Making Lotus Domino WebDAV actually work

Configuring Lotus Domino WebDAV for third-party tools development has had us struggling a few days until we succeeded on make it actually work. There is a good article here that explains the basis of allowing WebDAV into your server.

However, that’s not all of it. The method above will never work unless you set the right permissions for the user ‘anonymous’ to the database you want to access. That’s it: individual database access must be configured, as it is explained here. The official reference can be also of help, although a bit outdated.

Even then, we had a lot of trouble working with the WebDAV enabled browsing. Under Windows 7 with Explorer, it seemed not allow any kind of file copying – but it allowed to create folders and files by right clicking directly on the directory, though. Also, we were having problems on MAC OS Finder in form of random write errors. All this stuff was pretty confusing and unclear on every forum and blog that we visited for help.

So, eventually, we found out a solution: do not use Explorer nor Finder at all! There are good WebDAV tools that work much like an FTP client (like Cyberduck or BitKinex’s WebDAV client that work very well and do not present the problems we had with the OS built-in clients.

In addition, both clients support authentication, which allows to connect using our own credentials instead of having to open the database access to all anonymous connections (a clearly potential security breach). We just had to configure the database to support ‘design locking’ since it is used by some WebDAV clients on write operations.

To sum up, the key points to make Lotus Domino WebDAV work are:

  • Configure the server to allow WebDAV connections. This is done once for all databases.
  • Configure the database for design blocking (required for some clients) – no need to change access permissions!!
  • Use any other WebDAV client than the OS’s built-in ones.

Update: It seems like Domino requires specific permission rules for the databases being accessed via WebDAV. A user ‘Anonymous’ is required with explicitely no access at all: otherwise, when trying to connect with your own user, being a web interface (whose default user is, by the way, ‘Anonymous’), Domino seems to stop processing access rules at this profile, therefore not allowing any further connection.

3 thoughts on “Making Lotus Domino WebDAV actually work

  1. Thanks for your comment, Marten, I will take it a look, although we particularly do not work with Quickr.

    In any case, webdav is from my point of view essential at least to developers, moreover web developers: it’s the only way that I know that allows to work with ‘real’ folders as in the ‘traditional’ web development world.

    Thus, making it work properly is fundamental, and while utils like BitKinex perform very well, where we have found more trouble is in connecting mapped drives directly from MacOS/Windows OS’s. It seems like the system and the webdav server do not entirely match their protocols (I don’t have much knowledge of the inner details), but in the end we’ve found it much easier and reliable to use external webdav clients than the system’s built-in ones.

    Besides, buil-in connectors do not seem to allow user authentication, therefore forcing development databases to be open to everybody – this does not happen with third-party clients.

    I guess that, in the end, it is up to us to develop further solutions over the base provided by IBM – that’s where I thank companies like yours for listening the users’ needs.

    Cheers,

  2. Hi Jorge,
    I know this post is a bit old. Just wondered if you ran into any size limits on what can be posted via WebDav. I keep hitting a wall of about 13mb, and have tried changing the upload size to zero for unlimited upload.

  3. Hi mark, I have not experienced any limit, although the files compounding my project are much smaller… just a few KB. Sorry I cannot be of much help on this!

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