Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mounting Alfresco as a WebDAV Network Folder

I like Alfresco Share's beautiful UI and I like Alfresco's CIFS capability of being mounted as a remote SMB/CIFS network drive. Anyway, one of the few shortcomings of Share is that you cannot download multiple files from the Web UI (you can upload multiple files), something you can easily do by mounting Alfresco as a SMB/CIFS drive, dragging & dropping files in and out.

Note: I think one of the coolest features we should add to Share's UI would be the ability to download a selection of folders as a ZIP file in one shot.

CIFS is not enabled by default, so there are Alfresco deployments where you cannot mount it locally on your workstation, for security reasons or because of a lazy sys admin. However, to interact with Alfresco easily you always have an option: mount it as a WebDAV network folder, which is easy to do from any operating system and it's enabled by default in Alfresco (unless your sys admin disabled it on purpose).

On the Alfresco Wiki you can find instructions for mounting WebDAV on Windows. Here I want to quickly show you the same thing on  Mac OSX and Finder, which is even easier (of course, it's a Mac....).

First of all, Alfresco's WebDAV is available from address: http(s)://hostname:port/alfresco/webdav/
in my case I'm using a local Alfresco server, within my home network, so it is:
Beware that in most cases Alfresco is configured to be accessible to the external world via HTTPS and not plain HTTP, so write your URL accordingly.

Now open the Finder and press ⌘K to open the server connection dialog, adding you Alfresco's WebDAV URL like this:

After pressing "connect" (sorry, my screenshots are in Italian....) and entering your own Alfresco's username and password, you'll get this:

Now you could go to your Alfresco's User Home, in my case it's mturatti, and start dragging and dropping file into Alfresco, or from Alfresco into your desktop.