Uploading File From a Web Page Using Multipart Form POST

Important! This is a legacy article about enabling upload to Java WebDAV Server from IE 9- and legacy web browsers. You do not need to read this article if you are using Internet Explorer 10+, Chrome 4+, FireFox 3.6+, Safari 4+.

IE 9-, FF 3.5-, Safari 3- and Chrome 3- does not support upload from the local file system using PUT verb. To overcome this limitation IT Hit Java WebDAV Server supports upload using multipart-encoded form using POST verb.

To upload a file, you must submit a multipart form that contains a single file:

    <head><title>POST Upload to WebDAV Server</title></head>
        <form action="/mydocs/" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
            <input type="file" name="dummyname" />
            <input type="submit" />

You must always submit only one file per form without any other input, select or textarea controls. Because of POST standard limitations the server will be unable to calculate file size correctly if any extra controls are submitted. Follow this rules when creating a multipart form:

  1. Specify enctype="multipart/form-data" attribute on a form tag.
  2. Add a name attribute to a single input type="file" tag.
  3. DO NOT add a name attribute to any other input, select or textarea tags.

Action attribute can specify a folder or a file URL. If the file with such name does not exist it will be created. If the file already exists it will be overwritten.

Note that to upload files with non-English and special characters you must specify full file URL in action property and URL -encode it (action="/mydocs/my%20file.gif"), you cannot upload such file specifying folder URL (action="/mydocs/").

The maximum file upload size in most modern browsers is 2Gb.

JavaScript Upload Progress Example

The example below demonstrates how to create a progress bar in JavaScript when uploading a file from a web page. In this example, the upload-progress REPORT request is submitted each second using XMLHttpRequest and total file size and amount of bytes uploaded is extracted from a response. The example runs in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. See How Resumable Upload Works for upload-progress REPORT description.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC '-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN' 'http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd'>
<html xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml' >
    <title>AJAX Upload Progress & Cancel Upload</title>
    <script type='text/javascript'>
        var file;
        function prepareUpload()
            document.getElementById('fileSize').innerHTML = '';
            document.getElementById('bytesUploaded').innerHTML = '';
            document.getElementById('percentUploaded').innerHTML = '';
            document.getElementById('uploadProgressBar').style.width = '0%';
            // get file name
            file = document.getElementById('file').value;
                file = file.substr(file.lastIndexOf('\\')+1);
            document.getElementById('fileName').innerHTML = file;
            // get folder path
            var curFolder = window.location.href;
                curFolder = curFolder.substring(0, curFolder.lastIndexOf('/')+1);
            document.getElementById('target').innerHTML = curFolder;
            document.getElementById('frm').action = curFolder;
        var timerId;
        function formSubmit()
            timerId = setInterval('updateProgress()', 1000);
            document.getElementById('cancelUploadBtn').disabled = false;
        function updateProgress()
            var request = window.ActiveXObject ? new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP") : new XMLHttpRequest();
            var uploadTarget = document.getElementById("frm").action + file;
            request.open("REPORT", uploadTarget, false);
            request.send("<upload-progress xmlns='ithit'/>");
            var resp = request.responseText;
            // Extract number of bytes uploaded and total content length of the file.
            // Usually you will use XML DOM or regular expressions for this purposes
            // but here for the sake of simplicity we will just extract using string methods.
            var size;
            var sizeIndex = resp.indexOf("total-content-length");
            if(sizeIndex != -1)
                size = resp.substring(resp.indexOf(">", sizeIndex)+1, resp.indexOf("</", sizeIndex));
                document.getElementById("fileSize").innerHTML = size;
            var bytes = "Finished";
            var percent = 100;
            var bytesIndex = resp.indexOf("bytes-uploaded");
            if(bytesIndex != -1)
                bytes = resp.substring(resp.indexOf(">", bytesIndex)+1, resp.indexOf("</", bytesIndex));
                    percent = 100*parseInt(bytes)/parseInt(size);
            document.getElementById("bytesUploaded").innerHTML = bytes;
            document.getElementById("percentUploaded").innerHTML = percent.toString().substr(0, 4) + " %";
            document.getElementById("uploadProgressBar").style.width = percent.toString() + "%";
                document.getElementById("cancelUploadBtn").disabled = true;
        function cancelUpload()
            // recreate iframe to cancel upload
            document.getElementById("uploadFrameHolder").innerHTML = "<iframe name='uploadFrame' ></iframe>";
            document.getElementById("cancelUploadBtn").disabled = true;
    <span id="uploadFrameHolder" style="display:none"><iframe name="uploadFrame" ></iframe></span>
    <form id="frm" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data" target="uploadFrame" onsubmit="formSubmit()">
        <input type="file" id="file" name="dummyname" onchange="prepareUpload()" />
        <input type="submit" value="Upload" />
        <tr><td>File Name: </td><td id="fileName"></td></tr>
        <tr><td>Upload Target: </td><td id="target"></td></tr>
        <tr><td>File Size: </td><td id="fileSize"></td></tr>
        <tr><td>Bytes Uploaded: </td><td id="bytesUploaded"></td></tr>
            <td>Upload Progress: </td>
                            <div style="width:200px; height:10px; border: solid 1px black; font-size:0px">
                                <div id="uploadProgressBar" style=" background-color: gray; height:100%; width:0%"></div>
                        <td id="percentUploaded"></td>
    <input id="cancelUploadBtn" disabled="true" type="button" value="Cancel" onclick="cancelUpload()" />
</html><span style="line-height: 20px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; background-color: transparent;" data-mce-style="line-height: 20px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; background-color: transparent;"> </span>