SPC348: Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms - Patrick Halstead

InfoPath Dev

Patrick Halstead

SPC348: Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms

This morning at the SharePoint Conference in Vegas, Microsoft gave a great presentation to a packed room of >1000 attendees.

Here's a link where you can download the slide deck: http//www.infopathdev.com/files/folders/examples/entry96310.aspx

For those with Yammer accounts, here's Microsoft's post: https://www.yammer.com/sharepointconference/uploaded_files/16924826

Quick Summary: Greg, Sonya and Bob gave a very positive talk. They demoed Excel surveys, introduced Forms on SharePoint Lists (FOSL), and talked about the evolving roadmap at Microsoft for form solutions targeting IT professionals. Main focus was no-code solutions. Yay! 

My Thoughts: I love the new open and cooperative atmosphere at this year's conference. From Day 1 the theme was cooperation. Bill Clinton gave a keynote where he said we need to celebrate our differences if we are going to survive as a social species (heady stuff). Right after that Julia demoed a new social media app called Oslo and she did the demo on an iPad. Rah rah for the new inclusiveness!  This theme was a great backdrop to the InfoPath update talk. InfoPath has always been a sharp knife and some people have cut themselves. The new roadmap pushes four technologies forward to support building better forms that work on a variety of devices and provide contextual data that is not-modal.  

  • Excel Surveys - simple surveys that are data-driven and work great from all devices (available in the O365 cloud today)
  • Forms on SharePoint Lists - turn your lists into contextual forms (first release in summer of 2014)
  • Access Web Apps - rich forms that are backed by relational data (available in the O365 cloud today)
  • Word Structured Forms - rich high fidelity forms that print well with structured data that can be integrated with databases (ETA: 2015?)
  • InfoPath - currently, this is still the recommended solution for forms from Microsoft

Mind the Gap! The majority of rich forms today require repeating data sections. If InfoPath browser support gets removed from the cloud in 3-4 years (see previous blog roadmap), one of the new technologies will have to support this. My bet is on Word's roadmap. 

Check out our new community site: FormsQuo.com where we will be highlighting various migration paths for you.


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About Patrick Halstead

Hello! I am the founder of Qdabra Software, a small bootstrap software company focused on electronic forms for customers of all stripes. We help organizations design and implement solutions using off-the-shelf technologies such as Office 365, SharePoint and InfoPath. We help you build form solutions in the cloud or on premises. My hobbies include running, hiking, independent film, and Japanese culture.
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