14.5. Form Deployment and Distribution

There are many ways to deploy and distribute forms, and the method you choose depends on several factors. These include the location from which you want users to access the form and the level of security you want to enforce when the form is filled out. As mentioned earlier, restricted mode forms can be distributed by simply sharing the XSN file, but the usefulness of such forms is limited to simple data gathering. In most cases, you will need to publish your forms. The following sections examine the publishing process in detail.

14.5.1. How Form Publishing Works

InfoPath uses the term publishing to refer to the process of preparing a form for distribution and actually placing it into the desired location. Saving a form template and then copying it to another location is not the same as publishing the template. Publishing a template is analogous to compiling a source file for an executable program. You can save the source file as often as you like, but you can't run it until it is compiled. Compiling the file accomplishes several goals. First, it validates the source code so that the programmer can identify and correct logical and syntactical errors. Second, it transforms the source file into a format the target machine can understand.

Form publishing works the same way. InfoPath examines the contents of the form template and validates it, allowing the form developer to correct any problems, and then it transforms the template so that it ...

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