WebDAV MOVE method fails with 502 Bad Gateway Error with HTTPS

I was recently writing a Javascript piece of code to move a bunch files from one location to another in the same WebDAV repository. It worked all well in the lower systems but when I tried the same thing in the Production environment I got the "502 Bad Gateway" exception. I thought probably I was doing some mistake and I tried to use the WebDAV Javascript Ajax API provided in http://www.webdavsystem.com/ajax. But it also suffered the same issue.

Here is the piece of Javascript code to do the simple move.

function doResourceMove(from, to) {
var postParams = '<?xml version="1.0"?gt;<propertybehavior xmlns="DAV:"><keepalive>*</keepalive></propertybehavior>';
var xhr = getXHR(); //gets the HTTP Request object
xhr.open("MOVE",from, false);
xhr.setRequestHeader("Content-Type",'text/xml; charset="utf-8"');

var status = xhr.status;
if(status == 201 status == 204 )
return true;
else {
throw status; //can be 201, 204, 403, 409, 412, 423, 502

After trying WebDAV Ajax API provided by webdavsystems, it was time for me to roll my sleeves up and analyze the issue.

The main issue was that the production system runs on https and there was a reverse proxy setup for this system. So, all the "https" requests were converted to "http" at this proxy level and forwarded to the main system. This was the main culprit.

Here is an example of HTTP request for the MOVE resource request for a WebDAV resource. For brevity I removed all unnecessary details.

MOVE contentLocation //request line, some https location, URI of webDAV resource
Destination:destinationLocation // this is the HTTP request header, should be absolute URI according to specifications.

Overwrite: "F" // this is also a HTTP request header

So, when the reverse proxy sees the request line, it knows that it has to convert this to HTTP request but the header Destionation also contains an HTTPS request which would be ignored by the proxy. So, when the request reached the server, we are moving the resource from an URI which begins with a http to a URI which begins with an https. Server treats this request as a request to move a WebDAV resource from one server location to another server location.(Refer RFC: http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2518.html#METHOD_MOVE). This was the source of the main problem.

Solution: When I changed the destination location to use the relative URL, it just worked fine. It may not be the solution for all WebDAV based systems but for me, it just did the trick.

Example:Let's assume that the resource you want to move is located at the URL location https://www.abc.com/webdavimpl/folder1/folder2 and you want to move this resource to location https://www.abc.com/webdavimpl/folder1/folder3/folder2. Following are the important HTTP request headers to follow.

MOVE https://www.abc.com/webdavimpl/folder1/folder2

Destination: /webdavimpl/folder1/folder3/folder2

Overwrite: "F".


Anonymous said...

Fixed my problem too!

Anonymous said...

Fixed my problem as well. Remember to remove the "filename.eml" at the end of Destination. I scratched my head over that one.

Anonymous said...

thanks guys. very helpful