eXisting with WebDAV

I've long been fascinated by the eXist native XML database, and I think it's just made it into my list of apps that can really help an enterprise out.

Why? Well, I think in the Web 2.0 days there's a clear shift away from aggregated data sources to document-driven workflows. But there's still a need to search, run queries, and limit access to these documents.

Plus eXist belongs to the WebDAV world. That means REST: you can add, update and delete documents from eXist just by issuing the right HTTP command. The icing on the cake is that by making a couple of simple changes to an XML 'collection' (think: collection = database) you can turn it into fully fledged Atom feeds with full APP support. Mmmmmm.

The problem now is getting decent WebDAV support at the desktop level. Most of the decent GUI WebDAV clients are quite pricey (US$60 a license!) and the command-line tools such as cadaver are Linux/CygWin only.

At the moment, eXist only supports a basic subset of the WebDAV specification, but um, who cares? If people can upload files and publish feeds to the web using drag-and-drop, that's a great start.