Browser-Based File Manager Bypasses Downloading–Create, Edit & Save Microsoft Office Files Directly To The Server

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IT Hit just launched the Beta version of their web-based file manager.

Certainly the ability to create, edit, and save Microsoft Office Documents on the server–without downloading the file or any plugins–is the most immediately useful feature.

Unfortuntely, the Microsoft Office integration requires Internet Explorer; however, I successfully used the IE-Tab Firefox extension to edit a Powerpoint deck within Firefox.  Try it yourself at the demo site–no registration required.

On the backend, the file manager uses the WebDAV XML protocol to exchange data with the server. It will run on any WebDAV-compliant server based on .NET Framework, Java, PHP, or any other programming language.

Because the file manager was built entirely in Javascript, it works across the four major browsers–Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari–in any OS, without requiring additional third-party software.

The pricing varies depending on your needs, and I found it a little complicated to interpret–but don’t expect to get started for less than $1250.

Update: IT HIT e-mailed me to clarify pricing.

Our main target audience are the developers of DMS/CMS/CRM systems that require standards-compliant communication with a server for file management. For such customers we provide a Redistribution License: $2250.
Usually this license is for customers that want to redistribute IT Hit AJAX File Browser as part of their product.

Users that want to install AJAX File Browser on a single website (single domain name) can purchase Single Server / FQDN license: $1250

Often our customers require both client and server WebDAV library, so we also provide packages with significant discount:
IT Hit WebDAV Server Engine for .Net Redistribution License + IT Hit AJAX File Browser Redistribution License: $3350
IT Hit WebDAV Server Engine for .Net Single Server License + IT Hit AJAX File Browser Single Server / FQDN license: $1950

More info on the AJAX File Browser Homepage.

  • http://www.codsix.com Bilawal Hameed

    Wow, very nice. I’m impressed, and I absolutely didn’t know things like this were possible.

    Days evolve, and technology certainly does.

    Also, Jeff, how does it cost if the pricing is “over” $1,000 and they are offering a “download” page?

    • http://www.jeffwidman.com/blog/ Jeff Widman

      I just e-mailed them for clarification.

      It appears you pay them for the code, then install on your site, but I can’t make sense of their pricing matrix.

      Their product names/differentiation is very unclear on the website.

      If anyone out there knows, leave a comment and I’ll update the post.

  • Pj

    its been done plenty of times, why is this on TC?

    • http://www.webdavsystem.com IT Hit

      Do you know any AJAX file browser contol for WebDAV independent of server side?

  • http://www.Spirofrog.de TS

    live these Tools how to implement them on our sites??

  • AB

    I agree with Pj – WebDav has been around for ages and there are plenty of web interfaces to work with it

    • http://www.webdavsystem.com IT Hit

      As far as I know this is the first AJAX file browser control that utilizes standards-compliant WebDAV protocol for communicating with server. It is independent of server programming language, that is what makes it different.

      I assume most of web-interfaces that you have seen actually do not utilize WebDAV, but instead require ASP.NET, Java or PHP on server side.

  • Ari

    “Unfortuntely, the Microsoft Office integration requires Internet Explorer; ”

    What is this silliness? IE has a market share of 70% and is the world’s most widely-used browser. So 70% of the computing universe has no problem with this.

    This open-source ‘I will sacrifice my unborn children’s souls to the god of Safari’ cult madness is just silly.

    • kwanbis

      It means that only users of windows can use it. And the ones using IE at that.

      No one from OSX or Linux would be able to use it.

      Your comment is really dumb.

      • ari

        So? Who cares? What percentage of users are on OSX and Linux vs Windows?

        Talk about dumb.

      • http://www.webdavsystem.com IT Hit

        We really care about Mac OS X and Safari users and often get questions from them. Unfortunately we can’t create the same create-open-save functionality for them in AJAX File browser running in Safari.

        We see that Safari and Chrome is getting more and more users now. Here is Google Analytics for http://www.ajaxfilebrowser.com:

        Browsers:
        1. Firefox 49.55%
        2. IE 30.32%
        3. Chrome 12.80%
        4. Safari 4.31%
        5. Opera 1.64%

        OS:
        1. Windows 84.27%
        2. Macintosh 12.92%
        3. Linux 2.50%

        At this point AJAX File Browser will not run in Opera as its support of XmlHttpRequest is somewhat limited and WebDAV would not work in it (Opera supports only GET and POST). But we hope they will fix this soon.

      • http://www.webdavsystem.com IT Hit

        We see that Safari and Chrome is getting more and more users now. Here is Google Analytics for http://www.ajaxfilebrowser.com:

        Browsers:
        1. Firefox 49.55%
        2. IE 30.32%
        3. Chrome 12.80%
        4. Safari 4.31%
        5. Opera 1.64%

        OS:
        1. Windows 84.27%
        2. Macintosh 12.92%
        3. Linux 2.50%

        At this point AJAX File Browser will not run in Opera as its support of XmlHttpRequest is somewhat limited and WebDAV would not work in it (Opera supports only GET and POST). But we hope they will fix this soon.

  • http://jp.techcrunch.com/archives/20090122browser-based-file-manager-bypasses-downloading-create-edit-save-microsoft-office-files-directly-to-the-server/ ダウンロード不要のブラウザー版ファイルマネージャー。サーバー上で直接Officeファイルの作成、編集、保存が可能

    […] [原文へ] […]

  • Louis-Eric

    This has been bundled with various Office apps since 98 already, through WebDAV. The problem of course is that the server you are communicating with be WebDAV compliant. I’ve also been using an application to do just that since at least 2001, called WebDrive (the maker is South River Technologies), which lets me read and write files with any other app through WebDAV, SSH and FTP. I like that tool a lot, but why this isn’t part of Windows (at least on the write side, you can always open a web document by typing a URL in most File Open dialogs) is beyond me.

    • http://www.webdavsystem.com/ IT Hit

      The ability to open MS Office documents from browser was possible for years, but it required SharePoint client plug-in from Microsoft, that required separate installation. Only since MS Office 2007 user can create and open MS Office documents directly from a webpage, without installing any additional software.

      • Louis-Eric

        Nope. Try typing a URL in the File Open dialog of an Office 2003 installation. For a more generic view of that, type any URL in an XP installation of Notepad. Easy read access has been possible for a loooong time. Write, not so much, at least not without some server-side installations like those you describe.

    • http://www.webdavsystem.com IT Hit

      Let me explain in other words what new Office 2007 features this control utilizes.

      It is clear that even Office XP could open and than save files directly to server via its Open\Save File dialog. But it was quite inconvenient, because it was impossible to open a file from a hyperlink on a page in read-write mode. Office 2003 required registry editing on a client side or SharePoint client components installation. Without such tuning it opened files in read-only mode. It was also impossible to create a file from a webpage.

      With Office 2007 there is no need in any magic server or client components, just WebDAV and IE are required.

  • http://yoshy.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/links-for-2009-01-23/ links for 2009-01-23 « 個人的な雑記

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  • Louis-Eric

    Just for clarification: I think you have a real winner here in a format that will be easy to sell to an already eager audience. I’m not questioning that, nor anything you said.

    I’m only responding to the article, which in my mind should have mentioned earlier attempts at doing just what you are doing. WebDrive, FTP drive maps, remote mounts, etc. are all alternatives, some of which are free, none of which (although WebDrive gets close) as intuitive and training-free as what you seem to have come up with (from what I can tell from the short article).

  • http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/2009/01/football-withdrawal-blogging Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » Football withdrawal blogging

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  • Roman Krivchenkov

    It’s a good idea, but don’t you think, that in the internet we have tons of OpenSource service that can be used in that case. Another question is don’t you think that the price is too high for this service? I think this model of sales of this type of service is suitable only for USA, but no other.
    In Russia, f.e. people don’t have any culture to pay for the most of the services. What do you think?

    • http://techmytongue.blogspot.com Vengu

      yeah! Indians don’t pay too! :-) We pay only the amount we invented . ZERO!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Krivchenkov_Roman/1322664973 Krivchenkov Roman

        What do you think, is this service may find it’s customer and the niche in the market? Is this business model work?
        And how can you convince medium business, especially individuals, to use this kind of service.
        What is the essential advantages? And how can you sell it to the customers, f.e. in Russia or India.
        They can’t imagine this kind of service)

  • Tommy Hobbes

    uh. no yr not.

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