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As a SharePoint architect I have the business behind me and the Developers and IT Pro on my shoulders.

Browsing SharePoint using WebDav from Windows 2008 January 31, 2009

Filed under: SharePoint — fmuntean @ 8:36 am

WebDav is the protocol used by SharePoint to enable Explorer browsing and network mapping of SharePoint libraries.

WebDav is used mainly by the “Explorer View” feature but others are using as well (InfoPath, Excel, Word, PowerPoint).

On the server side there is nothing to install or configure in IIS (no need for enabling IIS WebDav Web Service extension) as SharePoint is implementing its own.

On the client side there is another story, each client needs to be configured differently because Microsoft have decided to change this with each operating System.

Windows XP: There is nothing to do as the Web Client is installed and enabled.

Windows Vista: The Web Folder service needs to be started for it to work.

Windows 2008: The Desktop Experience feature needs to be installed.




14 Responses to “Browsing SharePoint using WebDav from Windows 2008”

  1. Koen Wijnstok Says:

    Thanks for the Desktop Experience feature tip!

    couldn’t get it to work on windows 2008….


  2. Sultan Says:

    MOSS, WIN 2008, Office 2007 Issues

    I am trying to created a vpc that I use for demo purposes

    But apparently there is a compatibility problem between office 2007 and win 2008 combination.

    I can’t create an item using MOSS directly I can only upload.

    The server button in office button menu does not show unless I upload the document then open it.

    I can’t start a collect signature workflow; the workflow button does not show either.

    I turned of i.e. enhanced security thing and also added my Moss sign to i.e. trusted sites.

    I did install the Desktop Experience feature, but the problem was not solved

    tried to enable webdav from IIS 7 did not find the webdav icon
    installed webdav from this link

    enabled it for the web application

    added authoring rules (enabled read,write,….. for ll users)

    still not working any idea???

  3. fmuntean Says:

    Hi Sultan,

    First sorry for the late response but your comment was catch by the system as a spam.

    Not to get to the business: SharePoint 2007 and windows 2008 are working quite fine together. Te only hard requirement is to have SharePoint 2007 SP1.

    I have read your comment for few times trying to understand your problem as I am currently using MOSS 2007 on a Windows 2008 on a daily basis with no issues.

    You are talking about multiple issues here:

    Q1) Can’t start Collect Signature Workflow:
    A1) The workflows are site collections features and needs to be activated on a site collection then associated with a list or document library before you can start them. I would check the following: Login as a site collection admin on your site collection where you need the collect signatures workflow go to Site Settings -> Site Collection Features -> and activate the “Collect Signatures Workflow” feature. If you can’t see the feature then you either have WSS instead on MOSS or you have a bad installation.

    Q2) Can’tcreate a word document from MOSS Web Interface.
    A2) Go to a document library (or create a new one) and click new If you get an eror message like this, “New Document requires a Windows SharePoint Services compatible application …” then you either don’t have the Office 2007 installed or have a bad instalation.

    Q3) Can’t publish a document from office to a SharePoint document library.
    A3) Inside Word use Office button -> Publish -> Document Management Server, a save dialog should appear and now either on the address bar or or over the filename textbox type the url of your SharePoint server login and then browse to a document library, click save and your document should start saving to the document library.

    Note: I am not sure if you are aware but Microsoft have published VHD images for it’s major applications that you can download use them for demos, as a trial or even activate them for a longer use. The SharePoint VHD is available here:

    Note2: I just want to point out that the vhd from Microsoft is using Windows 2003 but personally I am using Windows 2008 just because it integrates better with Hyper-V (I use this instead of Virtual PC 2007 for performance reasons).

    Note3: If you have Form Based Authetication then the Office integration is turned off as the Office client does not know how to authenticate you on the server.

    Note4: I didn’t need to install the update that you are mentioning to have the integration working.

    Let me know if you found a solution or give more details as error messages to be able to help further.

  4. Prasad Says:

    I just want to know whether there is a way to access a sharepoint site using Ubuntu?
    I can access the sharepoint site, but I couldn’t open the forms
    in form libraries, work with workflows and there are many other issues.
    Is there any way to overcome those issues in ubuntu?

  5. fmuntean Says:

    The problem is not the operating system as is the web browser that you are using.
    Please see the following post about browser compatibility:

  6. Pungi Says:

    Are there any WebDAV changes for Windows 7?

  7. Utkarsh Says:

    How can I monitor WebDAV folder when a file is deleted or dropped? So as soon as user drop a file then I will ask him couple of inputs to fill the required field of SP 2010 document library.

    Currently the problem is, if you have SP doc lib with some require coliumn, and you drop a file in webdav, document is still get created in SharePoint without a warning.

  8. fmuntean Says:

    There are multiple ways you can go about this:
    1. Use a workflow and if the fields are not filled create a task for the user who uploaded the document asking the user to fill the information.
    2. There is a “hiden” feature in SharePoint where by default properties from the document are surfaced in SharePoint columns as long the property name matches the column name. This way the user can prefill the info before uploading the document then the SharePoint will extract the data populate the columns.
    Let me know if you need more info.

  9. Steven Taub Says:

    ever hear of a situation where a user has webdav abilities, but can only create a file, folder, etc. but not be able to rename it? That’s the issue I’m trying to figure out. I cannot find ANYTHING out there on this issue.

  10. fmuntean Says:

    WebDAV is defined in RFC 4918:
    It is an HTTP protocol using special HTTP headers.
    You can use WireShark to check the communication between client and server.

  11. Steven Taub Says:

    Thanks for the reply, fmuntean. On further research, I think the information I received is different than what I posted here.

    Upon asking further questions and watching an example in action , this is the situation

    Sharepoint folder
    f:\IPI\Document library\documents

    Add\modify\delete file name through Sharepoint webdav: Yes\Yes\Yes
    Add\modify\delete using windows explorer: Yes\No\Yes

    So simply put, I can do what I need to do through Sharepoint WebDav but not through win explorer on the same folder. And that’s the issue, doing those file actions while using file manager.

  12. Steven Taub Says:

    Weird, huh!

  13. fmuntean Says:

    You can use WireShark to check the traffic.

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