Storage site update (Got DAV?)

Jim Whitehead (
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 14:57:22 -0800

Back in June, I emailed FoRK
<> about the new trend
in Web storage sites, and how the real potential for these services is
collaboration. Of course, on the Web these days, collaboration means DAV, so
you can save directly to these storage sites from within your office
applications (word processors, spreadsheets, etc.) without having to go
through the web interface of the storage site.

I'm very pleased to note that several Web storage sites now offer DAV
support -- they understand that their sites are all about collaboration.

Sharemation was the first <>, a site running the
Xythos Storage Server (and mainly acting as a showcase for that server).
Since their announcement I've used the site a lot, and I like it. I used
Sharemation to collaboratively work on my ECSCW'99 presntation, in
collaboration with "The Jester" who is Redmond-based, as well as for
off-site backups of my survey paper. As well, a friend of mine is planning
his wedding using some Word and Excel documents they share using this site
(the first DAV wedding?). Sharemation announced their site in mid-August,

NetLockers came next <>, and is a site running IIS
5.0. The NetLockers service also comes with a free email account. There's
some nice integration here -- email attachments you receive show up in your
"Attachments" folder, which you can then access via WebDAV. Your
WebDAV-accessible site is {your username}, a nice feature,
but one that creates the only minor bummer I've discovered with this
service. When you first receive your NetLockers account, you need to wait
about 15 minutes for the new DNS information to propagate to their server.
I first heard about NetLockers in early November, 1999.

The latest, and most high-profile entrant, is My Docs Online
<>, which is running Apache mod_dav (version
"0.9 MyDoc"). As far as I know, this is the first production use of Apache
mod_dav, so I'll be watching to see how it handles the load. Setup was a
total breeze, although I was initially surprised that they use a different
server <> for DAV access. Their press
release announcing WebDAV support came out on Dec. 1

- Jim