Within the world of SharePoint, the citizen developer movement has been supported for many years by two primary products: InfoPath and SharePoint Designer.
Both products have been extremely popular, helping expand the platform within many organizations by providing power users and IT Pros the ability to create electronic forms InfoPath and workflows SPDesigner. And while SharePoint Server will continue to support the use of both technologies, Microsoft has ceased investing in them, with mainstream support ending on July 13th, , and extended support ending on July 14th, For many organizations that have come to rely on one or both of these tools, the path forward has not exactly been clear, with Microsoft announcing the discontinuation of support for InfoPath Forms Services as far back as January , only to update their strategy later to support the tools in SharePoint , and now again for SharePoint The Road Ahead Originally released as part of Microsoft Office , InfoPath made it easy for non-developers to design and distribute electronic forms using a WYSIWYG form designer, linking forms to structured data in SharePoint and quickly becoming one of the more popular citizen developer tools on the market.
SharePoint Designer was one of the descendants of FrontPage, and grew to become a SharePoint-only tool for customizing team sites and workflows. So much of our collaboration activity is moving toward the cloud. Most tools that were designed and thrived in an on-premises world are no longer a fit for the most part for the cloud. According to Microsoft MVP Marc Anderson sympmarc , the most difficult barrier to moving forward is often the people — not the technology. That parity, however, often means doing things in a different way — different ways of thinking — so there has to be a lot of education.
For example, Transform your InfoPath forms to PowerApps walks the user through step-by-step guidance on getting started, helping to recreate an existing SharePoint app within PowerApps where they can then customize. One area where Microsoft has vastly improved their efforts is in providing support documentation. In the past, much of this was left to the community — and while the community continues to add to the rich content available around every Microsoft product, the product teams are quick to supply detailed supporting material, such as Quick Start guides, tutorials, and sample solutions.
The Problem with Migration and Transformation The number one cause of failure in any migration or transformation effort is the unknown or undetected customization. As a result, they miss important customizations and slow down the whole migration project. Where Rencore is able to automatically discover all customizations in SharePoint, as well as their usage, Rich Forms help move those InfoPath forms into a more supportable format for the future.
Rencore helps organizations who are seeking to gradually modernize or de-customize their SharePoint environment, or who are in the process of migrating to Office It helps them to discover, analyze, and then transform their existing on-premises customizations so that their environments better align with the new standards that Microsoft has been encouraging developers to follow for customization — such as the SharePoint Framework.
A solution like The Rencore Platform will not only decrease the time and cost associated with migration and transformation, but also reduce the risks inherent to these activities by providing much-needed visibility across your environment.
And once you have visibility, you can prioritize each team site and customization, allowing you to move with the least impact to your end users. They were easy to use, were part of the Office suite of tools and just worked. Microsoft over the past few years made decisions to no longer update and support these tools, simply due to the way changes were made, these are no longer supported or wanted within the newer platforms.
However, this is no small task and requires extensive planning, plus learning new tooling. Choosing this approach will, however, ensure you are following best practice and future proofing the customizations and solutions. The process starts with discovering them in your environment. Only then you can understand their usage and decide which ones you want to replace with modern alternatives. Rencore helps you with this.
icrosoft Office InfoPath (InfoPath ) is a client application that allows In this chapter, we take you on a tour of InfoPath Designer (Microsoft's form . InfoPath bit/x Price: $ & FREE Shipping the Ribbon Quick Access toolbar to publish your form, or use the Microsoft Office Backstage view. How I fixed InfoPath Debug/Preview error, after installing Office InfoPath cannot Write Better Microsoft Flows with Flow Studio: Get Started for Free.
Features[ edit ] In order to use InfoPath to fill in a form, a designer must develop an InfoPath template first. According to Jean Paoli , one of its developers, a key architectural design decision was "to adhere to the XML paradigm of separating the data in a document from the formatting. The form template must have one primary data source for submitting data and can have multiple secondary data sources for retrieving data into the form.
Secondary data sources can be built into the form or they can be accessed through an external data connection to SharePoint or a Web service. The files of the InfoPath form template are saved as an archive in the Cabinet file format with the file name extension xsn.
For data tables and secondary data sources, "Repeating Table" and other repeating controls are introduced. Template parts and ActiveX controls can also be added as custom controls in the designer. For each of these controls, actions called "rules" can be bound in. Rules come in three types: Rules can be triggered either by a user action such as clicking a button or by the evaluation of various conditions such as field values.
For example, a conditional rule could be: Paradigm[ edit ] Rules apply specific actions when triggered by button clicks or changing values in the form. They can change the values of fields in the data source, submit to and query databases, display messages, open and close forms, and switch to different views of the form. Data Validation tests the validity of input into fields by comparing the input to patterns, checking for the correct data type such as a string or an integer , and in other customizable ways.
Conditional Formatting can be used to change the appearance or visibility of objects based on values in the form. InfoPath has many different ActiveX Controls, all of which have a value bound to a field in the form's data source. Common controls include list boxes, radio buttons, text boxes, buttons, and check boxes. Info Path also uses controls such as Calculated Values, which display the result of xPath expressions, and sections, which are containers for other controls.
InfoPath also includes repeating fields and sections, which can store many different values. XPath functions for manipulation of strings, simple mathematical operations, and many other operations are included in InfoPath. In addition, data can be filtered select individual values from a repeating field or database. InfoPath supports Connections to External Datasources. JScript, Visual Basic, C , and other languages can be used to extend InfoPath's capabilities by adding custom HTML taskpanes, iterating through data, using Active Directory , and generally accomplishing tasks that are impossible in the InfoPath design environment.
The language support is facilitated by Visual Studio , although a specific version of Visual Studio is required to use with each version of InfoPath.
SharePoint integration see Integration with SharePoint. User Roles can customize a user's experience by changing views or using conditional formatting based on the identity of the user. InfoPath's formatting capabilities and user interface are similar to Microsoft Word and , depending on version. Usage[ edit ] InfoPath is used to create forms to capture information and save the contents as a file on a PC or on a web server when hosted on SharePoint. InfoPath can be used to access and display data from divergent sources web services, XML, databases, other forms and have rich interactive behaviors based on Rules, Conditions and Actions.
InfoPath forms can be viewed on mobile devices if viewed from a browser hosted on SharePoint or by using a third-party product. To run as a Web browser form, the file needs to be uploaded to a server running InfoPath Forms Services.
The advantage of this is the client doesn't need InfoPath, just a Web browser. The form can then be set up to be e-mailed when completed or its fields can be added directly to a SharePoint list. InfoPath forms can submit to SharePoint lists and libraries, and submitted instances can be opened from SharePoint using InfoPath Filler or third-party products. NET page. InfoPath fields can be promoted when publishing to SharePoint so they can be read and displayed as a "Column" data in a library View.
As with other SharePoint documents, InfoPath forms can have workflows associated with them that can access the promoted fields. On March 1, , Microsoft announced that the InfoPath client application will be supported through July Forms Server supports using a database or other data source as the back-end for the form.
NET Framework version 2. Originally a component of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Enterprise edition,  in , it was made available with: