One question that comes up quite a bit when customers first look at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and InfoPath 2007 development is “what do I need to get started”. Here is a quick summary of steps to get started:
InfoPath forms can be submitted to a variety of end points such as a database, a web service, or to Office SharePoint Server. Office SharePoint Server is interesting to many customers because of the integration with Windows Workflow with the general process of a user submits an InfoPath form to a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (often referred to as MOSS 2007) , which results in a workflow being created that processes the document. This can include creating and assigning tasks to other users or groups who should review the submitted document, calling web services, etc. To be able to build and compile a development projects for SharePoint Server 2007, install the following:
-Visual Studio 2005 with the Windows Workflow 3.0 Extensions installed
–SharePoint Server 2007 SDK (update released 2/08)
–Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions, Version 1.1 (update released 3/08)
All of the above can be installed on a machine that does not have SharePoint Server installed. (There isn’t a dependency check that requires SharePoint Server 2007). This will allow you to design and compile workflows. In order to test an InfoPath Form and workflow for SharePoint Server 2007, a SharePoint Server 2007 environment is required.
The SharePoint Server 2007 SDK (link above) includes numerous InfoPath and workflow examples that can help get started. MSDN Virtual Labs also have workflow and SharePoint workflow examples as well that don’t require any additional software than a web browser to try out:
TechNet Virtual Lab: Creating Workflows for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (SharePoint Designer)
MSDN Virtual Lab: Creating Workflows for Windows SharePoint Services (SharePoint Designer and VS 2005)
MSDN Virtual Lab: Building Custom Office Applications Using Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office (Part 4 of 4) Create a SharePoint Workflow (VS 2005 lab. Parts 1-3 of the VLab series are already completed and not required in order to complete the part 4 lab).
Recommended for installation (with Visual Studio 2005) if a SharePoint Server 2007 environment is available is Visual Studio 2008. Visual Studio 2008 can be used to develop MOSS workflows (it does not include support for other types of MOSS projects). It provides a much better testing and debugging experience than 2005 when working with MOSS workflows within an actual SharePoint Server environment (i.e. MOSS is installed.).
If you don’t have a MOSS environment available for development and testing, you can download a 30 day pre-configured virtual machine here: