Compatibility between InfoPath 2003, 2007, and Forms Server

Ask and ye shall receive. Here's a short summary of how to think about compatibility when designing form templates in InfoPath 2007.
1. InfoPath 2003 forms will work as-is in 2007
Your existing forms should work. Period. If you find something that doesn't work, please leave a comment so we can get that bug fixed.
2. InfoPath 2007 can save as InfoPath 2003 forms
Most features actually work in 2003, we just made 2007 the default to be forward-looking. If you plan to design all your forms to be compatible with InfoPath 2003, you can change the default in the Options dialog off the Tools menu:
You can also save individual forms as the file type 2003:
When you save a file for InfoPath 2003, we automatically check this box in Form Options:
So that the design checker will show you compatibility issues:
You can get more info on each issue by clicking it, and then fix it appropriately. Forms with "Messages" will successfully save for 2003, but forms with "Errors" cannot be saved for 2003 until all the errors have been fixed.
3. InfoPath 2003 forms can also work on the Forms Server
If you have the InfoPath 2003 client rolled out to your desktops, and also have the Forms Server, then you can create forms that will open in the browser for people without any copy of InfoPath, but open in the client for those with InfoPath 2003 (and 2007, see point 1 above).
First, follow the steps above to save your form to be compatible with InfoPath 2003. Then check this box in Form Options to make the form browser-compatible:
Now you can fix any remaining issues shown by the design checker, and publish the form to Forms Server the same as any other browser-enabled form.
Hope that helps,

Comments (20)

  1. Jos Windu says:

    Regarding bugs; this is pretty small, and I’ve found a work-around, but wanted to let you know about this: (this is also posted on the MSDN community newsgroups on 6/2/06, keywords:infopath, comma, underscore)

    When using the submit feature via rules & data adapters, or programatically in jscript, a filename that contains a comma has the comma changed to an underscore.  For example, if you code a form to save a filename as lastName comma space firstName as "Doe, Jane" it will submit as "Doe_ Jane" and will create searching difficulties in sharepoint 2003.  Using saveAs will not create that problem, though.

    I used slightly modified code from Microsoft KB826993 and attached it to a button::onclick, or put it within the taskpane and it works perfectly.

    Josiah Smith

  2. Bob_Chauvin says:

    Thanks Ned..  Exactly what I was looking for.  Of course, the real test will come through  good-‘ol testing.


  3. Bob_Chauvin says:

    Any sort of feature comparison/compatability grid you can point us to?


  4. infopath says:

    There’s lots of info on what’s new and how to upgrade at the Preview site here:

    – Ned

  5. cdhemant says:

    I have performance problem in 2003.

    Will it be solved in 2007.

  6. bcarroll3 says:

    I created an InfoPath 2003 Issue form and then a key user upgraded to 2007 and can’t  open any forms in the SharePoint Form Library.

    The 2003 form has a little bit of jscript but nothing esoteric.

    The error message is not very helpful to me. It merely states the form contains schema validation errors.

    None of my 2003 users see the error

  7. rdquiterio says:

    After upgrading from Office 2003 to 2007 I started having problems opening some Infopath forms: "Catastrophic Failure".

    It doesn’t happen on every machine and I cannot find a pattern that leads me to a conclusion.

    Any help would be great. Many thanks.

  8. ummHaz says:

    I am pretty new to InfoPath.

    I developed a form in 2007 , using the infopath 2003 compatibility mode and saved it as a 2003 template and deployed it on SharePoint 2007.

    However, when I try opening the form in 2007 and filling it out and sending it via email to my client who uses InfoPath 2003, she sees a telephone icon instead of all checked checkboxes and Double quotes for unchecked checkboxes! Could any one help me figure out what is happening?

    By the way , when she fills out the form and send it to me it is perfectly alright.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that when I try to forward the copy of form from my outlook inbox to her, all is fine!

    Please help!

  9. Cindy N. says:

    Whenever  I publish any kind of change to a form using InfoPath 2007, the views in SharePoint are negatively affected (i.e., filters disappear, sorts disappear, selected columns change).  As a workaround, I have to login remotely to a PC that has InfoPath 2003, make the form change and publish it from there.  The publishing difference may be the issue because I cannot change the form in Infopath 2007 without saving a local copy whereas InfoPath 2003 does not require me to do this.  

  10. Chintan says:

    I have designed form in Infopath 2007. I published on my moss site. Many users are having Infopath 2003, but they can't open. I don't want browser enability. Please advice…

  11. Scott Heim says:

    Hi Chintan,

    If you are developing with InfoPath 2007 and your users are still on InfoPath 2003 *and* you do not want to use the Forms Services feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, then you will just need to save your XSN in the 2003 format:

    – Open your XSN in Design View

    – From the File menu choose Save As

    – In the "Save As Type" box, choose InfoPath 2003 Form Template

    – Assuming there are now no design errors (i.e. you used functionality that is not available in 2003), republish the XSN

    With this change, your users should be able to open your XSN using InfoPath 2003.


  12. Rolf says:

    Infopath 2003 form will not open in infopath 2010, it asks for credentials when hitting the usergroup.asmx webservice in the site. it works fine in 2003. The only way to get it to work is to mak that person a sitecollection administrator (no way)..

    any clues are welcome..

  13. P Eilertsen says:

    I know this is an old blog post but I am commenting it because I'm desperate, and maybe one of you Infopath gurus will see it and answer.

    Are there any compatability issues between Infopath 2003 and Infopath 2010. I am having som touble editing the dataconnections of a Infopath 2003 template of a Sharepoint 2007 forms library. I get an error message in Norwegian saying something about that the operation I am trying to do is only supported on servers running at least Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0.

    What is wrong?

    Best regards

    Pål Eilertsen

  14. Help Me says:

    I have designed a form in Infopath 2007 and I published to my moss site. My end users are still using Infopath 2003 and receive an error message that "InfoPath cannot open the form".

    "The form template was created by a newer version of InfoPath. This form template was created by InfoPath version 12.0.0"

    I have made all the "2003" necessary changes mentioned in the comments section and do not understand why the form cannot open.  Please help!

  15. Snoweck says:

    Just like Help ME, I also created a form in IP 2007 which doesnt open in 2003. Even when i selected save as 2003 file and the compatiblility check.

    Same error as Help Me. Please help!

  16. janardhan says:


    I have created Xsn in IP2010 and sending in email body rendenring as Infopath form/form template mime type, everything is working fine in Outlook2010 but in outlook2007 or older it is just an attachment with template xsn and form xml(with data). when i save and open xml giving an error form associated URN- based form template,not able to open, please let us know the issue and fix…  

  17. panimoss says:

    I am facing one problem in sharepoint 2007.I have full control access of my sharepoint application.When i am saving the infopath in  .xsn format.

    I am not able to open the Design option for editing my infopath file.

    Can you please help me regarding this issue

  18. Arschie says:

    I have Infopath 2007 and I have some compatility issues with my customers, i need to save it as 2003 althought that option does not even appear in the save as drop down menue.

    can anyone help?


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