DAV online courier??

Jim Whitehead (ejw@ics.uci.edu)
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 10:13:25 -0700

So, I decided to click-through a banner ad to the UPS Online Courier site,
curious as to how this technology might work.

After waiting an excruciatingly long time for their "How it Works" page to
come up at:


(what a ridiculous URL)

I discovered how it works:

The process works like this:

The sender sends a document using UPS OnLine Courier.

The document is securely uploaded to the secure UPS OnLine Courier server.

The secure UPS OnLine Courier server sends an e-mail notification to the
recipient that there is a document delivery for them.

The recipient uses the URL provided in the e-mail to download the document
from the secure UPS OnLine Courier server via a Web browser.

As an option, the sender may specify that the recipient may only download
the file if they've obtained a password from the sender, ensuring the sender
that only the intended recipient may open the delivery. For less
confidential documents that don't require this optional security measure,
the sender can deselect the option, yet still have all the ease of use and
tracking capabilities--at a lower price.

I was pretty stunned when I read this, since you could create your own
"courier service" using a standard DAV server running over SSL (I'm pretty
sure Apache with mod_dav can do this today) which is integrated with an
email notification service. While presumably the difficulty is in making
the whole thing scale up to tens of thousands of users, arguably their Web
site isn't doing a great job if it took me so long to download their info

- Jim