Friday, March 30, 2012

WebDAV integration with AD #edtech

http://www.flickr.com/photos/74995919@N00/4597780822/
We have been working to get WebDAV configured in our environment for a while now.  We determined at the end of last year that this was a critical need for our shared cart implementation with iPads.  Because the devices aren't 1:1 we can't rely on the mail app as the primary means to transfer content off of the iPads.  WebDAV is a solution that gives the users access to a Windows network drive where they can transfer content to and from their iPad.  Most of the iLife/iWork apps have native WebDAV integration now.  And you can also use apps like WebDAV Nav+ and GoodReader to access your WebDAV shares.

However, we have had a very difficult time making our WebDAV configuration work with AD.  We kept having a problem with folder permissions.  Either a user would get full access to every folder, or they wouldn't get any access to any folders.  Which is kind of a big problem.

We found that the key is to install and configure your WebDAV server on the file server that is housing the network drive you want to give access to.  When you set it up this way the WebDAV server can properly managing the permissions.  If it is on a separate server you will continue to run into the permission problems.

We actually plan to expand our WebDAV use outside the iOS application.  We are planning to use WebDAV to provide access to all user drives when they are away from the office, and do away with the need for VPN access.