University Web Developers

University Web Developers

On our campus network account holders are given a network drive to store files. When they login this automatically maps to the My Documents (now just Documents in Vista) in Windows. Over the web this drive is accessible through Internet Explorer (webdav protocol).

With the increase of browser usage other than IE (I don't even use it) and the increase MAC user population our current accessibility option for the web drive needs an overhaul.

We're a Microsoft campus, and I don't see that changing, so given that fact, are there any other solutions for offering a "web drive" for network account holders to access their files when they are not logged into a campus computer?

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http://webfolder.mozdev.org/index.html

This is a Firefox add-on that says it will work. We run Novell here which has a nice web interface that works in FF by default. Also Konqueror and Nautilus on the linux side both support it and work well.
You ever heard of the gmail shell extension? It's open source freeware and you can get it here. Basically it turns a gmail account into an online file storage. Seeing Gmail now offers over 6GB of storage it's a pretty cool little thing. Now setting this script up through AD to run and configure for each user might be a little more than you want. Not to mention the learning curve there, but really awesome tool to play around with it. I've got a gmail account that does nothing but store files between work and home and wherever else I need them.
That is until gmail decides to shut an account down for abuse because of a TOS violation. It's fine for a personal use on things you can live with using but I wouldn't make it a policy to use it.
We have a Xythos server on campus. Though the original plans to use it for student storage haven't ever really materialized. But it's there, and it works for the staff that have accounts on it.
Since you have a Microsoft Infrastructure, you could consider implementing SharePoint services (WSS). It's a free add-in for Windows Server 2K3 (the Sharepoint Portal Server requires a license, however).

WSS is good for document collaboration and it's possible to map a web page in Sharepoint to a network folder.

As for the browser compliancy, it obviously integrates perfectly with IE and I haven't really come across any issues with Firefox. However, for your Mac Users, if you're using Keberos athentication for your users then Safari will automatically fail to autheticate anyone as it doesn't support Kerberos, but Mac users can use Firefox to access the site.
We do use SharePont already for document collaboration, but I'm not sure how to map a page to a network folder. Any hint on how to do that?
Use the Page Viewer Web Part and add the network path to the folder.

Ex: \\fileserver\userdrives\jsmith
Thanks I gave it a shot. Worked fine in IE.. but not in Firefox, so I'm back to my original issue. Thanks for the info though, I didn't know that you could do that with share point.

Firefox says 404 NOT Found when I visit the page.

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