Kentico CMS and WebDAV support

Intranet sites typically serve also for document management which requires specific features. One of them is direct editing of the documents without the need to save the files manually to the temporary location and reupload them after edit ...
Hi there,

We are getting a lot of questions about what is meant by the WebDAV support that we plan for the next version(s) and also how you can expect it to look (work) like. This post hopefully covers most of your questions and give you brief overview of it.

What is WebDAV?

WebDAV is abbreviation of Web Distributed Authoring and Versioining, which I believe isn't any more helpful to you to explain it. In other words, it is an interface for application to connect to the document (file) storage, and work with it including workflow support, adding new documents or editing existing ones.

From the client side, it works this way:
  • Client wants to edit some file on the web server, e.g. some Word document.
  • He opens the browser, and locates the file in the web UI.
  • He clicks on the icon to edit the file which raises the Word application (the WebDAV client).
  • The Word application is told to open the file from the web location so it opens it like that through the WebDAV service running on the web server.
  • When the user saves the file in the Word application, the file is saved directly to the web server through the WebDAV service.
What is available for direct editing on client's side basically depends on which installed applications are implemented as WebDAV clients. We cannot do anything to support non-WebDAV applications, but we sure can support those that can work that way.

There are numerous applications that can do that, including:
  • Entire MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ...) - So you can edit the documents directly
  • Paint.NET - So you can edit the images directly and use it like more advanced image editor
  • Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver - I didn't try that but it is said that they also implement WebDAV client
So in the end, anything that you configure in your Kentico CMS to be WebDAV allowed file type can get you there if you have corresponding WebDAV client application for that type of file.

What is important is that WebDAV is only supported under Windows authentication and depending on your IIS version either only in root of the web site (IIS 6.5 and older) or also in the virtual directory (IIS 7 and newer). That makes it feature specific to intranet and extranet only and not so useful for standard usage on the standard web site.

Also, it works only in IE since this feature is really Microsoft-centric. 

Edit mode

The main part of any WebDAV server is the edit mode. Edit mode basically allows what I described above ... opening and editing the file directly from the server. The edit mode for the document attachments will be supported in Kentico CMS 5.5 R2. If we look at how it will look like, it won't change the UI too much. There will be just one new icon beside the existing ones when you edit the attachments:

If you click on it, the browser will just want confirmation if you trust the source and want to open the file, and if you do, it opens the client application in editing mode.


Then, if you hit save, the file gets saved to the server.


That is all about the edit mode, it is very simple from the client perspective.

Browse mode 

Browse mode is other part of the WebDAV support which allows editing of the data without the internet browser, and also allows creating of new documents directly from the WebDAV client.
It allows you to provide your document storage in form of filesystem view, so you can directly work with folders and documents from explorer window or the Save as dialog of the WebDAV clients and save the copies of the documents to other locations without the need to open it through the browser window.

Here is an example of what you can see as the document storage in the Save as dialog:


But you can also open it directly in the explorer window or event mount that as a disk:


Browse mode together with the edit mode for other files such as object attachments or media library will be supported in version 6.0.

That is all from me today, see you next time ...
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Martin Hejtmanek

Hi, I am the CTO of Kentico and I will be constantly providing you the information about current development process and other interesting technical things you might want to know about Kentico.


Martin Hejtmanek commented on

Hi Nancy,

Not sure if I understand your question. These is a WebDAV module available in the IIS that can provide WebDAV functionality over the physical files stored on the server. This is a separate solution which provides WebDAV functionality on content from Kentico CMS.

nancy commented on

WebDAV supports classic ASP?

Martin Hejtmanek commented on

LOL, I hope they will be about other features :-D

Jeroen Fürst commented on

Haha great, I guess you can expect a lot of questions then :P

Martin Hejtmanek commented on

Hi Jeroen,

Not unless you have source code, and even with source code, you would need to modify some of it and provide your own UI and security checks for it :-)

Jeroen Fürst commented on

Hi Martin, I suppose that these prototypes are not secretly available with the new 5.5R2 release right? :) Cheers!

Ilesh Mistry commented on

Oh cool good news Martin, it would really help the clients using Kentico :-)

Martin Hejtmanek commented on

Hi Ilesh,

You are right, with 5.5 R2 the WebDAV is available just for document attachments. In 6.0, it will be available for everything (document attachments, object attachments, media library) including the browse modes for all those.

We have the prototypes but it would further postpone the release of R2, so we decided to split it into two phases.

Ilesh Mistry commented on

Hi Martin

This is not available for the Media Library right?
We are putting our files in there -

Any ideas whether it will be rolled out to be used in the Media Library?


Martin Hejtmanek commented on

Hi Jeroen,

I can't tell for sure, because I do not have a Photoshop licence, but the WebDAV on the browser side works the way that the application itself installs plugin or COM component into the browser and that fires the application when WebDAV editing is requested. So in case you allow these file types in Kentico CMS WebDAV settings, it should work. Try it and let me know what it does.

Jeroen Fürst commented on

Hi Martin,

I have a question about the Photoshop/Dreamweaver support. How can I for example bind jpg files or even psd's to be openend with Photoshop?


Martin Hejtmanek commented on


1) Yes it does.
2) Yes, but launching the WebDAV from the browser is not just standard link, it basically needs to call it with Javascript code, but it is possible (if the user has appropriate permissions)

rvanoord commented on

Thanks for the info. A couple of questions:
1) Does the WebDav solution support versioning (for example if somebody modifies a document, will that appear as a new version in Kentico?)
2) Is it possible to open a document from the front-end of a Kentico site (i.e. via a link on the website, rather than going into CMS Desk).