WebDAV Clients

Comparison of WebDAV clients

This page answers why using a WebDAV client with Deveo is a reliable and secure way to host, manage, and collaborate on binary files. This page also covers what WebDAV client suits your needs the most.

Using Deveo to manage WebDAV repositories has the following benefits:

Efficient Access Management

Secure and Reliable

Comprehensive audit logs

Why use a WebDAV client?

Support for WebDAV differs across operating systems. Windows support for WebDAV is poor and does not always function as expected, and while Mac and Linux are generally ok, there is always the potential for something to go awry. Using a WebDAV client alleviates the risk of something going wrong, addresses implementation issues on Windows, and can make it a whole lot easier to transfer files back and forth between your WebDAV server.

What to look for in a WebDAV client

As with any third-party application, you’ll want something useable for you. If you prefer to work with a graphical representation you’ll want a GUI such as Cyberduck, though if you prefer a command line interface Cadaver, or CERN’s DaviX might be a better fit. There are also function considerations, such as how WebDAV LOCK is handled, which can differ from client to client.

Above all else, your WebDAV client and WebDAV server should work well together. With that in mind, your choice of client is directly influenced, and sometimes hindered, by your choice of WebDAV server. So make sure you choose as versatile a WebDAV server as possible. Deveo can be used as a WebDAV server in addition to providing a hosted WebDAV repositories from the cloud.

 

How to map your WebDAV server to your network drive

If you want to map your WebDAV repository as a network drive without using a WebDAV client, we’ve made it easy with Deveo hosted WebDAV repositories. Once you have a project up and running, and have created a WebDAV repository, go ahead and copy the ‘WebDAV URL’ from the repository dashboard and use the operating system’s native file manager to mount it as a network drive. You can find the operating system specific instructions below or skip right into the comparison of different WebDAV clients.

Mac users

Head over to your finder, click ‘Go’ in the toolbar, and select ‘Connect to Server’ from the dropdown list. Now, simply paste your WebDAV URL in the ‘Server Address’ Window and click ‘Connect’. Hey presto, you should be up and running! Head over to your finder and your WebDAV server should be listed.

Windows users

From the Start Menu go to the File Explorer and select ‘This PC’. From the top ribbon, select ‘Computer’ and then click on ‘Map Network Drive’. Click ‘Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures’, and click ‘Next’. Select ‘Choose another network location’ and click ‘Next’. Paste your WebDAV URL in the ‘Internet or network address’ text box, and click next. You might be prompted to enter your username and password, so go ahead and do that and click ‘OK’. Click ‘Next’, then click ‘Finish’, and you should be good to go! Head over to your file manager, and you should see your WebDAV server listed.

Linux users

Select "Open Location..." from the global menu and fill in the Deveo repository URL in the location field. (You may need to replace the protocol "http(s)://" with "davs://" in the URL). Click "Open" and you will find the new "drive" on your desktop. For example, to mount the "bar" WebDAV repository from the "foo" project in "acme" company to your desktop, use the following URL:

http://<DEVEO USERNAME>@app.deveo.com/acme/projects/foo/repositories/webdav/bar

 

Comparison of WebDAV clients

WebDAVFS

WebDAVFS is the proprietary WebDAV client that runs within the MacOS virtual file system. As such, there is no third-party application to install and the majority of the time it works straight out of the box. To connect to your WebDAV server via WebDAVFS, simply follow the Mac users “How to map your WebDAV server to your network drive” instructions above.

Mini-redirector

Mini-redirector succeeded Web Folders as Microsoft’s WebDAV client, shipping with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Users can mount a drive to WebDAV server following the ‘Windows users’ instructions above. It is also possible to specify a WebDAV Server Url in Windows Explorer Address Bar without mounting the drive. This makes it the fastest way to connect to a WebDAV repository in Windows.

Windows Shell uses the following URI format:

server@SSL@portDavWWWRootpath

As with MacOS, `@port` is optional, providing the default ports 80, or 443 are being used. Similarly, `SSL` should only be used where SSL/HTTPS is required.

Cyberduck

Cyberduck is a popular WebDAV client, that also supports FTP, SFTP, OpenStack Swift, and Amazon S3. As a graphical user interface (GUI) it makes things like file transfer - which is done via a drag and drop method - simple. It is available for MacOS, and Windows. Cyberduck is licensed under the GPL.

Once Cyberduck has been downloaded and installed, getting set up is pretty simple. Head over to Deveo and make sure you’ve grabbed your WebDAV repository URL following the instructions above.

To connect Cyberduck to your WebDAV server, open Cyberduck and click ‘Open Connection’. In the ‘Server’ field, paste the WebDAV repository URL you copied from Deveo (The ‘Port’ field should fill itself in automatically. If not, enter ‘443’). Enter your Deveo username and password in the corresponding fields, and click ‘Connect’.

DaviX

DaviX is an open source WebDAV and Amazon S3 client, developed by CERN. It is cross Operating System compatible, with support for MacOS, Windows, and Linux. Unlike Cyberduck, DaviX is command line-based, meaning users should be comfortable with running commands in Terminal with MacOS and Linux or Command Prompt in Windows.

WinSCP

WinSCP takes both the GUI and CLI approach to providing a WebDAV client, making it the most versatile in terms of user accessibility. Unfortunately, it only operates on Windows, which by contrast makes it one of the least versatile in terms of operating system support. WinSCP is a free, open-source client which supports SFTP, FTP, SCP, and of course WebDAV. It is in active development, with the latest stable release (at time of writing) published in February 2017.

Alongside the expected functions, WinSCP offers a bunch of additional features that set it apart from Cyberduck. While both clients support multiple languages, WinSCP also has an integrated text editor, alongside optional session information storage, batch scripting, and .NET assembly for advanced programming tasks.

 

Conclusion

Using a WebDAV client isn’t always necessary, as most operating systems offer basic support for the protocol. However, this proprietary support, particularly in Windows, can often be buggy. As such, a decent WebDAV client can enhance your experience, adding additional functionality, as well as ensuring your connection to your Deveo WebDAV repository is as stable as possible.

What’s more, using Deveo with a WebDAV client means you benefit from all the additional tools that Deveo has to offer, such as issue tracking, markdown wiki, in-code commenting, delegated access management, and repository level authentication. Sign up to Deveo cloud, or on-premises for free, and supercharge your WebDAV use.