Outside work I received a question: "We need a WebDav implementation which is complete, has admin screens and is also reachable with FTP". Two solutions were found: heavily hacked Apache and Oracle IFS. The problem with the former is that you, well, need to hack. The problem is that for the latter, one would need an experienced DBA who can administer the midtier.

Then there's an additional thing that needs attention. If you want to customize IFS, you'll need to look into its API, the CM SDK (Content Management Software Development Kit). That API is basically split into two parts: one part for the quick-and-easy tasks of copying, deleting, moving, etc. and a second part which goes deeper and with which you can really modify the workings of IFS. It makes the API really baroque, but also really powerful. I've used the CM SDK, but only for quite simple tasks; reading, writing and deleting files and folders. Looking at the baroque API, a thing occurred to me: who'd need more? It's a filesystem in the database. You can completely modify it. Great, but you probably do not need this.

However, while you don't necessarily need the baroque part of the interface, it's there as well as its more simple counterpart. And besides that, the whole product is pretty unique. I don't know any other offering which has so many interfaces to file sharing mechanisms (FTP, WebDAV, NFS, SMB/CIFS, et cetera) and is combineable with your database-driven applications.

As with many things, there are both advantages and disadvantages and before choosing, it's a good thing to be knowledgeable on both.