InfoPath and Excel

So what does InfoPath have to do with Excel? The two products aren’t directly related, but they are both producers and consumers of XML data. You can gather XML data in InfoPath and then import that data into an Excel list for summary or analysis.

You can also start InfoPath from Excel. In that way, InfoPath forms can be the front-end for gathering XML data used by Excel. This chapter discusses those two approaches.

Link Excel to InfoPath through lists

The Excel and InfoPath products interchange data through lists. Lists may be local XML files, XML files posted at a public location, or they may be shared through SharePoint.

The data collected by InfoPath is often a superset of the information you want to analyze in Excel. For example, you want to create an Excel report on the location and value of assets. If you collect that data using the InfoPath Asset Tracker form (described early in this chapter), you create a worksheet from the form’s XML but only include a few of the form’s nodes in the worksheet list.

The general steps in using an InfoPath form to collect data for display in Excel are:

  1. Create the InfoPath form template.

  2. Publish the template.

  3. Have users fill out the forms.

  4. Optionally, use InfoPath to merge the forms into a single XML file.

  5. Open or Import the merged XML data into Excel, creating an XML map for the data.

  6. Drag the significant nodes from the Excel XML Source task pane to the worksheet to create a list.

  7. Update the list from its data ...

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