Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations - InfoPath Dev
in

InfoPath Dev

Use our Google Custom Search for best site search results.

Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations

Last post 09-18-2009 07:20 PM by Jimmy. 3 replies.
Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • 09-15-2009 10:05 AM

    Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations

    I was wondering if anyone had suggestions, solutions, best practices, etc for deploying InfoPath forms to multiple physical locations, especially when the locations don't have a consistent/reliable network connection?

    Right now we have a forms "library" of word documents that lives in a share at Location A. At night, if possible, we replicate the share to other locations. Then users from all locations have access to the forms regardless of if the connection is up. They can fill out forms, save them, email them (which may be delayed due to connection issues but eventually works), etc.

    We are considering converting the word documents into Infopath forms. My initial plan was to publish the forms to Location A and have them copied to other locations (same as we do now with other docs). However published IP forms that are copied still try and access the original location. I then figured we could just publish the forms multiple times, one for each location. What happens when a person fills out a form published to Location B and emails it to someone at (or saves it to a share at) Location A - then that person has the same problem just reversed. It is not an option to have users at other locations only be able to fill out forms when they have a connection to Location A.

    Please let me know any ideas you might have. Thanks.

  • 09-15-2009 11:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations

    Hi SWhiteCSR,

    Publishing to multiple locations won't work because each XSN will have it's own unique href pointing to where it was published and all XML files created from that will inherit the same identity.

    You should use URN-based form templates which are "location" independent.  

    Have you read this blog post: http://www.infopathdev.com/blogs/mel_balsamo/archive/2009/05/19/using-e-mail-forms-to-communicate-with-external-users.aspx ? It describes how to create URN based form templates for offline users and then link those to a URL-based solution for an aggregator.

    Happy trails,

     

     

    Patrick Halstead
    Project Manager at Qdabra
  • 09-17-2009 09:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations

    Thanks for the reply. I didn't realize you could adjust the URN and fake out IP - that might come in handy in the future.

    The only drawback to the blog post in my situation is it starts with a person emailing a form to a specific user. We are attempting to create a forms library (expense reports, weekly status updates, etc) that can just exist and be ready for use whenever any offsite user needs it. I suppose it is possible to copy an unpublished form to a share (which would appear as if it was emailed) to leave it URN based but at that point you can't put any script/code/external data sources at all in it (untrusted location). Not sure if that is a risk worth taking, our forms don't have code now but we will probably add it in, even if it is just simply prepopulating user info.

    It is looking like we are going to go down the road of solving it with hardware configuration, an option I had considered but was avoiding. The plan is to setup aliased (identical) shares at each location and have users be routed to the correct one based on network settings. So it is a single publish to Location A share \\GlobalForms which gets replicated to Locations B and C also shares called \\GlobalForms. On the network end they work their magic and make sure each user gets directed to the correct location based on where their computer is. Anyone can use any copy of the form at any point (even collaborating between places) without having to connect across locations.

  • 09-18-2009 07:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Suggestions for multiple geographic (partially connected) locations

    You can also create a URN-based solution by having the InfoPath form as an installable form (.msi), though this requires users to run the installer before they can use the form.

    I believe this also requires the full version of Visual Studio as well. 

    Jimmy Rishe / Software Developer / Microsoft MVP
    Qdabra Software
Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
Copyright © 2003-2019 Qdabra Software. All rights reserved.
View our Terms of Use.