DropBox WebDAV : Your Guide to Navigating integrations
DropBox WebDAV Warm-Up
DropBox WebDAV integrations allow users to use WebDAV to send files to DropBox API endpoints. DropBox is the world’s premier file hosting service which has been around for over 10 years. Millions of consumers and enterprise users to synchronize files across their devices and the cloud. Many use it is a personal cloud setup or a 3rd party cloud service provider. They can not generally accomplish certain file transfers due to DropBox limitations. We will go over the most noteworthy components of this relationship in this article.
WebDAV is a protocol that allows users to edit and manage files on remote web servers. We answer more details about the protocol itself in another article: WebDAV Server – What Is WebDAV?
Briefly: WebDAV stands for “Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning”. It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.
DropBox and WebDAV exist separately. You could consider DropBox as a pure storage mechanism, while the protocol is exclusively a way to move files.
Table of Contents
- DropBox & WedDAV Working Together
- WebDAV & DropBox Sync
- Does DropBox Support WebDAV Officially?
- Connecting to DropBox API to WebDAV
- Using DropDAV to manage your DropBox WebDAV connection
- Sending files from Apps To WebDAV to DropBox
- Connecting Devices to DropBox with WebDAV
How does it work with DropBox
WebDAV is one of the most noteworthy ways to move files to and from DropBox accounts. Above all, There is no out-of-the-box solution provided by DropBox to connect webDAV. Users that want webDAV-DropBox integrations generally use 3rd party webDAV gateway servers:
- The user will connect to the gateway server
- The user will then upload the file to the gateway server
- The WebDAV server generally saves the file temporarily, and then uploads the file to DropBox via the DropBox API
- The gateway server then deletes the temporary file.
What is the WebDAV URL of DropBox?
The DropBox URL for WebDAV is not provided by DropBox . It is noted that support is not officially provided by DropBox, and as a result they may at any time remove any URL you find on the ‘net. Since you may not directly connect to a DropBox WebDAV URL, we recommend looking into 3rd party server that allow connections via the DropBox API
We recommend connecting to https://dav.dropdav.com for DropBox WebDAV URL (assuming you have signed up for the DropDav service)
Does DropBox Support WebDAV Officially?
According to DropBox themselves, DropBox does NOT offer official support to WebDAV users. However, it is important to clarify that just because they do not offer support does not mean there is no way to connect your WebDAV to DropBox. Many file transfer clients provide features that allow you to use the WebDAV secure protocol to transfer files to DropBox and other services.
DropBox doesn’t do support for WebDAV 😒
These WebDAV servers connect to the DropBox API for you. 🤠
Connect to one of these Servers and get seamless WebDAV-> DropBox file transfers.
Easily connect to DropBox via WebDAV
— DropDAV (@dropdav) May 25, 2019
Connecting to DropBox API The Hard Way
Maybe you’re looking for a challenge? Or, your enterprise is large enough that it has its own internal development team for cloud service integrations.
Alright, this is the HARD way. We’re not providing implementation details here, but this should serve to provide you an idea with what it takes to spin up a robust WebDAV <-> DropBox integrations.
The first step in connection your WebDAV enabled application or device to DropBox, you will need to build or buy a server.
You may be able to build your own server from scratch, but in order for it to work perfectly and perform well, your implementation would need to adhere to the RFC4918 WebDAV Specification. Let’s be honest, you probably don’t have the time or resources to build that in a reasonable amount of time.
Alternatively, you can look online for some open source WebDAV server code. There are quite a few out there, so plan to spend tens of hours of time experimenting with different servers to find the one that matches the needs of your business infrastructure.
After you’ve got your WebDAV server built, you will need to set up API integration from your WebDAV server to the DropBox API. In order to talk to the DropBox API, you will need to create an app in their developer console. Once the application is available, and the application key are available, you ‘ll need a script of some sort authenticate your application. Generally we’ve seen this done with the Python Programming Language.
You will need to focus on the oAuth authentication first in order to ensure API calls will be enabled from your server. After that you’ll need to map the API requests of DropBox to the actions of your server and ensure everything’s tested for all scenarios.
The Easiest Way to Use DropBox
Seems like the hard way isn’t for everyone. For DropDav.com, the process is simple:
- Sign up at http://dropdav.com
- The app will ask you to connect your DropBox account. Do that
- Once you’ve connected your DropBox account to DropDav, you can now use your DropDAV credentials in any application or device connection to get your files from your device to DropBox via WebDAV
Here’s an example of how to connect with a tool like cyberduck: