webdav basics

Can anyone give a laymans interpretation of what webdav is/does? Would much prefer comments as opposed to links. Essentially we have a records management app similar to sharepoint but not sharepoint, the admin says he requires it as for some tasks uses webdav as its easeir to view the structure of the System. Any idea what exactly it does/is and why you need that above beyond sharepoint or similar tools? Please keep answers pretty basic.
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pma111Asked:
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bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
a good reference is the Wikipedia article of WebDAV. see below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebDAV

in a few words, WebDAV is an extension over HTTP that simplifies access and management to the files stored on web server. it is now an IETF standard protocol defined by RFC 4918. e.g.

once WebDav is in use, a Windows computer may access the files stored on the remote web server by UNC (like \\servername\shareame\filename) or even traditionally by mapped drive (like X:\filename).

both server and client sides need to have WebDav enabled. for Windows based IIS web server and the SharePoint services running on top of it, WebDav is a built-in feature and can be easily enabled by Control Panel.

Most MS applications are also WebDav enabled, so users can easily access web files via the WebDav service built-in Windows.
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Rainer JeschorCommented:
Hi,
WebDAV means "Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning" and is a protocol which extends HTTP.
It consists of two components - the server side and the client side. With WebDAV you can access your web server like a network share or your local file system - including uploading files, moving files and folders, creating folders ...

This ease of use makes WebDAV so popular. SharePoint just provides an alternative WebDAV server side extension as SharePoint stores all its content inside of a database (and not on the file system) hence SharePoint`s WebDAV extension provides a virtual file system to database content mapping but e.g. IIS (Microsoft Internet Information Server) also provides a WebDAV extension like Apache does.

HTH
Rainer
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