WebDAV support for Intranet Software

With 5.6 Claromentis now supports WebDAV – including the automated preservation of version control – to provide drag and drop file management in parallel with the rich browser based visual interfaces of Claromentis. For those that haven’t used this protocol you can read about it here

Set Up

Setting it up is simple, here on my laptop using Vista Add a network location by right clicking the computer icon:

setup-webdav

I will then be asked to provide the URL of the Claromentis system that I need to manage I will also need of course to provide my access credentials for the intranet : Right away the new drive is available to me.

It appears like any normal drive, a very familiar environment for the user. drive

credentials

We can directly compare this with the rich browser based experience of looking at exactly the same document folder using the Claromentis visual interface through the browser – as the screen shot below shows :

dms-interface

This of course is just the central part of the document management interface.

What are the Implications?

Users that don’t need a graphical interface can just work with drag and drop on their PCs IT departments or users themselves do need to set up the shortcut to the file system on their local PC – so a slight disadvantage over strict access anywhere using only a browser that the Claromentis VI provides.

Claromentis have made sure that adding later versions of files using drag and drop in WebDAV does indeed create a new version of the file in the Claromentis system.

Lets look at this : I navigate to >testing >001 folders in both systems : Here in the Claromentis rich interface

rich-vi-folder

Lets look at the individual file “summary.doc”

Using the interface :

interface-properties

I can look at the properties of this file as normal : here is just a part of the screen :

file-properties-vi
Notice there is no version TAB at all, as there is only one version of this document in the version controlled library of the Claromentis system.

Now without touching this file in Claromentis I decide to just open it in windows using WebDAV. Word fires up just like in any local directory, to me it is a local file system.

I then edit it, and I just save it from MS Word as normal – in this case I added some content relating to Voltaire.

Refreshing the browser back on my Claromentis interface – and indeed – I now have two versions of this document!

versions-vi

More details

I can of course just create a shortcut now on my desktop that represents the local file system – expressed as a normal folder – for the version controlled document management system of Claromentis.

I can also just drag and drop any file into it :

drag-and-drop-a-file

and there it is :

new-file-in-webdav

And after refreshing the browser – the file is there as normal for all users in the normal visual interface.

new-file-in-vi

To complete this story – lets say a normal user in the rich browser based visual interface now searches for “Voltaire” – you recall that was the content I added locally – then dragged that file into the WebDAV folder locally..

voltaire-search-vi

The file is there – adding it via WebDAV still invoked the full automatic searching of content in the normal Claromentis indexing system.

Conclusions

Claromentis has always provided a rich browser experience for the manipulation of documents using check in and our icons, or renew functionality.

There is now an alternative for certain types of users  – or even certain tasks – where the ability to just drag documents into a “local”  folder makes life a lot simpler!  The browser based Visual Interface is always available – users can select the best environment for the task at hand.

I am sure certain companies will find this extremely useful.

5 thoughts on “WebDAV support for Intranet Software
  • Until now, Webdav has been one of those concepts which sounds good in theory, but never in practise. However, these new enhancements will really make the document management component of Claromentis a much better and broader tool. Can’t wait!

  • There is one hiccup of course 😉

    As Webdav is a Microsoft technology, there are a thousand and one ways that it can go wrong. And when it does, users often think it a Claromentis problem.

    Take for example setting it up using the Open Office Document (ODT) format. There are a few small options that need to be selected for documents to be able to opened. While they are all fairly minor (once you work out how to do it) the fact remains that due to the number of different SOE’s, it may just create some hostility before the benefits are fully realised.

    The concept then of a FAQ setup sheet, where the most common problems can be listed and discussed, would be a great idea.

  • WebDAV support in Claromentis provides smooth transition from old-fashion shared drive into sophisticated web-based document management system.
    The end users get simple drag and drop interface within their desktop with all the benefits of online storage.

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