WebDAV is very convenient way to upload multiple files and even folder structures into Alfresco. Unlike FTP and CIFS, it is ready to use when you install Alfresco, and because it is HTTP-based it works fairly trouble-free through firewalls.
Cyberduck is a very nice GUI tool for transferring files to various types of servers, including WebDAV, and is available for Mac OSX and Windows.
Alfresco server set up
Nothing to do here – WebDAV is ready to use once Alfresco is installed.
Upload files from a local disk to Alfresco
Download and install Cyberduck (https://cyberduck.io) and open a connection to your Alfresco server using a WebDAV connection. Enter the server name, port 8080 and specify /alfresco/webdav for the path – see the screenshots below.
Now you can simply drag and drop entire folder structures from your local disk onto any of the folders displayed above, and they will be uploaded to the Alfresco server. If the files are photos, Alfresco will also automatically read the EXIF information from the photos and display this information as document properties.
This system has worked fine for migrating about 5,000 photos into Alfresco and should be OK for tens of thousands of photos or documents if you have a good network connection. Also see my post on using folder rules for post-migration tasks.
Note that passwords are sent in plain text. To address this (assuming Alfresco is running on Linux) you can communicate with WebDAV from Cyberduck using an SSH tunnel – for example, in Mac OSX for the above example, run this command ..
ssh -fN -L8080:localhost:8080 dms.domain.com
and then connect Cyberduck to localhost:8080. All traffic sent to localhost:8080 is then redirected via the encrypted SSH tunnel to dms.domain.com:8080, and all WebDAV traffic sent back from the Alfresco server is re-directed back to Cyberduck via localhost:8080.
If you are using Windows, create the same SSH tunnel using Putty (http://www.putty.org/) and then connect Cyberduck to localhost:8080 in the same way as shown above.
Order of the Bee – an independent organisation of the Alfresco community. Web-site includes good technical and non-technical posts and other information, focussed mainly on Alfresco Community Edition (CE).