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Tips & Tricks for Developing InfoPath Solutions. David Coe Application Development Consultant Microsoft Corporation. Agenda. Choosing InfoPath (or not) Programming Models in InfoPath Developing a basic form Publishing Forms Directly Using Forms Services Advanced Forms

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tips tricks for developing infopath solutions

Tips & Tricks for Developing InfoPath Solutions

David Coe

Application Development Consultant

Microsoft Corporation

  • Choosing InfoPath (or not)
  • Programming Models in InfoPath
  • Developing a basic form
  • Publishing Forms
    • Directly
    • Using Forms Services
  • Advanced Forms
  • The data’s there, now what?
    • Programming against InfoPath forms (‘cause it’s just XML)
  • People Interested in InfoPath
  • Developers
  • Administrators may find this a bit boring (or scary)
    • But there’s some for you too
  • Assume some experience with InfoPath, SharePoint, and Form Libraries
  • Not a “how to” talk
what it s good for
What it’s Good for
  • Simple or Complex User Input
    • Nice for tracking threads, repeatable items
      • Reviews, travel requests, task/time tracking
  • Attaching documents to sheet
  • InfoPath is XML, so a lot can be automated
  • No programming needed for many forms
what it s not good at
What it’s not Good at
  • Difficult to save data beyond form (services are best option)
  • Capturing history outside of specific document (ie, 12 months of reviews)
  • Connection management can be admin burden for Forms Services
sample applications
Sample Applications
  • What do sample applications look like?
sample applications1


Sample Applications

programming models
Programming Models
  • COM & Scripting Object Model
    • JScript/VBScript (XDocument)
  • InfoPath 2003-compatable Managed Code Object Model
    • Not available for browser-based forms
  • InfoPath 2007 Managed Code Object Model
    • Subset available for browser-enabled forms
  • InfoPath Managed Code External Automation Object Model
developing a basic form
Developing a Basic Form
  • Straight forward, no code, no repeating
  • Easy to pick up
developing a basic form1
Developing a Basic Form
  • Start from scratch
  • Customize a sample
  • Start from XML or web service
basic form


Basic Form

publishing a form
Publishing a Form
  • Save your template
  • Publish to SharePoint, e-mail, network share
publishing the form


Publishing the Form

publishing to forms services
Publishing to Forms Services
  • Simply configure to display as web page
  • Require administrative approval if:
    • Form contains managed code
    • Full Trust required
    • Data connection needs to be managed
    • Form is enabled for mobile display
simple publishing in forms services


Simple Publishing in Forms Services

advanced form development
Advanced Form Development
  • An advanced form contains repeatable regions, complex relationships, code behind, etc.
  • Starting from XML/XSD document
advanced form forms services


Advanced Form & Forms Services

what do i do with the data
What do I do with the Data?
  • So you’ve captured all your user input … What do you do with it now?
  • Whether the documents are in the file system or in SharePoint, you can parse them however you like
two samples
Two Samples
  • Parsing data from the File System
  • Parsing data from SharePoint
file system sample
File System Sample
  • All InfoPath documents reside on the file system
  • XSD generator to generate XSD from InfoPath doc for use with XmlSerializer
  • VSTO in Excel
  • Excel loads and parses documents
  • Generate pivot tables and charts
excel parsing infopath


Excel Parsing InfoPath

sharepoint sample
SharePoint Sample
  • InfoPath documents reside in Form Library
  • Need to be able to parse the XML from the documents in the SharePoint library
sharepoint sample1
SharePoint Sample
  • Need:
    • 1000s of opportunities across the district identified in SDPs
    • How can we plan for all of these and try to have local resources handle the requests?
    • Provide a steady burn over 12 month period to level out margin
how i did it
How I Did It
  • Small WinForms app
  • SharePoint List Service / CAML to get URL of InfoPath docs
  • Use WebClientDownloadString(url) method to get the XML from InfoPath
  • Use XPath to parse the document
  • Dump data into Excel document
what else is interesting
What Else is Interesting
  • It is possible to downgrade a form from MOSS/InfoPath 2007 to WSS/2003
    • Outside vendor developed form and site for my customer in MOSS/InfoPath 2007.
    • My customer only had WSS and InfoPath 2003 so we needed to downgrade.
      • Wasn’t that bad.
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • InfoPath Team Blog
  • InfoPath Developer Portal
  • InfoPath 2007 Document: Developing InfoPath 2007 Managed-Code Solutions
  • Guide to InfoPath 2007 Developer Documentation
  • Microsoft Office InfoPath Portal
  • InfoPath 2007 Sample: Training Labs

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

This presentation is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, in this summary.