NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 1998 — Today at Fall Internet World 98, Microsoft Corp. emphasized its commitment to customer-focused open standards by outlining its plans to use WebDAV in a variety of future products. WebDAV, or Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, is a set of extensions to HTTP 1.1 that will enable people to read and write documents over the Web. WebDAV allows users to share and work with server-based documents regardless of their authoring tools, platforms or the types of Web servers on which they are stored. The WebDAV specification is currently an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Draft – a stable working document in the standards development process that has passed the IETF’s
to progress to a proposed standard. The specification is available for review at http://www.ietf.org/ .
In conjunction with other vendors such as Netscape Communications Corp., Novell Inc., the University of California at Irvine and Xerox Corp., Microsoft has been working with the IETF over the past 18 months to define this new specification. Microsoft plans to incorporate support for WebDAV into the Microsoft® Windows NT® 5.0 Server operating system and Office 2000. Microsoft also plans to support WebDAV in a broad range of next-generation products including the Microsoft Windows® operating system, the FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool and the BackOffice® family.
“WebDAV enables customers to access files across the Web with virtually the same richness they are accustomed to in traditional client/server networks,”
said Mark Ryland, director of standards activities at Microsoft.
“We’re glad to be leading the charge, working through the IETF process, to make standards-based file management a reality for the Web.”
New Benefits to Web Authoring
WebDAV works behind the scenes over the HTTP protocol, giving Web authors a single, consistent way to access and write documents residing on remote servers from multiple vendors. WebDAV also
documents to prevent users from accidentally overwriting each other’s changes. In addition, WebDAV improves navigation and manageability through documents and their properties, allowing users to navigate a WebDAV-compliant server and view the server as if it was a part of the local file system.
For example, users will be able to drag and drop files and perform other file system-related tasks such as moving, copying and saving files seamlessly between local files and remote WebDAV-compliant servers. In addition, users can create, remove and retrieve properties about Web pages in a consistent way. Moreover, the WebDAV initiative plans to address versioning, though the current specification does not currently provide for it.
Support for Standards Ensures Adoption Across Broad Market
Because WebDAV is built on HTTP 1.1, it can be supported on virtually any Web server in use today. XML and XML Namespaces, open standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), are used to specify and retrieve document properties, making the navigation and manageability of Web-based documents easier. Because WebDAV is based on extensible technologies such as HTTP and XML, it will be easy to extend in the future.
Microsoft’s announcement emphasizes the company’s industry-leading support for WebDAV. Microsoft has participated in the IETF’s WebDAV Working Group since it was founded 18 months ago and has played a key role in the co-authoring of the specification. Microsoft shipped support for the WebDAV specification with the beta 1 version of Office 2000 and the beta 2 version of Windows NT 5.0 Server, making it one of the first companies to ship software supporting this technology.
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