Saturday, 10 March 2007

WedDAV test server

While trying to work out why I couldn't save Microsoft Word documents from OS X, it occurred to me that a good way to get it working was to look at what other WebDAV servers do and try to copy them. I used this technique with Ethereal and a Windows Sever 2003 box to get my prototype server working earlier in the year. The only problem this time was that Microsoft Word on OS X couldn't save files on a Windows Server 2003 WebDAV share running under IIS, and that's a big problem for me.

I'm not sure why saving doesn't work, but I tried it on two different Macs using two different versions of Microsoft Word and both failed. On a Windows XP machine, saving works fine. I needed to find another WebDAV server to use for testing, or configure one myself. My limited access to server hardware meant that I was going to have to go with the first option.

Enter the WebDAV Testing Server. This is a free public WebDAV server that runs Apache with mod_dav to provide WebDAV functionality. It's primary goal is to provide a test server for developers writing WebDAV clients, but it also happens to come in handy when writing your own server.

Luckily for me, this test server can read and write Microsoft Word documents on OS X just fine, so I used Ethereal to compare the requests and responses and I can now (finally) save Microsoft Word docs from OS X into MySource 4.0. As an added bonus, my problems with saving from Photoshop have gone away as well. One of the changes made today must have caused it to start working, so things are looking up.