Web FoldersBy: Arie Slob
Web Folders is a new Web authoring component included with Internet Explorer 5 that enables you to manage files on a WWW Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) or Web Extender Client (WEC) server using a familiar Windows Explorer or My Computer interface. WebDAV is an extension to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that defines how basic file functions such as copy, move, delete, and create folder are performed using HTTP. WEC is a Microsoft FrontPage protocol that is used for Web publishing.
To install Web Folders while you are installing Internet Explorer 5, choose the Customize option, and then select Web Folders under Web Authoring Components. If Internet Explorer 5 is already installed, you can add Web Folders by following these steps:
- Select Start > Settings > Control Panel
- Double-click Add/Remove Programs
- On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, and then click Add/Remove
- Click Add a component to Internet Explorer, and then click OK
- Under Web Authoring Components, select Web Folders
- Click Next, and then follow the instructions on your screen to complete the installation of Web Folders
Web Folders installs as a shell extension with an icon in My Computer (root object in Windows Explorer). This root object is a container for shortcuts to your Web publishing sites. You can use Windows Explorer to view, move, copy, rename, delete, create new, sort/group files by properties, and view property sheet information for files in a Web Folder depending on your authoring and security permissions on the Web server.
The namespace extension observes the viewing preferences you set in the Folder Options dialog box in Windows Explorer. If you choose not to view files with registered system extensions (for example, .dll, .drv, .pnf, etc.), files in a Web Folder with one of these extensions are not shown.
Note: Files that generate a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) view of the folder (for example, scripts with a .asp or .cgi extension), and other files that may not be intended to be edited by users (for example, execuTABLE files with a .exe or .dll extension), may appear in the Web Folders view of a folder. Administrators may want to use NT file system (NTFS) permissions or some other method to prevent editing of these files by users.
Supported Web Servers
You can use Web Folders with servers that meet the following requirements:
- The server must support WEC (FrontPage Extensions 97, 98 or 99) or it must be a WebDAV server. WebDAV, or Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, is a set of extensions to HTTP 1.1 that enable users to read and write documents over the Web. Check here for additional information about WebDAV
- You must have at least Author and Browse permission on the server (for example, in FrontPage Explorer). In addition, you must have the appropriate NTFS permissions (if the Web Folder is on an NTFS volume) to view or modify files.
Important: Web Folders enable authorized users to browse and modify content on a supported Web server. Administrators of supported Web servers who want to protect their computers from access by unauthorized users should consult the documentation included with the Web server software. See this article on the Microsoft Web site for information about protecting a Frontpage server from from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Creating Web Folders
There are two ways to create a Web Folder:
- In Internet Explorer, click Open on the File menu
- In the Open box, type http://server name/folder name, where server name is the name of the appropriate server, and folder name is the name of the appropriate folder
- Select the Open As Web Folder check box, and then click OK
- In My Computer, double-click Web Folders, and then double-click Add Web Folder
- In the Type The Location To Add box, type http://server name/folder name, where server name is the name of the appropriate server, and folder name is the name of the appropriate folder, and then click Next
- Type a descriptive name for your Web Folder shortcut, and then click Finish
Common Web Folder Error Messages
If you add a Web Folder for a site that is not available or not publishable (for example, FrontPage Extensions is installed but Authoring is disabled), you receive the following error message:
Error Cannot connect to the Web server. The server could not be located, or may be too busy to respond. Please check your typing or check to make sure the Web server is available. For details, see c:\windows\TEMP\wecerr.txt. Verify the server is available using Internet Explorer. If the server can be opened in Internet Explorer, contact the server administrator to request that publishing be enabled.
If you add a Web Folder for a site that is publishable (for example, FrontPage Server Extensions are present and authoring is enabled) but you do not have rights to view or modify files, you are prompted for your user name and password and you receive the following error message:
Error You do not have permission to access this Web Folder location.
Contact your server administrator to grant you the necessary permissions.
If you specify a non-HTTP Uniform Resource Locator (URL) when adding a Web Folder using the Add Web Folder Wizard, you receive the following error message:
The location you have entered is not an HTTP URL. Web Folder locations must be HTTP URL's which point to a folder on a Web server.
Specify a valid HTTP URL.
When any non-specific error message occurs when you attempt to open a Web Folder, you receive the following prompt to browse to the URL:
Internet Explorer could not open Web address as a Web Folder. Would you like to see its default view instead?
If you click No, the operation is canceled. If you click Yes, Internet Explorer attempts to open the Web site. If Internet Explorer is unable to open the Web site, you may have specified a server that does not exist. If Internet Explorer can open the Web site, you may have specified a protocol that is not supported by Web Folders, or the server does not support the WebDAV protocol or does not have FrontPage Extensions installed.