WebDAV is used for sharing files over the Internet and is compatible with most operating systems. When used with Blackboard Learn, WebDAV is a means for users to add to and access content in Course Files or the Content Collection, as if it were any other network drive or folder on their computers.
Note: Students cannot upload files to Course Files.
For users who have moved pre-9.1 content containing HTML files, they can use WebDAV—or a web folder—to access their files for editing in the program of their choice.
On the Mac, a web folder is called a shared location.
Managing Web Folders and Shared Locations
Administrators can control the availability of web folders or shared locations and configure settings and locking options for files on the Web Folder Settings or Shared Location Settings page. Locks permit users to "lock" an item. When an item is locked, it can be viewed by others, but cannot be edited, even if others have write permission to edit the item. If your institution licenses content management, administrators set locks on the Feature and Tool Availability page. The Web Folder Settings or Shared Location Settings page allows administrators to set the length of time for locks.
Web folders and shared locations require compatibility with basic or digest authentication schemes. Microsoft.NET Passport, Kerberos, and other distributed authentication mechanisms may be incompatible with direct access to web folders and shared locations. Institutions using one of these authentication types may be able to take advantage of web folders and shared locations by first authenticating with Blackboard Learn, and then launching the web folder or shared location from within the user interface.
Using Persistent Cookies
Using persistent cookies increases the usability of WebDAV because users are not asked to authenticate multiple times. However, this is a heightened security risk if users forget to explicitly select the Logout button to end their session, the session will remain open even when the browser is closed, thus increasing the risk of unauthorized access. This is a higher risk when organizations use shared computers, such as computers in a computer lab. As a mitigating control, organizations can consider adopting a browser policy for removing all cookies when browsers are closed.
A more secure option is to disable persistent cookies, but doing so may require users to authenticate multiple times when accessing content in web folders or shared locations. To learn more, see Using Persistent Cookies.
How to Access the Web Folder Settings Page
If your institution does not license content management:
- In the Administrator Panel, in the Content Management section, select Web Folder Settings.
- The Web Folder Settings page appears.
If your institution licenses content management:
- In the Administrator Panel, in the Content Management section, select Feature and Tool Management.
- On the Feature and Tool Management page, select Web Folders.
- The Web Folder Settings page appears.
How to Configure WebDAV for Web Folders or Shared Locations
- On the Web Folder Settings page, select Yes to make web folders or shared locations available to users. When No is selected, all WebDAV requests are denied.
- Configure the settings as appropriate. The following table describes the available options on the Web Folder Settings page.
Web Folder Settings Available Options Field Description WebDAV Lock Options Maximum Lifetime of a Lock Provide in seconds, the maximum length of time granted for a lock. The lock expires after the maximum lifetime is reached, which ensures that files do not remain locked indefinitely. The default value is 604800 seconds. Minimum Lifetime of a Lock Provide in seconds, the minimum amount of time granted for a lock. The default value is 60 seconds. Lock Timeout Delay Provide in seconds, the length of time for the grace period between the time a lock expires when it times out. During this grace period, clients may refresh the lock. This grace period is designed for clients who may not request early enough that a lock be refreshed, such as clients with inaccurate clocks or clients who do not take into account network latency. The default value is 10 seconds. Unique String for Tokens Provide a unique string to be used for the WebDAV RFC token. Provide a string that is different from that used by any other WebDAV server. A good unique string is a GUID or a URL with a domain name owned by the company operating the WebDAV site. The system bases a unique lock token upon this string. WebDAV Compression Options Allow Compression Some WebDAV clients prefer to receive compressed files. Compressing files over WebDAV reduces bandwidth requirements, but increases CPU usage. If your server generally has free CPU resources, but your network is constrained, select Yes to turn on WebDAV compression. Minimum Size File to Compress Provide the minimum size of a file to compress. All files smaller than this value will not be compressed, even if compression is requested. Not compressing very small, and often commonly used files, reduces CPU requirements. Maximum Size File to Compress Provide the maximum size of a file that may be compressed. All files larger than this value will not be compressed, even if compression is requested. Compressing very large files is generally very resource intensive. MIME Types Available for Compression Provide the extensions for files that will automatically be compressed if requested by the client. Files with extensions appearing in this field will only be compressed if they are of type "application/octet-stream." Allow Chunk Transfer-Encoding Chunk transfer-encoding allows data to be sent in a series of chunks to reduce the strain on the server when sending a large amount of data. Select Yes or No to allow chunk transfer-encoding. If Yes is selected, partial responses will be made when the client supports transfer-encoding.
- Click Submit.