browse into the appropriate directory and drag the files you want to recover, over to your local folder that contains your site.

If this doesn’t work, connect to your “.snapshot” URL from your desktop as described above. Drag the files you want to recover, to your local disk.

On all versions of the Mac OS, including OS X, download a free program called Goliath from http://www.webdav.org/goliath. Connect to your “.snapshot” URL and drag the files you want to recover, to your local disk.

Locking files (workgroup support)

Web composition packages like Dreamweaver and GoLive contain the concepts of Workgroup Support and Checking files In and Out. This allows shared publishers to avoid conflicts with each other when updating files. For more information consult the Help in your web composition package.

Checking Out a file has the effect of locking the file on the WebDAV server. This means that you must Check In the file when you have finished updating it, to remove the lock.