RE: Oracle's Internet File System

From: Jim Whitehead (
Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 11:21:27 PST

Adam Rifkin writes:
> > As a lightweight communications layer, WebDAV provides a stronger
> > avenue for traffic across the Internet than Microsoft Windows.
> Is it fair to compare WebDAV to Microsoft Windows?

No, but it is fair to compare WebDAV to CIFS (Common Internet File System),
an updated version of the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol (see for an introduction). HTTP/DAV
requires fewer round trips than CIFS to read a file; compare a single GET (1
round trip) to the three round trips in this figure
( -- the second
through sixth messages can be batched together using the AndX feature).
Furthermore, CIFS is concerned with reading and writing files, and hence
isn't able to handle authoring of dynamic Web resources, where the read
output may be significantly different from the persistent state stored
within the server. CIFS has the assumption that what is read is the
persistent state (granted, DAV implementations haven't done well at this
separation either).

So, it is fair to say that HTTP/DAV is better suited than CIFS for
read/write data access across the Internet.

Joe Feise writes:
> It took them so long to realize that they need WebDAV support?

Well, I believe engineers at Oracle have recognized the need for WebDAV
support for well over a year. I think DAV support just didn't make the
initial feature cut for the first release.

- Jim

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