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InfoPath Custom Form

Last post 02-25-2010 10:46 AM by dskurtz. 18 replies.
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  • 02-23-2010 06:34 AM

    InfoPath Custom Form

    Greetings! I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction. Recently I was given a task to implement SharePoint (MOSS) within our organization and my first project is creating some custom InfoPath forms to begin digitizing our paper documents. I have come across quite a few articles that explain to how submit data to a SharePoint list using CAML and Web Services, however everything always explains this process using repeating tables on a form and I need the form to be laid out in a specific format (along with custom calculated fields). Basically I'm wondering how I can create an InfoPath form and have it submit data to a SharePoint list so that users can view the submitted information in SharePoint. I'm sure this isn't difficult, but I can't seem to find much documentation on this 3 days into the project and I'm hoping someone can help.

    Once I've tackled this, my next goal is to have the form available through SharePoint so that particular users can have access to the form in a web view, versus using IP locally.

    Kind Regards,
    Dave

  • 02-23-2010 09:54 AM In reply to

    Hi Dave,

    Have you configured your InfoPath template to submit to a SharePoint library?  Unless I am misunderstanding what you are trying to do it seems like that is the thing you are missing?  Once published to the library and you have "promoted" the fields you want shown in SharePoint from InfoPath users can create new documents and edit existing documents.  InfoPath is tighthly interwoven with SharePoint so this function is all built in for the most part and quick and easy to do, you just follow the steps in the publishing wizard and the template is deployed to the library in SharePoint.

    Hope that helps

    Ted

  • 02-23-2010 11:21 AM In reply to

    Ted,

    First off let me say thanks for the feedback.

    I was able to get the form published as you had suggested and this solved one of my problems. My next question is, once the data is submitted where does it go? I thought I would be able to link this to a list, but I don't see where I have that option. What I am looking for is a way to view the submitted data in a datasheet view that is exportable to Excel.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • 02-23-2010 11:37 AM In reply to

    Hi Dave,

    Once submitted the data is stored as an XML blob the SharePoint SQL DB and returned in columns to the library (SharePoint does this automatically).  However, you don't have direct access to the data in SQL that way.  You can export directly to Excel from the library (see attached screenshot) but if you have repeating data in your InfoPath form you can't do any pivots on the data using SharePoint/Excel.  The only way to to do real reporting is to build your own customer web service to submit the DB to your own SQL DB (not SharePoint SQL DB) or use a third party tool like our Database Accelerator tool (DBXL).  We created DBXL to adresses this reporting gap in SharePoint.

    Ted


  • 02-23-2010 11:48 AM In reply to

    Ted,

    Is there any way to have the data fed into a list for people to just view or have a form that will submit data to a list? I need the data to be viewable via SharePoint, just not editable. There might be a better way to accomplish what I'm going for, but I I really like InfoPath's ability to design forms since I'm going to be doing a lot of this..

    Thanks,
    Dave

     

  • 02-23-2010 11:56 AM In reply to

    Hi Dave,

    You could use the InfoPath library you publish the form to to handle this.  You can create a special view of just the fileds you want users to see and always direct them to that view.  If you want to push this data to a DIFFERENT SharePoint list you could use our qRules product to accomplish this - one of the functions is a submit to SharePoint list, perhaps this function is exactly what you are looking for?  The SharePoint can be just a regular old list, users would just see the data you want them to see (map the fields you want).

    Ted

  • 02-23-2010 01:11 PM In reply to

    Ted,

    I downloaded qRules and will check it out tonight to see if it can assist me. (I'm sure I will have questions if it can..) When you mention a special view of the fields I want users to see, are you referring to fields that are part of my form? I see how I can create a view, but it doesn't look like it will contains fields from my form or the data that's been submitted via my form, which is what I want to accomplish. Ideally I just want to use my InfoPath form as an interface between my users and a database, but it seems like extracting the submitted data isn't as straight forward as I was hoping it would be, or am I missing something? Also, can you recommend any good resources for a beginner looking to learn more about SharePoint and InfoPath integration?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • 02-23-2010 01:26 PM In reply to

    Hi Dave,

    Check out the feature in InfoPath called "Property Promotion".  This is what exposes your fields from the form in SharePoint, I think perhaps you are missing that?  By default when you Publish to SharePoint none of the fields in your form will be sent to SharePoint for the views, you have to manually add the fields you want promoted to SharePoint.

    As far as resources, check out our resources page and check out the books listed there, some great resources - I highly recommned the Roberts/Green "Designing forms for Micorosft Office InfoPath and Forms Services 2007"

    http://www.infopathdev.com/content/Resources.aspx

    Ted

  • 02-23-2010 01:41 PM In reply to

    Ted,

    I added all the fields in my form in the process of publishing it, which I'm guessing is the property propotion you're mentioning? The problem is, I don't know where they're supposed to be showing up in SharePoint and if that's the same place that the form data is submitted to. Sorry for all the noobie questions, it's just a big shift in change for a Systems Admin... :)

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • 02-23-2010 01:44 PM In reply to

    Dave,

    They should all be showing up in the library where you published the form to, in the default view.  They should just show up once you publish the form.

    Ted

  • 02-24-2010 09:58 AM In reply to

    So I spent some time this morning checking out qRules and it does exactly what I'm looking for, so I'm excited about having this tool at my fingertips. The one question I have about it is how can I know what's going on in the background when I submit a form? I have created my mapping and added my qRule Command and parameter mappings to my button, but nothing seems to happen when i click on it and the information in my form isn't updated/added. My first guess is that it's not working, but I'm not sure why.

  • 02-24-2010 10:22 AM In reply to

    Hi, glad you are interested in qRules. Can you help me understand more of what you are trying to do? Since you mention 'mapping', I'm guessing you are using the SubmitToSharePointList command, is that correct?

    The way you'd know if that command worked would be if the items in your form were added the list you specified in the mapping. But since you also mention submitting a form, I've gotten a bit confused as to what exactly you need to do. Also feel free to attach your template to your post reply (under the Options tab, you can attach a file) so that I can take a look at what you are doing. Thanks!

    Hilary Stoupa

  • 02-24-2010 10:30 AM In reply to

    Hilary,

    Yes, I am using the SubmitToSharePointList command. I created my xml mapping without a problem and added it as a data source, along with the submit to data source. The items in my list weren't changed or added, so I know something is wrong, I'm just not sure what. I have attached my Template form and hope you can help me... 

    Thanks so much!
    Dave

  • 02-24-2010 11:51 AM In reply to

    Just a quick note...

    I was able to get my form submission to list working after changing the rules behind my submit button. What is so special about the SubmitToSharePointList value that made my form start working once I put this in the "Value" field of my button action?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • 02-24-2010 02:29 PM In reply to

    I don't mean to be slow, but I'm confused. What do you mean by the SubmitToSharePointList value? I see in your template that you have the qRules command node set to what appears to be the correct command.... I'm glad it is working, however.

    Hilary Stoupa

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