sync group attachments rather to webdav than to zotero

as the zotero storage service is limited to 100MB (for groups as well??), it would be very nice t be able to sync the group library to another webdav service provider.
Is there any way to get this scenario work?
  • Yes, this is something we're interested in as well. We've got webdav, and we'd like to include pdfs that can be indexed, but currently group functionality doesn't seem to allow for all that. (I'm not complaining, because the groups function is great -- just trying to take it to the next level!) Thanks.
  • We are on the same track, save and synchronize pdfs of the references and share among users of a given project using the groups functionality. So I will love to be able to include pdfs in the groups using our own webdav for storage. Thanks!
  • Here, in a computer lab, in Paris, same need.
  • Hi all,
    I am looking forward to having a WebDAV solution for group attachments, too.
  • I am a big fan of zotero and have introduced it to several colleagues, but as suggested to use the group library in a research team I just started I stumbled over this "missing" feature and am really sad, that I cannot really share my enthusiasm for zotero with my research team as using the full potential of group libraries to its fullest is not possible without this feature. I'm hoping this feature will come very soon.
  • Same here! I have multiple research teams sharing a large amount of data; we have group libraries set up along with a WebDAV server, but can't download files..

    Is this feature under development? What are the challenges that are preventing this functionality? Are there any workarounds I can use to replicate this?
  • Larger storage accounts for individual and group storage are now available. For details see
  • The problem is not the available size: in my university, we have *plenty* of disk space! We'd like to use it as Zotero storage for groups...
  • Fair enough, but the original poster was motivated by the 100 MB limit. Because Zotero group storage relies on an application layer beyond just dumb storage, WebDAV storage is not on the horizon for groups.
  • I love zotero and have just started playing with synchronization for a group library that is rapidly growing. I'm also very interested in the possibility to sync via WebDAV for group libraries.

    Is this feature planned for a future version of zotero, or will the group libraries always be tied to zotero storage?
  • Dear Zotero team,

    it seems that allowing a Webdav use for group libraries is a highly requested feature.
    I understand that:

    (1) "The Zotero project has never planned to monetize user data or otherwise profit from its users, and so there must be a means of recovering the costs associated with file storage. "

    and that

    (2) "The Zotero development team and the Corporation for Digital Scholarship have built an entire service architecture devoted to the needs of researchers, including the ability to move files seamlessly between group and personal libraries, and to access these files easily via the Zotero client or at"

    Since you do not wish to make money with data storage, could you please release publicly the necessary packages so that every institution could install the needed webdav servers for group library file synchronization?
    Since anyway it would be quite a technical operation to do, I think most people will still buy you storage space.

    Thank you for your comprehension and thanks for the great service you're providing.
    Best regards,
    Clément Vidal.
  • edited February 28, 2010
    Dear Zotero Team,

    congratulations for this good project.

    Zotero is a very valuable tool for us, but also want to use our own WebDav for storing the group's attachments (or any other server installed at our University).

    Please enable that functionality
  • Are there any plans in the future to change this and introduce WebDAV for file attachments in group libraries?
  • +1

    I'm feeling very excited about the new features and possibilities. But the introduction of paid services also makes me wary of a possible sneaking commercialization of Zotero, where in the end there might be basic features for everybody and full features only for paying users/customers. I understand that Zotero does not have the means to offer storage for free itself. Others, however, do and it feels awkward to be now gently pushed towards paid services.
  • +1

    For many research groups and universities, the fact that group libraries don't sync over WebDAV is a dealbreaker.

    I do hope an institution will come along with some developer time to spare so that they can work on this; since Zotero is open source, there is no reason that this should be a core task of the Zotero developers.
  • But the introduction of paid services also makes me wary of a possible sneaking commercialization of Zotero, where in the end there might be basic features for everybody and full features only for paying users/customers.
    I understand your concerns, but, as we've noted elsewhere, we didn't create Zotero File Storage to make money. We created it because it provides a much better user experience than WebDAV file syncing.

    The features that Zotero File Storage provides that WebDAV doesn't (web-based access to files, group syncing with built-in permissions) are due to significant technical challenges with implementing those over third-party WebDAV servers, and any solutions would be awkward at best. That doesn't mean they won't happen, but it does mean they won't happen first. And as Mark notes, they could certainly be implemented by an institution that was willing to contribute developer time.
  • Wouldn't this be a non-issue if institutions could run their own servers?

    Wouldn't the best way to encourage contributions be to release the server source?
  • I'm very sure that all of this is well-intended. But those things tend to take on a dynamic of their own, almost invariably so, and that's what has me concerned.

    Also, I don't see why you don't allow for some work-arounds that could be easily implemented: if I were able to see in the web-interface the actual file-name of my attachment as it is stored on the webdav-server, I could access it there, not an elegant solution, but quite doable where right no there is virtually no way of accessing my attachments on a remote computer short of installing Zotero and downloading all of my attachements. I'm afraid I'll lean towards my wary interpretation of where Zotero is headed as long as such work arounds are not implemented.
  • As Dan has already noted, the complexity of group storage necessitated the movement to a centralized storage model, not the other way around. Beyond that, I would add that Zotero is a GPLv3-licensed open-source project funded by federal agencies and private foundations which require accessibility and open-sourcing. It's based at the Center for History and New Media, which is located at a public university and led by history professors. Payment for file storage is handled by the Corporation for Digital Scholarship, a nonprofit organization led by a board of faculty members. I have no idea what else we could do to allay your fears, other than avoid touching money altogether. But the simple fact of the matter is that storage and development and support all cost money. If you don't want to spend any money on Zotero, that's fine, but we still need to pay for developers, support staff, servers, rackspace, etc. File storage is an especially expensive proposition, and I hope you'll agree that it's not unreasonable to recover some of this cost in exchange for entirely new functionality. What is unreasonable is the expectation that we would devote scarce programming resources just to relieve unwarranted suspicion.
  • I'm afraid I'll lean towards my wary interpretation of where Zotero is headed as long as such work arounds are not implemented.
    Such a "workaround" isn't implemented because it'd provide an awful user experience, as I explained on another thread.
  • Why don't you let users decide what they find the more awful user experience? As this and other, related threads indicate, there is some discontent among some users with the present solution as well. And I must say, I recurrently have to use more "awful" workarounds with Zotero (and don't mind doing so).

    Charging for services is perfectly legitimate, it's just a step towards changing the nature of a project like Zotero (or at least the way it was possible to experience it in the past).
  • Why don't you let users decide what they find the more awful user experience?
    Because we're the ones responsible for the design of the software, and suggesting that users locate a file on their WebDAV server named, download it, unzip it, and rename a file named "RGVzaWduX2J5X2NvbW1pdHRlZS5odG1s" into something readable isn't quite consistent with the user experience we're going for.

    If that's an acceptable user experience for you, get someone to write a plugin to include the item key in an attached note. Otherwise, convince your institution to contribute significant developer resources to implement a better solution.
  • Same in our research team. Would be nice to have WebDAV. But we would appreciate even more if the files would not be synced to every client. A link to the files on Zotero file storage or WebDAV would be enough. We are willing to buy zotero storage, but if we sync several GB to every client we have, this would generate lots of wasted resources.

    Thanks a lot for this very good tool!
  • edited March 29, 2010
    Stumpp: That's a different feature—on-demand downloading to the client—and it's planned.
  • So if I understood correctly if group storage was webdav-based then zotero could not publish the PDFs on the web and it wouldn't be possible to take care of security (who adds files, deletes files etc.)
    However I would be happy if I had a plain-vanilla group type in which all members can add delete etc. all files. I just want to keep my private library and group libraries separate on the same webdav server.
    Can I somehow "simulate" this on the current version of zotero?
  • On this note, is it possible to split the sharing allotment of a group between individuals? For instance, if my group library has 300 MBs worth of files, but we have 5 members, is the 300 Mbs all on the owner or can it be spread amongst members if they allow it?
  • +1

    This is the a big reason why zotero is not used in general for most of our seminars. It is not possible to order students to pay for zotero. But it would be no problem to make a Webdav server available.
  • Is there a zotero file storage protocol? I just want to be able to run my own file storage; I don't care if it's webdav or not. Whatever you're running on the S3 servers - is that code open? (If not, why not?) How can I run that on my own server? How can I configure a Zotero group to use that server as storage?
  • +1

    Dan, Sean, I very respectfully want to say that I hear you, but I still agree with others on this thread that this should be a high priority feature request for Zotero development team:

    Let users choose WebDAV for file attachments in group libraries, just as they are able to choose WebDAV for file attachments in personal library. Alternately, encourage people to set up other instances of Zotero File Storage, which they could then select as the loction for group file storage. A robust, decentralized storage architecture is certainly possible, and also preferable for many different reasons.

    Like many, I introduce Zotero to all my students and want them to use it as an excellent research tool and as a FOSS alternative to proprietary citation software. However, Without this functionality, it is difficult to effectively use Zotero in the context of teaching courses. There is no way I can convince my department to pay for Zotero group storage course by course. However, I could easily convince them to set up WebDAV. For that matter, I could easily convince them to set up whatever was needed to allow local file storage for groups (a local instance of the necessary application layer from Zotero File Storage).

    The main point is that 1. many users are requesting the ability to set up their own file storage for Groups, 2. lack of this functionality blocks many Zotero use cases in institutional settings, 3. the best implementation, that will lead to widest adoption and additional development, would be agnostic as to whether users want to use Zotero File Storage, set up their own file server, or use a third party.

    Implementing this would solve a much-requested feature, increase the rate of Zotero adoption, and also increase the number of Zotero File Storage users.

    I might be able to get some development time on this, can you please post links here to the existing relevant tickets on your issue tracker? (related to implementation of group sync via WebDAV)?

    Actually, perhaps even more useful would be a link to the code for Zotero File Storage. In my department we could set up a local instance and sync files that way. This would then only require a small UI modification to allow users to point to a different instance of ZFS.

    Thanks for all your work!
This discussion has been closed.