iPad / Playbook connect to Microsoft server
June 10, 2011 12:03 PM   Subscribe

How can I see the files on a network server (Server 2003) on my iPad or Playbook?

Hi Everyone

I am looking at a Blackberry Playbook and an iPad for my clients. They want to throw away their paper notebooks and carry a tablet with all their documents, and some documents on the server. (Home and public directories)

Email works - no problem, and the BES server works well with the Blackberries. The iPad email also works well, but we dont want to email documents around all the time.

I have called Blackberry - they do not have an answer.

What about sharing folders as web folders (for the Blackberry?)

I do not really want to go the whole VNC/RDP way - although it might be more secure.

Any ideas?


posted by bright77blue to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's FileBrowser for the iPad. probably other similar apps too.
posted by GuyZero at 12:36 PM on June 10, 2011

Is Dropbox an option? It might depend on the document types, but it wouldn't surprise me if there's an app that can read them and also interface with a Dropbox folder.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:46 PM on June 10, 2011

WebDAV is a popular file sharing mechanism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:04 PM on June 10, 2011

A lot of client-side options depend on the app supporting the file transfer mechanism. Dropbox may have its own client app, but if you want to work with the file in a different app, that app has to use that protocol. Some do, some don't. WebDAV is another protocol, but some apps support it, and some don't. The app store should have that information in the app's description, or you could contact the developer directly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 PM on June 10, 2011

The type of documents you will be viewing is an issue. Are they PDFs? Word docs? Excell? Some other format entirely?

With that said I second DropBox as the easiest, most generic solution.

Your next step would be to publish a WebDaV folder on your 2003 box. As you can see from the link there is some setup involved. In addition to the above, you will have to punch the correct webdav port holes through your firewall and, if you do not have a fixed IP address you will have to set up a service such as DynDns.com to .

On the ipad side you will have to use an app that can access remode WebDav folders such as iWork or GoodReader (highly recommended)

Or you can just use DropBox .
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:11 PM on June 10, 2011

"your next step" should read above as "your other option"
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:13 PM on June 10, 2011

GoodReader is billed primarily as a PDF reader, but it also contains a pretty robust FTP client.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:25 PM on June 10, 2011

For the Playbook I haven't found a File Manager app yet that allows me to access a network share. A couple of the paid apps promise it future releases, for whatever that's worth. For now I'm using the free app BlueBox to connect to my DropBox account. It's still somewhat limited, but that's life in general on the Playbook at the moment.
posted by IanMorr at 1:27 PM on June 10, 2011

WebDAV or Dropbox is the way to go.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:53 PM on June 10, 2011

On an iPad I use FileBrowser coupled with VPN to access file shares on a university's internal network, and this works very well.
posted by manyon at 2:51 AM on June 11, 2011

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