InfoPath 2007, Forms Server, MOSS 2007 – and using these to your organization’s benefit.

Posted on 10/25/2006 @ 12:26 AM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 53951 views

I have so much to blog about, especially about SharePoint 2007, but the screenshots make it so much harder to blog. Anyway, this is quite exciting to hold back.

Let us say, I run a fashion agency that is constantly in search for new faces. So we interview wannabe models, and then we rate them on a scale of 1-10. Of course, the tech savvy person I am, I didn’t just write down these numbers – I instead created a word document (Whoopiee!!). Now, soon I realized that each word document was similar in structure. So it had “Name of a Model”, Age, Photograph, and Rating (1-10). To keep this consistency, I decided to create a form in Word.

You must have seen such forms in your company – for expense reports, vacation or business card requests etc.

Anyway, here is how my form looks.

Now, soon enough, this word document solution doesn’t quite scale, and I wished I had used Excel instead. Of course Excel won’t format well, and then my photographers in California want to peruse the database. So some smartass consultant comes in and tells me that he has a better idea.

Of course, I don’t believe him, so I observe as what he does.

The consultant fires up Infopath, and Imports my Word 2007 form using the dialog box below.

And soon enough, he is able to setup and reformat my word form into this in InfoPath 2007 as shown below.

He goes ahead and saves this in a file on my desktop called “Hot or Not.xsn”.

The next thing the consultant does is, goes ahead and sets up a document library in SharePoint called “Wanna bees”.

Next he goes to InfoPath 2007, and runs the Design Checker – Change Compatibility Settings

In there, he makes sure that under “Compatibility”, the checkbox for “Design a form template that can be opened in a browser or infopath” is checked.

Finally, he goes to Infopath 2007 and selects Publish

1. Screen #1 – choose publish to a SharePoint server with or without Infopath forms services.
2. Screen #2 – location of your SharePoint site: http://enterwhateveryoursiteis.
3. Screen #3 – Choose “Site Content Type” – this is generally a better and more manageable way to publish infopath forms as you will see shortly.
4. Screen #4 – Choose “Create a new Content Type”
5. Screen #5 – Call it “Hot Model” (The new content type)
6. Save the Form Template at http://yoursite/Form Templates. Call it Model Review.xsn
7. Finally, on the last screen choose a few columns that you want to be available in SharePoint sites or Outlook folders. I have wisely chosen Model Name, Hot or Not and Her Phone Number as shown below:


8. Click Publish.

Your form is ready to use – but your SharePoint document library isn’t quite yet. J

Go to SharePoint central admin under the administration tab, and make sure that Forms Server is running.

Next, go to the Wanna Bees list, and go to Document Library Settings. Under document Library settings check “Advanced Settings”, and under there choose “Allow Management of Content Types”. This will allow you to change the default content type to “Hot Model”. Also, since we wish to open this functionality to folks who may not be running Infopath locally, click on “Display as a web page” under “Browser-enabled documents”. This will cause Forms server to kick in and render the form for you.

Next, go ahead and manage the content types – add the “Hot Model” content type you just created – make it default. And get rid of the “Document” (or whatever else) content type you may have in there.

Now go back to your list and create a new “Hot Model” as shown below.

Watch closely what happens ;-). You see a weird “Loading Form” message. (It came and went too fast for me to take a screenshot, and it’s 2AM in the morning as I am typing this, so just trust me – there is a “Loading Form” message).

And walla – the Infopath form is now running inside a browser. Nice!!

Go ahead fill in the details of whoever you interview, and hit “Save”, give it a meaningful name just like I have:

Go ahead and fill in some more sample data of all the hot models you have interviewed (or ever wished to interview).

With some sample data populated is where it gets really interesting. Go ahead and create a custom view as I’m doing below:

I’m gonna create a Standard View. But here is the interesting part; I am going to uncheck all columns except couple of columns that were derived from the form – “Model Name”  and “Her Phone Number”.

And bingo – I suddenly have data of the world’s supermodels on my fingertips.

(Evil Laugh) BWAHAAHAHAHAAH!!! All this power, I am sure I’ll put it to good use (pause) NOT!!

Okay seriously now, it’s 3 AM, I’m leaving for snoresville.



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Older comments..


On 10/25/2006 10:10:43 AM Pablo Diaz said ..
Hi Sahil, do you know if it's possible to autosave the form in the library?? I did configure my form to be saved in a predefined document library (using submit). But i liked your idea of a content type form, and it would be very cool if the form is able to save itself in the document library.

thanks, your blog rocks!


On 10/25/2006 11:01:07 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Pablo -

Hmmm .. autosave? I guess you have to save or submit it. It may be possible to script that autosave using VSTA, but honestly I haven't tried it out yet.

You probably wanna ping the infopath guys.

SM


On 10/26/2006 8:05:26 PM Kanwal said ..
Can this kind of solution actually scale to thousands of users?

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On 10/26/2006 9:10:09 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Good, Cheap, Fast <-- You can have only 2 of those in any software solution.

I doubt this is any different.


On 11/17/2006 12:39:55 PM Jay Baggett said ..
I'm hoping you can PLEASE answer this question. The above example is a good one. So then my question is - Let's use this example and let's say, this is a project - and we are looking for models. Let's say I have so many models left to interview, and I've already interviewed some etc.. and I want this all to be visible in (drum roll) -- Project Server -- HOW CAN I DO THIS. I don't need the pics etc.. but I do need the names and possibly the status of each.

Please email me and inform me.


On 11/17/2006 1:52:01 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Jay - that is certainly do-able. Little more than I can explain on a blog though.


On 11/22/2006 2:00:59 PM Alex Weinstein said ..
Really cool walkthrough! Love it!


On 12/11/2006 7:18:06 AM David said ..
InfoJet Service, a product likes InfoPath Forms Service!


http://www.infojetsoft.com


On 12/29/2006 2:36:22 AM Oskar said ..
Hi, I'm having problems to get the data into the columns. The document saves like it should with the name specified, but no columns (in this case "Model Name", "Her Phone Number" and "Hot or Not") gets filled in. Why??


On 12/29/2006 12:14:23 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Oskar - you skipped this step when you published your form -


"7. Finally, on the last screen choose a few columns that you want to be available in SharePoint sites or Outlook folders. I have wisely chosen Model Name, Hot or Not and Her Phone Number as shown below:"


On 1/2/2007 5:46:29 AM Oskar said ..
It seems like I'm having problems with my MOSS installation. I tried it on another computer and it worked perfectly. Now I only have to figure out what the problem is...

Perhaps a more interesting question for this forum, is it possible to send information from a InfoPath form to a SharePoint List, instead of sending it to a Sharepint Document Library?


On 1/2/2007 8:00:13 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Yes it is possible Oskar - numerous ways to acheive that.


On 1/3/2007 5:57:03 AM Oskar said ..
Can I do that without coding in Visual Studio? In InfoPath I have several choices to submit data besides using the SharePoint Document Library. Can I use one of these? I have a feeling that this shouldn't be too complicated, but I'm still having problems. Thanks for any help here.


On 4/15/2007 4:44:00 PM Sayan Ghosh said ..
Outstanding article....so simple but showcases the power so very effetively


On 4/15/2007 8:28:24 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Thank you Sayan :). I know I wouldn't mind some link love ;-)


On 4/16/2007 3:05:59 AM Sayan Ghosh said ..
Am not in the Infopath team but part of MS IT team...and slowly getting acquainted with Infopath+MOSS power....and ur post helped :) .... keep talking


On 4/16/2007 11:19:45 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Allrighty, I'll keep talking then :)


On 5/3/2007 4:23:25 PM Steve said ..
When the form is filled out by the user and "submitted" (or saved) can the data in that form populate a back-end database (i.e. SQL Server 2005)? If so, can you just briefly describe how --- or where I can find information how to do this?


On 6/8/2007 5:29:51 AM ZG said ..
By the way, the word is spelled 'voilà' and not 'walla'...


On 6/8/2007 8:07:01 AM Sahil Malik said ..
ZG, but walla is so much more fun, eh? :)


On 6/26/2007 11:01:17 PM rex said ..
yes, great information here, for those of us just getting our feet wet with sharepoint...


just curious, how much did this type of implementation cost?


like, a round figure is cool, i don't need specifics...


i'm curious about licenses and the server stuff, thanks


On 9/4/2007 9:34:22 PM anne said ..
can we submit the data into SQL?


and how?


thnx sahil!


On 12/12/2007 2:59:52 PM Wee Rot said ..
Voila vs Walla.

Walla is just the Arabic form of Voila.


On 12/13/2007 4:25:24 AM Heinrich Glover said ..
anne, you can receive and submit data to a database eather by:
Web Service as InfoPath 2007 support webservice or
By writing code in the backend of the InfoPath Form.
Writing code mean you have to publish the form with administrator priv.
You will anyway have to create a connection library and aprove the connection file before use.

On 1/4/2008 7:17:14 AM Hemanth said ..
Hi Do you have any tutorial like this which shows how to create a web service and post infopath data for the same. I want to create a browser based form which submits data into a sql server database.


Thanks,


On 3/13/2008 8:49:41 AM Jim said ..
Heinrich Glover, would you be willing to go through the steps required to receive and submit data to a SQL database using these techniques??


On 4/24/2008 5:25:57 AM Sudhakar said ..
Very informative article Sahil. Thanks a lot.


I've a doubt in this. Can we publish InfoPath data to a custom list or multiple lists? If yes, how? Please help me.


thanks in advance...


On 5/5/2008 11:16:12 AM marie said ..
i have some troubleshoot with infojet , i have configured it but , some controls are not available and my form .., and it doesn't appear like it should


i need some help .


I have installed moss 2007 (trial version) i don't have infopath form services and the ssp


On 5/12/2008 8:19:11 PM Asim Khan said ..
The form once published on the document library you can save the data by using inbuilt submit button functions. First you need to add a button control and then go into properties=> rules and add the rules for submitting date which can be either using sql or simple data connection and off you go...


On 5/12/2008 8:26:51 PM Asim Khan said ..
The form once published on the document library you can save the data by using inbuilt submit button functions. First you need to add a button control and then go into properties=> rules and add the rules for submitting date which can be either using sql or simple data connection and off you go...


On 7/2/2008 12:15:30 PM Gopi Ega said ..
I implimented similar Infopath form(2007)


on submit option i added two rules


1)submit to email


2)save to sharepoint document library


and deployed to stage environement ..everything worked fine


after moving production..


email rule is working fine..while user submits its sending email successfully


but not the saving option.


its giving a alert message


"There is some problem in submitting this form"


user has contribute permissions over the respective document library

any guess what could have went wrong?


where and how can I get specific error details?


Thanks In Advance


On 8/24/2008 2:13:42 PM Johnny said ..
Great post. However, after setting everything up per your instructions, when I click on the "Hot Model (Fill Out This Form)" button, I get prompted to open or save the "Model Review.xsn" file instead of getting the Infopath form opened in my browser. If I choose to open the form in my client InfoPath software, I do not have an option to save into the list, but just on my local drive. Do you happen to know what is causing this issue? Thanks!


On 3/17/2009 1:23:30 PM mark allen said ..
I'm just getting my feet wet with InfoPath 2007. Question---I use the submit button and ti goes to a document library just fine. Question is....when you submit it, it's not "saved" in the traditional sense (but i see the 'saved' form in the document library after submitting it).

do you need to save it as well?

seems redundant.


thanks


Mark


On 4/14/2009 4:54:28 PM naamidala said ..
Hi Sahil,

I have uploaded my infopath form into a sharepoint doucment library but ,every one who has permnissions to that library are able to view and edit the forms submitted by others.


I want to restrict this,I want only people who submitted the forms to be able view and edit these forms only and not everyone elses.

How can I achieve this,thanks in Advance!

NAAMIDALA


On 5/8/2009 5:58:31 AM ishan said ..
hi


i did all the septs that you have mentioned in artical. but i am getting a error. i dont know the reason for that. the error is "There has been an error while loading the form. A required resource could not be downloaded. To try to resume the download, refresh the page." please help me thanks


On 11/12/2009 10:54:11 AM Sonia said ..
Hi Sahil,

Need some HELP please!

I setup a form as you mentioned above and it works! But, the thing is that it only works when I 'Save' rather then 'Submit' Form. Why is this? How can I put the submit button work for other users to fill in the form I've created?

Thanks so much for you help!


On 7/7/2010 7:21:39 AM Geoff said ..
Try publishing the form and then opening on a different pc - no data access, won't even open the form. Redo all the data connections (again) at it still doesn't work with the usaual infopth "unknown error" still works on the original pc. Delete form from original pc and hey it now works on the second pc !!!!

great form system for one man bands (single pc only) or large corporate bodies with IT experts and expensive programs!!


On 7/23/2010 5:46:15 PM Sreelatha Menon said ..
Hi,

I am new to SharePoint. Has the MOSS 2007 trial version got the Excel services? Do I need to buy MOSS 2007 with Excel services to convert an application in VB and excel to an intranet? Where do I store the existing files to run it as a website?


On 8/30/2010 11:01:38 AM Grace said ..
Hi, I am totally new to Sharepoint. When I uploaded a form from InfoPath to SharePoint, I was able to open the form and update the content; however, when I have some other user on the network to open it, they got an error msg "InfoPath has encountered an error, operation failed." Any input on that? Thanks