WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?
In today's world, most business processes rely on capturing information from the end users and translating it into appropriate and timely actions. A majority of these business processes simply start with a form and may use other forms throughout their lifecycle. Unfortunately, in many cases forms are received with inaccurate information, which leads to bad decision making, significant cost, and damage to organizations.
SharePoint ships with a great object model that can be used to build sophisticated forms for gathering data and feeding it to the enterprise business processes, such as workflow sequences and composite applications. The vision behind the product, as an application development platform, however, has always been based on its ability to build powerful enterprise applications quickly and easily. The emphasis on the words easy and quickly in the product's vision statement means that there should be an easier way to create, distribute, and manage electronic forms with little or no code.
InfoPath 2003 was Microsoft's first attempt to uniquely position this product to handle the problems in business data collection and presentation needs. The main feature of InfoPath 2003 was the ability to author and render XML-based electronic forms with support for custom-defined ...