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I have a WebDav folder ("Web Disk") set up via CPanel and mapped to a Windows XP boxes and Windows Vista boxes.

On the Windows XP boxes, none of the files in the WebDav folder can be opened by double-clicking and there is no Open right-click option. The users can copy the files out to a local folder or browse from within an application.

On the Windows Vista box, the files can be opened through file-type associations, but still not by double-clicking--the users must right-click on the directories and select "Open". Even at that, only certain applications appear to be "WebDav-aware". For example, Adobe Reader will not open files from a WebDav location via file-type association (only by browsing from within the application).

Is there some fundamental issue with the WebDav configuration or is this the best one can hope for?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two clients in Windows for using Webdav. One is so called Mini-Redirector, other one is Webfolders.

You're using Webfolders client, which allows you browsing via shares. When you try to open any file, this client actually passes URL of the file to the program. Most program cannot handle that. MS OFfice programs can (presumably only if MS-Author-Via header is present, as Dave suggests in his answer).

Mini-redirector is used when you map Webdav share as an extra drive in your Windows (using NET MAP command, or by using "Map Network Drive"). In this case, Mini-redirector will handle loading/saving part of filesystem access, and your programs will be able to work with Webdav.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebDAV#Microsoft_Windows for more details and links.

(Hint: forget about Windows webdav capabilities, and use better clients like Webdrive or Xythos).

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Sadly I think this is the best you can expect, due to the way that Windows loads executable code the WebDAV servers transientness may be to much for the dll loader.

There is one faint hope, check that your providor is setting the

MS-Author-Via

header, as described here. This is required for Word and other Microsoft products to properly interoperate with WebDAV servers by indicating that they support Microsoft's extensions to the WebDAV protocol.

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WebDAV isn't a filesharing protocol. it only adds a couple of extra verbs to good old HTTP, which is a file transfer protocol. Think of it as a more modern FTP.

It's possible to fake a full filesystem on top of that, but the windows 'web folders' are not this, they're only a thin veil of 'explorer-ness' over a transfer protocol.

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