We’re very pleased to announce that Darvish Shadravan and Laura Rogers’ book, Using Microsoft InfoPath 2010 with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Step by Step has shipped to the printer!
With InfoPath 2010, experience learning made easy—and quickly teach yourself how to create electronic business forms in SharePoint 2010. You set the pace with Step by Step—building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Learn how to build business forms for SharePoint 2010 without writing code; get up to speed on using the new features of InfoPath 2010; easily customize SharePoint list forms with InfoPath; design form solutions for usability and performance; create mashups in SharePoint quickly, using the InfoPath Form Web Part; use forms with Microsoft SharePoint Designer and Microsoft Business Connectivity Services; learn how to easily use SharePoint workflows with your InfoPath forms; and put forms to work in the cloud with SharePoint Online.
Your online learning resources include practice exercises and unlimited access to a fully searchable online edition of the book on the Web.
Darvish and Laura’s book will be available via online retailers the end of October. In the meantime, here’s more information about the book:
Contents at a Glance
Chapter 1: Introducing Microsoft InfoPath 2010
Chapter 2: Form Requirements: Using a Decision Matrix
Chapter 3: Form Design Basics: Working with InfoPath Layout, Controls, and Views
Chapter 4: Working with SharePoint List Forms
Chapter 5: Adding Logic and Rules to Forms
Chapter 6: Publishing and Submitting Form Data
Chapter 7: Receiving Data from SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services
Chapter 8: Using the InfoPath Form Web Part
Chapter 9: Working with the SharePoint User Profile Web Service
Chapter 10: InfoPath Integration with SharePoint Designer Workflows
Chapter 11: Building an Approval Process
Chapter 12: Managing and Monitoring InfoPath Forms Services
Chapter 13: SharePoint Views and Dashboards
Chapter 14: Advanced Options
Welcome to Microsoft InfoPath 2010, a forms-creation and data-gathering tool that can help you streamline your business processes. InfoPath 2010 is well-suited for almost anyone that needs to design and deploy form solutions – including information workers, IT pros, and developers. You can use InfoPath 2010 to design sophisticated forms that can quickly and accurately gather information that meet your organizational needs. And its deep integration with the SharePoint platform opens up a new world of possibilities for your electronic form requirements.
InfoPath empowers you to design and fill out electronic forms, such as expense reports, event registrations, and customer satisfaction surveys. And you can do this using common form controls that most users are familiar with, such as text boxes, drop-down list boxes, or hyperlinks. When entering data in an InfoPath 2010 form, users are presented with familiar, document-like features. For example, they can change fonts, check spelling, or insert images into certain fields.
If you create your forms as browser-enabled form templates, users who don’t have InfoPath installed on their PC can still work with the form in a browser. This lets you share business forms with a variety of users, including employees, customers, and vendors.
The forms that you design can range from simple forms for collecting data from a small group to complex forms that are integral components of a much bigger business process. InfoPath form templates can be used as a stand-alone tool, or you can design them to work with SharePoint lists, applications, databases, or Web services. This flexibility enables the developers in your organization to integrate the form data into existing business processes. If you utilize SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Designer, InfoPath 2010 forms can be used as part of a fully automated business process. This can include workflows, such as routing and notification based on information within the form. And the data that users enter in your InfoPath forms doesn’t have to remain sealed inside that form forever; it can be reused in a variety of ways, especially when coupled with the SharePoint platform.
Let’s Get Started!
“When at last we are sure, you’ve been properly pilled, Then a few paper forms, Must be properly filled. So that you and your heirs, May be properly billed.”
Tax forms, school forms, business forms, registration forms, order forms, medical forms… Forms, so ubiquitous, and yet so under appreciated. The decision to take on the challenge of authoring this book was driven in part by our passionate belief that InfoPath and SharePoint 2010 together represent a new opportunity to radically transform the experience of using forms; from one of dread and tedium, to a much more positive experience. With this new software platform, the untapped potential for improving people’s everyday experience of building and using forms is vast. It was this potential for improvement that led us to share with you our knowledge and our passion for the world’s best forms creation and editing tool, InfoPath 2010.
Microsoft InfoPath 2010 is a major release and has several new features and capabilities compared with the 2003 and 2007 versions. We don’t specifically call out all new features out in the book, but you will gain experience most of the new capabilities as you wind your way through the various chapters and exercises. The list below includes some of the new feature highlights that are most relevant for this book:
· The Microsoft Office Fluent Ribbon means no more hunting through menus, submenus, and dialog boxes. This new interface organizes all the commands most people use most often, making them quickly accessible from tabs at the top of the InfoPath window.
· If you create your forms as browser-enabled form templates, users who don’t have InfoPath installed on their PC can still work with the form in a browser. This lets you share business forms with a variety of users, including employees, customers, and vendors. Improved parity between InfoPath Filler 2010 forms and InfoPath browser forms in SharePoint Server 2010 ensures greater consistency for users who are filling out forms.
· SharePoint Server 2010 offers a robust architecture for managing access to data connections and external systems. InfoPath 2010 has a specific form control named the External Item Picker which works Business Connectivity Services (BCS).
· InfoPath 2010 includes a new installation option called InfoPath Filler. With Filler, people who are filling out forms have a simple and easy to use interface. All the functionality for designing forms is removed for users who just want to open and fill out a form.
· In SharePoint Server 2010, it’s easy to host your InfoPath forms on SharePoint pages using the new InfoPath Form Web Part. You can simply add the InfoPath Form Web Part to a SharePoint 2010 Web Part page and point it to your form.
· With InfoPath 2010, you can create forms with a click of a button based on SharePoint lists. If you have data in SharePoint lists, you can automatically generate a form with all of the SharePoint list column fields, and then customize it with the power of InfoPath.
Hardware and Software Requirements
To complete the exercises in this book you will need a Windows PC with InfoPath 2010 installed on it (either as part of Office Professional or stand-alone InfoPath installation).
The requirements to install InfoPath 2010 are:
· Computer and processor 500 MHz or faster processor
· Memory 256 MB RAM or more
· Hard disk 2.0 GB available disk space
· Display 1024×768 or higher resolution monitor
· Operating system Windows XP (must have SP3) (32-bit), Windows 7, Windows Vista with Service Pack (SP) 1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2 and MSXML 6.0 (32-bit Office only), Windows Server 2008, or later 32- or 64-bit OS.
For many of the exercises in the book, you will also need access to a SharePoint 2010 Server environment. Some exercises may require the Enterprise features of SharePoint such as InfoPath Forms Services. Ideally, you will have a SharePoint site where you have Site Owner permissions in order to effectively work through the exercises in the book. This will be necessary for creating the required forms libraries, workflows, data connections, and other SharePoint objects.
Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 is also required for some exercises; you can download it here at no charge: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/en-us/product/related-technologies/pages/sharepoint-designer.aspx.
Office 365: InfoPath and SharePoint in the Cloud
If you do not have your own SharePoint environment, InfoPath 2010 supports the creation of forms in Office 365, Microsoft’s online SharePoint service in the cloud. All versions of SharePoint Online have support for basic InfoPath integration, although the more advanced capabilities may require specific versions of Office 365. You can find more information on how to sign up for Office 365 at http://office365.microsoft.com. Chapter 2 has more information on how to decide which version of SharePoint best suits your needs.
You may notice some user interface differences in SharePoint Online versus an “on premises” installation of SharePoint in your company’s data center. Conceptually, the exercises in this book should work the same with Office 365 in the cloud as they do if you have a SharePoint Server sitting under your desk.
Who This Book Is For
This intended audience for this book is very broad, essentially any information worker that needs to build and use electronic forms which will be stored in SharePoint. Whether you are an IT person, an attorney, a sales manager, administrative assistant, or a rocket scientist; this book can teach you the basics of building and using InfoPath 2010 forms in a SharePoint 2010 environment. By the time you finish, you will be fully armed to create a very satisfying form experience for the consumers of your forms.
Because the target audience for InfoPath 2010 (and therefore this book) is so wide-ranging, we have intentionally set the bar low for required expertise to use this book. If you are a savvy Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows user, that’s a great start! For much of the book, some existing knowledge of SharePoint Server will definitely be useful. However, even if you’re not a SharePoint guru, most topics in this book should be within your grasp. You may need to become good friends with your SharePoint administrator, their help will be invaluable.
A note to IT Pros and Software Developers: If you don’t have much experience using InfoPath with SharePoint, you will likely find this book valuable. However, we want to be clear that you (the technical software professional) were not the primary reader we had in mind when structuring the content in this book. The mission of this book was not to be a comprehensive administrator or developer guide. That undertaking has already been covered by other excellent InfoPath and SharePoint 2010 books on the market.
How This Book Is Organized
This book is about using InfoPath 2010 with SharePoint Server, and is organized around that notion. The book does begin with a few chapters that are primarily focused on understanding InfoPath itself; but by Chapter 4 the focus starts to turn to using InfoPath with SharePoint. That was our mantra for much of the book; highlight and focus on the areas of InfoPath that have a strong connection and relationship with SharePoint. Throughout the 14 chapters, you will have an opportunity to design forms that integrate tightly with SharePoint in a variety of ways.
Chapter 1, Introducing Microsoft InfoPath 2010, explores the InfoPath interface, and helps you learn XML basics and to build a simple form.
Chapter 2, Form Requirements: Using a Decision Matrix, helps you understand which types of InfoPath forms make sense for your requirements.
Chapter 3, Form Design Basics: Working with InfoPath Layout, Controls, and Views, shows you how to work with sample forms to help you understand different ways to put the basic form components together.
Chapter 4, Working with SharePoint List Forms, shows you how to use InfoPath to customize SharePoint 2010 list forms.
Chapter 5, Adding Logic and Rules to Forms, explores the capability of InfoPath to add business logic and data validation to forms, without code.
Chapter 6, Publishing and Submitting Form Data, helps you experience the various options for publishing your forms to SharePoint.
Chapter 7, Receiving Data from SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services, shows you how to retrieve data in to your forms from SharePoint data sources.
Chapter 8, Using InfoPath Form Web Part, leads you through the process of displaying your form in a SharePoint web part.
Chapter 9, Working with the SharePoint User Profile Web Service, teaches you how to retrieve information about SharePoint users in to your forms by adding web service data connections.
Chapter 10, InfoPath and SharePoint Designer 201, helps you understand how SharePoint Designer and InfoPath work together to build customize workflow forms.
Chapter 11, Building an Approval Process, shows you how to add workflows and routing to your forms.
Chapter 12, Managing and Monitoring InfoPath Forms Services, leads you through working with a variety of administration tools to manage browser-based forms.
Chapter 13, SharePoint Views and Dashboards, shows you how to leverage SharePoint’s power to build customized views and dashboards that contain data from your forms.
Chapter 14, Advanced Options, explores various tips and tricks for integrating advanced form requirements.