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There are different ways to set up Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) for sharing files over the Internet. This TechNote describes one method that allows a website authoring team to modify live files on an IIS-hosted website using WebDAV in Dreamweaver. To achieve this functionality, this method uses duplicate websites running on different ports in Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) server, both pointing to the same set of files on the web server.


In order to get the most out of this TechNote, developers must have an understanding of IIS, and must know how to define a folder as a website in IIS. We recommend the IIS help files. This setup applies to IIS version 5 or higher, which includes support for WebDAV.

Why configure duplicate websites running on different ports?

If you follow the steps in the IIS help documentation for "Creating a Publishing Directory" using WebDAV, you will create a physical directory on the server, link that physical directory to an IIS virtual directory, and grant limited access permissions (Read, Write, and Browsing) for the virtual directory. The IIS help documents also state that the WebDAV directories should have anonymous access turned off. The problem here is that only the authoring team (assuming they have the necessary Windows permissions) will be able to view the website. In other words, the Internet public will not be able to view the website, since anonymous access is turned off. A server administrator could transfer the files from the "locked down" WebDAV directory to an "open" public website directory, but that would introduce an additional administrative step into the website publishing process. Creating duplicate IIS websites running on different ports makes web publishing a one-step process in Dreamweaver.

Defining and configuring two IIS website instances

For the configuration method explained in this TechNote, it is necessary to define two separate websites in IIS pointing to the same folder on the server (in this example,c:\inetpub\wwwroot). One website will handle normal Internet traffic (read-only), and the other website will be dedicated to handling WebDAV requests (read, write, file management, file locking, etc.).

Note: The instructions for configuring the websites in IIS are provided as a courtesy to customers, but Macromedia does not accept responsibility for ensuring such configurations function as expected. This is one of many possible configurations, and customers are encouraged to use any other configuration that works for them.

Website 1: Setting up a website for normal browser (HTTP) requests.

1. Define a new website in IIS which uses port 80.

2. Use restricted permissions for the Home Directory. For example, allow "Read" access and set "Execute Permissions" to "Scripts Only".

3. Allow Anonymous access. Allowing Integrated Windows authentication is optional. See the IIS help files for more information on Integrated Windows authentication.

Website 2: Setting up a second IIS website devoted to handling WebDAV requests.

1. Define a second site in IIS, pointing to the same folder but using a port number other than 80. In this example, port 81 is used.

2. Allow most or all permissions for the Home Directory and set "Execute Permissions" to "Scripts only".

3. Disable the ASP script server, the ColdFusion script server or other script server you may be using. You do this by clicking the "Configuration..." button in the screen shot above and removing the appropriate DLL. This will prevent IIS from sending the server-side script to the application server for processing. Someone editing a ColdFusion page would want to see the pre-processed ColdFusion code, not the resultant post-processed HTML code.

4. Because the WebDAV site is much more permissive, do not allow Anonymous access. Use Basic authentication.

Note: Basic authentication sends passwords over the network in an unencrypted form, however the Basic authentication checkbox must be checked in order for WebDAV to work in Dreamweaver. Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 2.0 and later) is the only WebDAV client that supports Integrated Windows authentication (user names and passwords are hashed before being sent across the network). WebDAV in Dreamweaver will continue to work if you check the "Integrated Windows authentication" checkbox in addition to Basic authentication. This setup would allow Dreamweaver connections to use Basic authentication and Internet Explorer connections to use Integrated Windows authentication. Microsoft recommends turning on Basic authentication only if you encrypt passwords through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Dreamweaver 8 now supports WebDAV over SSL.

Define the site in Dreamweaver

1. In Dreamweaver, open the Site Definition dialog box and select the Remote Info category. Set the Access drop-down menu to WebDAV. In the WebDAV Connection dialog box, append port 81 to the server name in the URL. Enter the username and password that allows you to log into the WebDAV site using IIS Basic authentication.


If you are using a testing server for this Dreamweaver site, set the Access for the testing server to WebDAV and fill out the WebDAV Connection dialog box the same as above.Important: Note that the last field of the Testing Server dialog box, URL Prefix, should be set to the regular URL (do not add port 81).

Note: WebDAV is only available as a Testing Server Access choice if the Remote Info category uses WebDAV as the access choice.

Note: Configuring an Apache web server site to handle both browser traffic and WebDAV requests also requires a setup procedure which is a bit more painstaking. For more information about this Apache-specific process, please review mod_dav Installation and Configuration at www.webdav.org.

Watch the demonstration below of the steps to configure WebDAV in IIS for use with Dreamweaver.

Additional Information

For more information on IIS and WebDAV, please refer to:

* IIS help documentation. If IIS is installed on your machine, you can access the help files at: http://localhost/iisHelp.

* WWW authentication methods with Microsoft Internet Information Server (TechNote 19078)

* www.webdav.org

* Troubleshooting WebDAV Connections (TechNote 15167)

* Check In/Check Out may not work properly on WebDAV (TechNote 15537)

Third party links

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