WebDAV Server Example with File System Back-end, Java and Kotlin

The sample is a fully functional Class 2 WebDAV server in that stores all data in the file system. It utilizes File Custom Attributes to store locks and custom properties. This example can manage file attributes used by Windows Explorer. The IT Hit WebDAV Ajax Library is used to display and browse server content on a default web page as well as to open documents for editing from a web page and save back directly to server. The sample is provided in Java and Kotlin, with identical functionality.


  • Apache Tomcat 7.0+ or GlassFish v4.1.1+ or WebLogic 12c+ or JBoss Wildfly 9+ or WebSphere
  • Java 1.8.
  • NTFS, Ext4, Ext3 or any other file system which supports extended file attributes. Here are the full list of file system that supports it. To enable extended file attributes on Linux change fstab to look like: 
    /dev/sda1  /               ext4    errors=remount-ro,user_xattr   0       1

You will also need the IT Hit WebDAV Ajax Library to display JavaScript UI on a default web page. You can install it from NPM using NPM command line tool, see below. Node.js is ONLY required to download the JavaScript files used in the project. Node.js is NOT required to run the server.

Running the sample

  1. Set license. Download your license file here. To set the license edit license section in \filesystemstorage\WEB-INF\web.xml and specify the path to the license.XML file. The IT Hit Java WebDAV Server Library is fully functional and does not have any limitations. However, the trial period is limited to 1 month. After the trial period expires the Java WebDAV Server will stop working.
  2. Download the IT Hit WebDAV Ajax Library. You can do this with NPM command line tool, which is included with Node.js. Install the Node.js and navigate to \filesystemstorage\WEB-INF\wwwroot\ folder. Run: 
    npm install webdav.client
    This will download IT Hit WebDAV Ajax Library files into your project. Note that Node.js itself is NOT required to run the server, it is used ONLY to install the required JavaScript files.
  3. The ROOT folder for this example is configured to the folder with sample folders and files. You can change its location by changing web.xml . There is section:

    You can provide provide full path as <param-value> to change ROOT location.

  4. Configure the application server. Here we will configure WebDAV server to run on the website root (http://server.com/). Note: While you can configure WebDAV server to run on site non-root (for instance on http://server.com/webdavroot/) some WebDAV clients (such as some old versions or Mini-redirector, Microsoft Web Folders and MS Office 2007 and earlier) will fail to connect to non-root server. They submit configuration requests to server root and if they does not get the response they will not be able to connect. See also Making Microsoft Office to Work with WebDAV Server and Opening Microsoft Office Documents and Other Types of Files for Editing From a Web Page.
    1. In the case of Tomcat:
      Copy \filesystemstorage folder to <Your Tomcat location>\Tomcat x.x\webapps folder. Add the following lines under the <Host> tag in <Your Tomcat location>\Tomcat x.x\conf\server.xml:
      <Context path="" debug="0" docBase="filesystemstorage">

      To see if your server is running type the root URL of your WebDAV site in a browser and you will see the list of folders. Now connect to the server with any WebDAV client.

      If you experience any problems examine the log created by tomcat: <Your Tomcat location>\Tomcat x.x\logs\localhost.xxxx-xx-xx.log.

    2. In the case of Glassfish:
      1. Deploy filesystem storage application.

        From the main tree (Common Tasks) goto Applications.

        Press Deploy and specify following properties:

                  - Local Packaged File or Directory That Is Accessible from the Enterprise Server = <path to filesystem storage directory>

                  - Type = Web Application

                  - Context Root = /

                             Note: sample can be deployed to a non-root context, but some clients work only with servers deployed to root the context.

                  - Application Name = filesystemstorage

      2. Launch sample.

        From the main tree (Common Tasks) go to Applications.

        Press Launch on oracle storage application.

        If everything was set up properly you should see a sample page with a list of sample files and folders. Now connect to the server with any WebDAV client.

        If anything goes wrong please consult log usually located at <GLASSFISH_INSTANCE_ROOT>/logs/server.log.

The Project Classes

On the diagram below you can see the classes in WebDAV File System project.

File system diagram

To adapt the sample to your needs, you will modify these classes to read and write data from and into your storage. You can find more about this in Creating a Class 1 WebDAV Server and Creating Class 2 WebDAV Server article as well as in the class reference documentation.


See Also: