This article will discuss the various ways to connect to WebDAV to work with the static resources of the Portal 8.5 theme framework. WebDAV allows for the administration of themes and skins. You can edit property files to update attributes of the theme and skin, such as metadata, title, description. When you save the updated file, the updates are transferred and applied to the portal model directly. The provided folder and file structure is only simulated and is not a real file system structure.
What is WebDAV?
WebSphere Portal provides a Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) implementation that the Portal 8.5 theme framework uses to store static resources. WebDAV is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol that allows you to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote Web servers. User interface is similar to that of a file system which facilitates the creation, deletion, and modification of resources.
Options for connecting to WebDAV
Using a WebDAV client is the recommended way to access and work with the Portal 8.5 theme static resources.
The commercial WebDAV client WebDrive is supported by WebSphere Portal. This client is very reliable for working with the Portal WebDAV implementation. For setup instructions refer to the home page of South River Technologies.
AnyClient is a free WebDAV client and is recommended as an alternative for WebDrive. For setup instructions refer to the home page of JScape.
Some operating systems provide services to mount the WebDAV file store as a drive connected to the system. This method is useful for both Linux and Mac since there are limited clients available.
To connect using the native services on a Mac, go to: Finder > Go > “Connect to a server”
You can download WebDAV resources as a zip archive using a web browser. To perform this task, enter a URI to the WebDAV resources you want to download as a zip archive into the web browser address bar. This URI should be in the form of:
http://host:port/wps/mycontenthandler/dav/<entry point>/<path to resources>?mime-type=application/zip
A dialog will prompt for login credentials and after those are successfully submitted, the requested resources will download as an archive.
Example to download the static resources for the Portal 8.5 theme:
Similar to the Web Browser, you can download WebDAV resources as a zip archive using a command line tool like wget or ant.
Example with wget:
Example with ant:
Uploading resources is not available through a web browser.
The ConfigEngine provides a task to manage Portal 8.5 theme artifacts. This task uploads an archive or compressed files to portal WebDAV folders. This is useful for staging to production so your WebDAV resources can be deployed by use of scripting. The ConfigEngine task is "webdav-deploy-zip-file".
Connecting to WebDAV for working with portal themes and skins
The portal contains the WebDAV service and enablement layer. Before using WebDAV for WebSphere Portal, you need to set up your WebDAV client. After you have set up the WebDAV client, you can connect to WebDAV and work with portal themes and skins. To connect to WebDAV for WebSphere Portal, enter the WebDAV entry URL as follows:
For working with themes in an administrative perspective (such as creating a new theme, deleting a theme, modifying the title) connect by using the following WebDAV entry URL:
If you want a specific theme rather than the full list of themes, you can add the friendly name, unique name, or object ID of the theme to the URL above.
For working with skins in an administrative perspective (such as creating a new skin, deleting a skin, modifying title) connect by using the following WebDAV entry URL:
If you want a specific skin rather than the full list of skins, you can add the friendly name, unique name, or object ID of the skin to the URL above.
Theme file store:
For working with themes, skins, common resources, layouts, iwidget definitions (such as modifying a theme, skin, layout template) connect by using the following WebDAV entry URL:
Security: The WebDAV entry point requires user authentication via HTTP basic authentication. SSL access is not supported at this time. To use WebDAV, users log in to the portal with their portal user ID. Users can then access and work with portal pages according to their access permissions as set by Portal Access Control.
Virtual portals: Themes and skins are not scoped. Therefore you can work only with the themes and skins of a complete portal installation, not with the themes and skins of virtual portals.
Required access control permissions
Users who want to browse or read the theme or skin WebDAV folder structure including resources need no additional access control permission.
Users need managing access control rights to perform the following tasks:
to manage themes or skins
to modify metadata or resources
to create, modify, or delete resources in the linked portal WebDAV file store theme and skin folders.
To give users the access rights for these tasks assign the users MANAGER role on the virtual resource THEME MANAGEMENT in Portal Access Control.