The WebDAV resources have two sorts of access right permissions. 'Classical' UNIX filesystem style permissions let assign different permissions for owner user, owner group and public access. Access Control Lists (ACLs) let assign permissions in more flexible Windows style but they are less convenient for simple tasks. Both set of permissions can be applied to the same resource or collection. In any case, each resource or collection (directory/folder) can have defined Read, Write and Execute permissions. The write permission applies to operations which perform content or property change or locking as PUT, PROPPATCH, MOVE, destination URI in COPY, LOCK, UNLOCK, DELETE, MPUT and MUPDATE. The read permission applies to read operations as GET, POST, PROPFIND, HEAD, source URI in COPY and MGET; read permission is also required for any write operation.

[Tip] See Also

RFC2518 for more details of methods/operations

The execute permission applies only to the active content stored in the WebDAV domain. If a VSP or VSPX page stored in a WebDAV domain has execute permissions then retrieval of that page will perform execution of active content. Note also a special flag to the virtual directory which can override the execution flags for active pages. (for the details how this flag can be set see 'options' in VHOST_DEFINE() function). If such a flag is set to the virtual directory, then all active pages under that directory (direct and indirect children) will be treated as execution flag of the resource is set. In almost any case, user should have both read and execute permissions to access active content.

Resources with the following extensions are treated as executable content: .vsp, .vspx, .xml if this has the XML template properties set. Any other extension is also considered executable if there is a corresponding WS.WS."__http_handler_<extension>" PL procedure.

The UNIX style permissions can be set for user, group or public access. ACL consists of records called Access Control Entries (ACEs). Every ACE allow or deny some sorts of access to an individual user or to a group. Resource owner or administrator can add an "explicit" ACE to the ACL of particular resource or "recursively" add "implicit" ACEs to every resource and subcollection of some collection. The server checks permissions in the following order:

  1. match the user part of UNIX-style permissions to the specific operation, if user is the owner of the resource.

  2. match the user group part of UNIX-style permissions to the specific operation, if user belongs to a group which owns the resource.

  3. match the public part of UNIX-style permissions to the specific operation.

  4. If Access Control List is not empty, scan ACEs from the beginning of the list to the end. The loop stops at the first ACE that mentions either the user in question or one of the roles granted to it. Depending on the type of the ACE, the access is either granted or denied and the rest of list has no effect.

  5. If ACL contains no appropriate ACE then the access is denied.

According to these rules, the order of records in ACL is important. ACEs are ordered following two rules: "deny" ACEs has higher priority than "allow" ACEs; "local" rules has higher priority that "global":

  1. All explicit ACEs are placed in a group before any inherited ACEs.

  2. Within the group of explicit ACEs, access-denied ACEs are placed before access-allowed ACEs.

  3. Inherited ACEs are placed in the order in which they are inherited. ACEs inherited from the child object's parent come first, then ACEs inherited from the grandparent, and so on up the tree of objects.

  4. For each level of inherited ACEs, access-denied ACEs are placed before access-allowed ACEs.

New resources and collections take their initial permissions from the user default permissions mask, U_DEFAULT_PERMS of SYS_USERS. (see: WebDAV Users Administration ). In the case of a resource created as public or a collection mask of '110110110' (equivalent of UNIX 'rw-rw-rw'), then everybody can read and write it.

Example 19.3. WebDAV Permissions

Consider a resource with the following permissions:

'111110100'

This permission string is equivalent to UNIX 'rwxrw-r--'. The resource can be executed, read and written to by the owner, group members can read and write to it, and non authenticated (public) users or users not belonging to the group group can only read it.


Every resource or collection has two additional flags in permissions, that instruct the server whether resources should be indexed for free-text search and whether resources should be parsed to extract metadata:

Free-text indexing flag can take one of three values: "N", "R" and "T". If a resource has this flag set to R or T then the resource will be free-text indexed. If a collection has this flag set to T then resources directly contained within the collection will be free-text indexed. If a collection has this flag set to R then resources contained within the collection will be free-text indexed, and the setting will be applied to all members and collections underneath recursively. New resources and collections acquire this setting from their parent collection.

Similarly, metadata extraction flag can take one of three values: "N", "R" and "M". If a resource has this flag set to R or M then its metadata are extracted. If a collection has this flag set to T then metadata are extracted from resources directly contained within the collection. If a collection has this flag set to R then metadata are extracted from resources contained within the collection, and the setting will be applied to all members and collections underneath recursively. New resources and collections acquire this setting from its parent collection.