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CardDAV is a protocol based on WebDAV and used to manage address books located on a web server. Similar to WebDAV, CardDAV is built on top of HTTP protocol and defines enhanced features, like authentication, address book contacts creation, modification and deletion.

In CardDAV specification an address book is described as a collection of address resource objects. Each address resource object is stored in vCard file format. But CardDAV specification allows using another storage format if necessary. CardDAV requests are issued in XML format compliant with WebDAV protocol. Some of the commands which are used to manipulate the calendar data are following:

  • MKCOL – Create an address book collection
  • PUT – Upload address resource object to a server
  • COPY – Copy address resource object to another location
  • MOVE – Move address resource object to another location
  • GET – Download address resource object
  • CARDDAV:addressbook-query – Search address resource objects in address book using a filter defined in XML request.
  • CARDDAV:text-match – Search address book by matching contact properties with a provided string

CardDAV protocol is useful when it is necessary to have address data stored on a web or a corporate network server and synced with multiple clients using different devices. Since CardDAV is based on HTTP it can work on all operating systems and platforms. For example, if you need to sync contact list from your Yahoo Mail account you can use which is Yahoo CardDAV server URL. Any application which supports CardDAV protocol will be able to sync with this URL and download necessary address book information.

You can sync CardDAV data to iOS applications. To do it follow these steps.

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Open “Password & Accounts”
  • Open “Add Account”
  • Open “Other”
  • Tap on “Add CardDAV Account”
  • Enter CardDAV URL to a server field. Also enter authentication details to User Name and Password fields and an alias which you want to use for this CardDAV account into a “Description” field.