7.5. MS InfoPath

Another favorite application is MS InfoPath, which was released for the first time in October 2003, along with MS Office 2003. It still looks very much the same in its new version, InfoPath 2007, but under the hood several important things has changed. The main purpose of this application is to create electronic forms, such as expense reports, time cards, vacation forms, and so on. One important new feature in InfoPath 2007 is its ability to create web forms that can be used by SharePoint 2007 and Office 2007; for example, workflow forms and the Document Information Panel displayed by Office 2007 applications, such as Word and Excel 2007. Another very important difference is that SharePoint 2007 can display InfoPath forms as HTML web forms, thus removing the requirement that a user who wants to fill in a form must have MS InfoPath locally installed. This was probably one of the main reasons that InfoPath 2003 was not implemented by customers, although it was great product.

7.5.1. Building InfoPath Forms

An important characteristic of MS InfoPath is its file format: it is completely based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard, which makes the form and its content readable by other applications. SharePoint is one such application. When you save an InfoPath file in a SharePoint library some, or possibly all, of its content will be displayed as columns, so you do not need to open the form to see what's in it. For example, say that you have a time card ...

Get Beginning SharePoint® 2007 Administration: Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0 and Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.