Presentation on theme: "InfoPath Best bets and Tips and Tricks Agenda Brief InfoPath Overview Some of the shortcomings of InfoPath Demo: Getting InfoPath forms into a web part."— Presentation transcript:
InfoPath Best bets and Tips and Tricks Agenda Brief InfoPath Overview Some of the shortcomings of InfoPath Demo: Getting InfoPath forms into a web part Demo: Overcoming 5 conditional formatting declarations Demo: Getting a Sum Total, of a repeating tables field Questions
Eric Harlan Few Tidbits: President/Co-founder of Baltimore SharePoint Users Group Principal SharePoint Architect for Sogeti LLC In I.T. for 10 years, SharePoint for 6 TechEd South Africa SharePoint Saturday Baltimore Notes Laugh, Smile: I will and if Im the only one, I just look insane. Ask questions, this should be us talking, not me talking to you!
BALTIMORE SharePoint Users Group Knowledge Base (need help? Ask) Previous meeting Slide Decks Streaming Presentations How Tos and Links News Meeting Agendas
What is InfoPath? Digital Form Creation Tool XML Based Data stored to SPFS, Web Services , etc Allows Code Behind Offers a tangible goal of Paperless office. Offers ability to perform business related functions.
Pros & Cons InfoPath Pros and Cons Pros Very quick to do simple forms InfoPath does what.Net custom forms do with point and clicking Mild to Power users can create forms in no time Easy to integrate with MOSS and store data Gives developers a huge launch pad in which to do custom forms In browser mode, the user only needs a browser and permissions. Cons If planning is not done on large forms with respect to: schema and groups/sections time and efforts can be wasted Cryptic intricacies Functionality goes down if you use InfoPath Form Services Browser Mode If you do not use Browser mode, every user needs InfoPath installed
Design Tasks Six primary design tasks Task pane provides visibility into tasks Each task pane expands to display functionality Layout Controls Data Source Views Design Checker Publish Form Some Controls are not available in Browser View Mode.
Layout User establishes the overall layout of the form Based on a table design approach similar to of Word and HTML tables Layout task pane provides numerous styles including custom table Tables can be nested within one another Fat Client mode offers Horizontal and Scrolling Regions
Controls Broad control library with many built-in controls Familiar interface for those with Access Drag and drop design interface Expression boxes are your friend Powerful capabilities such as optional and repeating sections Ability to add custom controls Sections and Optional Sections are the same thing
Data Source Defines the data sources for the form Defines the control elements as XML Allows data to be established in hierarchical fashion Multiple data sources can be established in a form Repeating sections can be assigned as groups User can drag and drop data source fields and controls will automatically be created as defined by the type (not a good way to go)
Views Can be used to have multiple views of the same form Print view can be created for times when users need to print instead of filling out fields Views can act as different Pages of a form Receipts can be given for filled out data or prepared letters
Design Checker New feature in 2007 Allows you to check for design errors before publishing Admins can provide Rule profiles for when you allow a form to bypass errors in design checker
Publishing Wizard Preferred way of publishing forms to SPFS Allows you to create form libraries from inside InfoPath
Sections Sections (Optional, Repeating) Repeating Tables One of the most critical parts of InfoPath to learn Used in 99% of all forms Each have very distinctive personalities (For example, to hide insert item you must nest Repeating table in a section) Filters, Rules, Conditional formatting apply to sections/repeating tables
Conditional Formatting Allows you to hide or show based on various variables Have to think in opposites since only options for hiding. Variable examples: is/not equal to less than or equal to is/not blank does/doesnt begin with does/not match pattern (phone #, social #, zip/+4, custom) Allows: Bold, underline, strikethrough, italic, font color change and shading
Formulas Allows you to populate fields based on other form data Allows concatenation of multiple fields (ex: unique form entry User_Name + Now() Various formulas built in from Sum to Substrings
Tips and Tricks InfoPath Branding is hard. Natively InfoPath forms only show in the client application. Or as a full page browser form……..Natively Conditional formatting, Rules etc, dont allow more than 5 conditions. And since InfoPath only reads the first one use an Xpath Expression to populate the CF with more than 5. (see example) When using drop down control that is bound to only one text/string control element, getting a SUM of the total amount of times a value was selected in a repeating table is tricky. You must again use the Xpath method to produce a string the resembles: count(/my:Schema/my:Subgroup1/my:RepeatingGroup/[my:contorl_name_txt = 12345'])
Demo 1)InfoPath in a web part! 2)Breaking the 5 C.F. barrier 3)Getting the Sum of repeating Fields
Rules Allows you to fire a action based on a condition Types of actions Show a dialog box (only in Fat Client mode) Show dialog expressions Set a fields Value (most used) Query using a data connection Submit using a data connection Open a new form to fill out (second most used)
Secondary Connections Secondary Connection Types Submit Database Web Service SharePoint Library/XML File Message Receive Database Web Service XML File SharePoint List