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Beginning SharePoint® 2007: Building Team Solutions with MOSS 2007 by Shane Perran, Amanda Murphy

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10.1. What Is InfoPath?

InfoPath is an application that integrates with SharePoint to collect and present data. InfoPath forms are XML-based documents that you can design to help collect data in ways that SharePoint interface cannot. While InfoPath can be used on its own, it truly excels as a data collection tool when combined with SharePoint. Some ways of using InfoPath within an organization include:

  • Team reports: Team members can create weekly status reports from which the team's manager can create a single report, which tracks the team's progress. This involves creating a form template that features fields related to weekly activities and publishing it to a shared location, such as a team site. Every week, the manager can access a special view that displays all the forms and then she can merge them into a single document. This consolidation reduces the amount of work that a manager must perform each week. She can even customize that single document to present to her own management team.

  • Data connections: Sales people can use forms to report on customer information from a centralized database containing details on the customer and previous purchases. They can also attach a document with a record of meetings and communication with the customer so that colleagues can access this later. Again, you must create a form template and store it on a centralized team site, but this template features special data connections that display customer data directly from the database. This reduces ...

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