I reckon it has to be one of the coolest bits of Office System Server 2007, Form filling isn’t going away anytime soon and this is a great web based solution that you can extend with Windows Workflow to automate a business processes.
You build a form with InfoPath 2007, publish it and then you access the form via an internet browser, the generated web forms implement AJAX, look great, operate smoothly and there is excellent fidelity between what you design in InfoPath and what you see in a browser!! If you have InfoPath Installed then it will load the form by default (a default that can be overridden).
There is a great range of desktop browsers supported including Internet Explorer, Mozilla/FireFox, Mac/Safari etc and mobile device browsers which must support HTML, xHTML, or cHTML which covers your Pocket PCs, SmartPhones, Palms, Berries etc and you can even embed a form using the FormsControl in to your own desktop or ASP.NET application. So gone are the days when InfoPath forms only worked with InfoPath installed on the desktop.
InfoPath Forms Services ships as part of Office SharePoint Server 2007 or separately as Office Forms Server 2007 – available on MSDN Subscription Download or you can download an eval copy of Office SharePoint Server 2007 from here.
Here is a collection of useful links:-
- InfoPath Team Blog
- Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007
- Check out the linked Creating Browser Enabled Forms With InfoPath 2007 Channel 9 screencast.
- And the Creating Custom Workflows with the SharePoint Designer 2007 Channel 9 screencast
- InfoPath 2007: Designing Form Templates With The New Features Of InfoPath – Scott Roberts and Hagen Green
- Integrate InfoPath 2007 and Visual Studio 2005 – See how the InfoPath 2007 form template design environment is integrated into the Visual Studio 2005 IDE in the 2007 Office System.
What you need to load up Server side – I ran in a VPC and if you load Office Forms Server (not the full SharePoint Server) then you’ll get away with allocating 512MB to the VPC.
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – hmmm, interesting just spotted this article for “Side by side support of SharePoint Services 2.0 and 3.0” – a must for Small Business Server Users or on a system with TFS…
- I loaded Office Forms Server 2007 or you can load up the eval of Office SharePoint Server 2007
- InfoPath 2007 – be sure to include the .NET Programming install options including Visual Studio Tools for Applications
- You can also optionally install the released version of Visual Studio Tools for Office
Cheers and great to see you all last night, Dave