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Q: Using webDAV to edit PDFs file in real-time with 3 people ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Using webDAV to edit PDFs file in real-time with 3 people
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: sherpaj-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 24 Jul 2002 11:28 PDT
Expires: 23 Aug 2002 11:28 PDT
Question ID: 44642
I want to be able to annotate pdf documents with 3 other people in
different locations, preferable in real-time.  We all know how to use
the annotation tools in acrobat 5, we all have static IPs, we are all
on XP or Mac.

On their web site, Adobe says you can do this (multiple people in
real-time) by using a WebDAV server.  That the WebDAV will take care
of the locking of documents, and the sharing.  I have played with
accessing a test site using the webfolders functionality of windows. 
I hear there is a webdav client for Mac OS9, and that it is built into

My questions are:

-	Were can we rent some webDav space.  All the ISPs I talked to will
give us FTP space, but not webDav.
-	For doing this real-time thing in Acrobat, do we need to have
something special on the server?  How do we set it up so that 3
persons are adding to the document at once?   Do we just dump the file
there, open up the webdav share on our desktops and double click on
the file?
-	Is there something special in acrobat that makes it webDAV aware and
makes use of the locking/unlocking feature in webDAV?

If we can make this happen, at a low monthly cost, it would be a very
cool way to collaborate.

Request for Question Clarification by j_philipp-ga on 24 Jul 2002 11:44 PDT
Hello Sherpaj,

Where are you from, that is -- in which country do you plan to have
the WebDAV server hosted?

Subject: Re: Using webDAV to edit PDFs file in real-time with 3 people
Answered By: wengland-ga on 24 Jul 2002 12:24 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

What an interesting question.  I just came off of a heavy PDF project
using Distiller for Unix.  Very intense stuff.

To start, all of your collaborators will need to have the full
registered version of Acrobat 5.0 - no free readers allowed here! 

Now, for a bit of background - WebDAV handles all the heavy lifting
for you via additional HTTP headers.  It runs over the standard port
80 communications, so no special hoops have to be jumped thru. 
Instead of re-telling the story of how to use it, just follow these

To learn how to connect to a WebDAV hosted document read this, and
connect to a test server:

PlanetPDF Acrobat 5 WebDAV Demo

For more information about PDF collaboration read this reprint from
PlanetPDF - PDF Collaboration In Action - WebDAV

And, how file locking works with WebDAV:
"...members of a team can use WebDAV to work on the same document at
the same time, without being in the same place. Only an Internet
connection is required. The shared access is implemented by functions
such as file locking and version control. The locking feature allows a
user to temporarily block access to a file while he or she is working
with it. Once the changes are completed, it is unlocked again. Locking
and unlocking happen automatically, controlled by WebDAV, to avoid a
"collision." "
PlanetPDF - Sidebar: WEbDAV - The HTML Communications Standard

And to your first question, where can we host this?  Well, if it
really is just the three of you, and one of you has an OSX box with
Apache and mod_dav installed, (should be there by default), just stick
that machine on a cable modem or DSL connection and reference that IP
address in Acrobat.  If that is not an option, I found a few  hosting
providers for you that support WebDAV:

Weberie supports WebDAV, and costs between $10 and $20 a month

Landmann InterACTIVE supports WebDAV, but pricing is per project.  I'd
bet it won't be much for a few meg of space and access for your PDFs. 
They also look like Mac gurus, the sites are hosted on BSD - Darwin
machines. offers WebDAV support for their accounts, at $20 a month
or so. uses the WebDAV protocol, but I'm not sure if you can
open Acrobat documents directly within their service.  Pricing starts
at $10 a month.

The WebDAV projects page lists many other servers and services you may
want to look into:

I wish you luck on your project!

Further Reading:

WebDAV Resources

mod_dav for Apache Webservers

WebDAV by Rael Dornfest at O'Reilly Network, 03/26/2002

Search Terms:

webdav hosting


Clarification of Answer by wengland-ga on 26 Jul 2002 07:27 PDT
Hrmmm.  Live human support, 24x7.  I don't know which of those would
provide that, but I'm going to lean toward Landmann InterACTIVE - my
bet would be that they could set something up for your that would fit
your needs exactaly.  Low bandwidth, high disk usage, etc.

Give em a call, and good luck!
sherpaj-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
awesome.  Thanks heaps.  especialy for the osx tip.  I think we will
still go with a hosted service.  Any idea of who has the best support
record, 24 hour phone with a live human?  We will need 2-5gigs, but
the stuff will mostly sit there, so the bandwidth will be low.

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