Hi there, Daniel Broekman here. After showing you how to customize a SharePoint list with InfoPath 2010, and describing the differences between SharePoint list forms and form library forms together with Kate Everitt, I’m back with a quick tip for easily sending a value from the browser’s query string into an InfoPath form.
Imagine one of the following scenarios:
- You want to dynamically pull all the invoices for a specific customer into a single form. For example, you could have a link to http://server/site/ShowInvoices.aspx?Customer=Contoso, which could be set up to display a list of all the Contoso invoices in a table. If you then swap out “Contoso” with “Fabrikam” in the URL, you would see all of the Fabrikam invoices.
- You want to track referrals for your form. You can do this by specifying a dynamic default value for the form indicating the referral source. For example, you can include a link to http://server/site/form.aspx?Referrer=Email in an email you send to users, and add a link to http://server/site/form.aspx?Referrer=Website on the homepage of your website, and capture the value of the “Referrer” parameter along with the rest of the form data.
In InfoPath 2007, you could accomplish these scenarios with code. With InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint 2010, there is a much easier way to send data from the query string into an InfoPath form. Let’s take a look.
The basic concept
Using a web part page and a part-to-part connection between a Query String (URL) Filter web part and an InfoPath Form Web Part (new in SharePoint 2010), we can easily pass a value from the browser’s query string into the form.
I’m going to assume you already have a list form published to SharePoint. I just created a simple form to collect feedback on a conference presentation. As you can see, I included a “Referrer” field that will track the referral source of users filling out my form.
To set up the rest of the scenario, follow these steps:
- Create a new web part page.
- Add 2 web parts to the page. From the “Forms” category, add the InfoPath Form Web Part, and from the “Filters” category, add the Query String (URL) Filter web part.
- Configure the InfoPath Form Web Part to point to the list or library where your form is published.
- Configure the Query String (URL) Filter web part to specify the parameter name it should look for in the URL. In this case, we want it to find “Referrer”.
- Next, set up the part-to-part connection by opening the Web Part edit menu and selecting Connections > Send Filter Values To > InfoPath Form Web Part.
- This brings up a dialog where you can choose the field in the form where the data should be sent. Choose the field you want, and then click Finish. In this case, we want to map the data to the “Referrer” field.
Everything should be set up correctly now. Save your changes to this page, and then navigate to the page. You should see the blank form.
Testing the Connection
To test that everything is working correctly, add “?Referrer=email” to the end of the URL, and you should see the Referrer field being populated with the value “email”.
That’s it! You now have a page that passes data from the query string into an InfoPath form, set up in less than 5 minutes, and without any code.
For more advanced scenarios, you can use this as a starting point. For example, you could have a rule on the “Referrer” field that performs certain actions based on the incoming value, such as querying a secondary data source, loading a specific item, etc. In the “customer invoice” example I gave at the beginning of this post, you could have an “onchange” rule on the “Customer” field that queries a secondary data connection for all of that customer’s invoices.
One final note: the InfoPath Form Web Part only supports one incoming part-to-part connection at a time, which means that you are limited to passing one value into the form using this method.
Please leave a comment to let me know how you’re using this functionality in your forms!