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Background

My office uses:

Question 1

Can Finder connect to a SharePoint server?

Question 2

Can MacFUSE be extended to mount a SharePoint path as a volume in Mac OS X?

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1  
Doesn't sharepoint use WebDAV? If so, then it should be possible to mount it by Finder's Connect to Server feature by entering HTTP URL. –  Peter Štibraný Jan 27 '11 at 12:54
    
doesn't seem to, i get an "unable to resolve host" error if i past in the address copied from sharepoint –  Jared Zimmerman Jan 28 '11 at 23:08
    
Replace the hostname with the IP address. –  Harv Jan 29 '11 at 22:29
    
Some Microsoft services do unexpected things with/around DNS. Jared, see whether the host resolves when both Finder and the SharePoint service are in the same local area network. –  Graham Perrin Apr 27 '12 at 5:14
    

6 Answers 6

I'm entering this away from Windows world, but if memory serves the URL you are getting from Sharepoint is probably something like \my.sharepoint.somewhere\some\path\to\stuff

You need to convert that into something more portable.

Go into Finder, and on the "Go" menu choose "Connect to server..."

Enter "smb://my.sharepoint.somewhere/some/path/to/stuff"

You could also try clicking the "Browse" button and as long as the Sharepoint share is being advertised on the local LAN you should be able to locate the server and browse it's shared folders.

There are a couple of things to be aware of.

1) Make sure you can resolve the "my.sharepoint.somwhere" name to an IP address. (Use the Lookup option in Network Utility to confirm this.)

2) Your Mac may need to be a member of the Windows domain to be able to connect. Sorry - it's been a while and I cannot remember if this is a requirement with Sharepoint.

Hope that helps!

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Point #2 above - I think depends on how Sharepoint authorization has been set up IIRC. Even if you're not a member of the domain, often you can authenticate against a domain account to get access... shrug –  Harv Jan 29 '11 at 22:31
    
No dice - thanks though –  Jared Zimmerman Jan 31 '11 at 18:10
    
In my limited experience with a SharePoint service, recently offered to me for test purposes: the URL for WebDAV connection should be https or http — as used with Microsoft Document Connection — not smb. In my case the same https URL works for both (a) a mount in OS X, and (b) a drive mapping in Windows 7. –  Graham Perrin Apr 26 '12 at 6:50

I'd be curious if you get this working. I can connect to our SharePoint 2010 server via the Finder (Snow Leopard 10.6.6), but any files copied to the share fail with a -36 error. The file appears on the share, but has 0 bytes. Copying with the command line works fine.

fwiw, I'm using https://my.sharepoint.school.edu/personal/username/ in Go > Connect to Server…

Using Transmit works, other linux and Windows clients work, but Finder and apps in Microsoft Office have problems.

See http://openradar.appspot.com/radar?id=809401

Update:

After some more detective work, I think I've found a cause of some problems: SharePoint has filename restrictions that conflict with the way the system stores extended attributes or resource forks on file systems that lack support for those things.

Restrictions in SharePoint include: disallowing filenames that begin or end with a period. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/905231 for the full set of restrictions.

When using Finder to copy a file (example: foo) to a SharePoint WebDAV share, the system may require a counterpart (example: ._foo) during or after the write. Disallowance will cause a write operation to fail.

This also explains why third-party WebDAV clients such as Cyberduck and Transmit appear more compatible — with some types of connection, they lose metadata.

For a volume mounted by Transmit with a WebDAV HTTPS connection to SharePoint, the file system type is not webdav, it's:

  • transmitdiskfs

Unless the Finder stops the ._filename stuff when writing to webdav shares, or SharePoint starts accepting periods at the beginning of filenames, I don't think you'll be able to reliably use Finder with SharePoint WebDAV shares.

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Probably not a bug in the Apple software. I added a comment in OpenRadar. –  Graham Perrin Apr 27 '12 at 20:23
    
I hope you don't mind me borrowing from your answer — with a bigger picture in mind (some of which is private) I chose to provide answers that are file system-specific. I looked at Finder behaviours around five years ago, it's nice to see things now coming together in Stack Exchange. I added another comment to Open Radar. Next on my list: under Why are dot underscore ._ files created, and how can I avoid them? an answer to the avoidance part of that question. –  Graham Perrin May 13 '12 at 11:48

We're experiencing the same issue with 0 byte files. I've read that Finder may not be able to support HTTPS natively, even though support behind the scenes in Mac OSX is already there...

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Please, where did you read that HTTPS is not not supported by Finder? If you have a question about zero byte files, make it a question (not an answer) — thanks. –  Graham Perrin Apr 27 '12 at 5:05

System-managed WebDAV connections to SharePoint

Yes, connections are possible. For a volume mounted in this way, the file system type is:

  • webdav

I use Finder — in Snow Leopard and in two other versions of the system — with SharePoint.

To connect

In the Connect to Server window of Finder, use the same URL as you would use in Microsoft Document Connection.

An underlying problem with the Microsoft service

Information about the characters that you cannot use in sites, folders, and files in SharePoint

… cannot start a file name with the period character. …

Apps with compatibility issues

A shortlist:

  • Microsoft Office Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2011 (Service Pack 2) — all attempts to save will fail, expect to see error messages that are misleading
  • Apple Finder — some attempts to copy or move to SharePoint may fail.

My answer to Ask Different question Why are dot underscore ._ files created, and how can I avoid them? notes:

  • requirements of Microsoft Office 2011, when used with a file system such as webdav, are not met by SharePoint.

When SharePoint does not recognise that a user of PowerPoint or Word with webdav has opened a file, there's risk of dataloss — two or more users overwriting each other's work, with no warning before or after the loss. I can't reproduce this problem when NeoOffice is used to open such files.

Excel with webdav seems to always open .xlsx spreadsheets read-only. I can't reproduce this problem when NeoOffice is used to open such files.

(Side note: without file system type webdav, Microsoft Document Connection 14.2.0 (120402) causes dataloss without warning, of extended attributes such as Spotlight comments.)

More about Finder

With webdav, for files and folders that are already on the SharePoint server:

  • Finder seems to be a first class app for renaming, moving or removing items.

Apps that are more compatible

Another shortlist:

  • where Microsoft Office applications fail, NeoOffice and LibreOffice succeed.

Input/output errors affecting files saved in Microsoft formats

If an attempt to open an Office Open XML file (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx etc.) fails with an input/output error:

  1. use Microsoft Document Connection to initiate an edit
  2. save a trivial change to the file, close the window of the app that you used for edition
  3. if necessary, quit the app that you used for edition.

Those two or three steps seem to resolve, or work around, the error.

(If I discover the exact cause of those types of input/output error, I'll either add to this answer or link to a question elsewhere. Early indications are that they occur only after a Microsoft Office app has failed to save with webdav.)

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wdfs (with FUSE) for a WebDAV connection to SharePoint

MacFUSE is outdated. Use a successor such as FUSE for OS X.

Test environments

I tested the following combination:

  • Finder in OS X
  • wdfs 1.4.2, which requires FUSE and neon
  • FUSE for OS X 2.3.9
  • neon 0.29.6, Revision 1, installed using MacPorts 2.0.4.

For a volume mounted in this way, the file system type is:

  • osxfusefs

First a simple wdfs command, without the volname option of FUSE for OS X.

Then attempting to work around error -43 (see below), a similar wdfs command with a volname option.

Results, in brief

Finder appears to copy and move some types of file to SharePoint without error. The following types of file seem OK:

  • .docx
  • .sh
  • .txt
  • .zip

Finder copy of wdfs-1.4.2.tar appeared to succeed but:

  • the result was zero bytes
  • maybe .tar files are unacceptable to SharePoint (consider the silent loss of some types of metadata; maybe some types of data are rejected in an equally lossy way)
  • I don't plan further investigation of the reasons for this exception.

An extended attribute of a file (tested: Spotlight comments) may appear to be preserved following the copy to SharePoint, but you'll find the attribute missing when the volume is next mounted.

Dates of creation, modification and last opening appear wrong (reasons for this are known, but beyond the scope of this answer). For the same files, dates will appear proper with a system-managed WebDAV connection.

Folders

SharePoint will accept, from Finder, a copy or move of folder that is without a .DS_Store (Desktop Services Store) file.

More generally, attempts to copy or move folders may fail with errors such as:

  • -43
  • -36 — when some data in .DS_Store can’t be read or written.

Whether SharePoint bars comparable Thumbs.db files from Windows clients, I don't know.

Microsoft Office 2011

As expected:

  • these Microsoft applications can not save to a volume mounted in this way; beware of dataloss and zero byte Word Work File… .tmp debris
  • where Word 2011 fails, LibreOffice succeeds, and so on.
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Transmit WebDAV HTTPS connection to SharePoint

Panic Transmit

For a volume mounted in this way, the file system type is:

  • transmitdiskfs

Conflicts

Whilst transmitdiskfs is used, it may be impossible to use FUSE-oriented file systems:

Similarly: where file system type osxfusefs is used (for any purpose, not just wdfs), you may find that the kernel:

fails to load kext com.panic.TransmitDisk.transmitdiskfs (error 0xdc008017).

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