InfoPath database & WEB deployment

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18 aug. 2003 13:35:542003-08-18
I have been asked to look at InfoPath as a possible
solution for tracking assets and/or purchase orders. Is
is possible for me to create InfoPath forms to save to the
database via some type of WEB interface. I am not clear
on how a WEB Service fits into the picture since my
expertise is minimal in that area. Please advise on how
to best use InfoPath, but without installing on everyone's

Pierre Greborio [UGIdotNET]

19 aug. 2003 06:11:232003-08-19
InfoPath is a rich client absolutely mandatory for any InfoPath document.
You can use it to connect to your back-end system througth web services as
well as database or XML files (file system based solution).
Then, you can't create an InfoPath form and edit directly from the browser,
but you can use the InfoPath document instance (that is no more than an XML
document with two pre-processing instructions) as data source for your
custom web page (ie. ASP.NET). Remember that with this last solution you
loose a lot of interesting features you can have with InfoPath.


Pierre Greborio
Microsoft .NET MVP
"Angela" <> wrote in message

Joel Alley [MSFT]

19 aug. 2003 11:09:402003-08-19
Do all users need a copy of InfoPath on their workstations?

Yes and no. In order to fill out forms created in InfoPath with all of the
rich-client functionality and data
validation available in that environment, users will need a copy of
InfoPath installed on their workstation. There won't be an free control or
Web Component for editing InfoPath forms.

InfoPath provides a rich user experience that goes beyond what you normally
get with a Web-based form. For example, InfoPath provides data validation
for the form as the user fills it out. Validation can detect errors at the
schema level, through logical constraints, and even through script. This
validation occurs immediately, so the user doesn't have to submit the
entire form before finding out there's an error.

InfoPath also provides conditional formatting, so your form can be more
responsive to user input. For example, you might have a field that changes
it's background color to red whenever an unusual (but not illegal) value is
entered. Again, this occurs as soon as the value is entered, so the user
has a chance to react appropriately.

InfoPath provides the ability to work on a form offline, or to interrupt
work on a form and come back to it at a later time, something web-based
forms simply can't offer. InfoPath can easily make use of SQL Server and
Access databases, and existing XML files, in addition to Web Services,
without having to write low-level code. InfoPath also provides the ability
to easily merge the data in multiple forms into one document. This is a
powerful ability and one that we expect customer's will really like.

However, there may be times that you don't need this rich functionality.
The data in an InfoPath form is saved in standard XML format, so you can
access the data with just Internet Explorer or Notepad. You can create an
XSLT transform that converts the XML data into standard HTML for viewing
(or use the View*.XSL transforms that InfoPath creates). See below for
more information.

Status: This behavior is By Design

How can a user that does not have InfoPath installed view a Form saved in a
SharePoint Team Services Form Library?

All that is stored in an InfoPath file is the raw XML data for the form.
This is what you see when you open the file on a machine that doesn't have
InfoPath installed. Internet Explorer will apply a default view transform
to produce the treeview and display that. This is expected behavior, and
there aren't any plans currently to change it.

If you wish, you can make a few modifications that will allow IE to display
the XML file with the same transform that it uses to display in InfoPath,
or when you Export the Form to Web. You need to add a default stylesheet to
your XML files so IE knows to use your transform instead of the default
treeview transform. To do so, follow these steps (in Beta2):

1. Open your form template in design mode.
2. Select "Extract Form Files" from the "File" menu and save the files to a
3. In the files you extracted from the form template, open the
"Template.xml" file with Notepad or Wordpad.
4. Immediately under the <?xml> tag, add an <?xml-stylesheet> tag that
points to the view, like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl"
<?mso-infoPathSolution solutionVersion="" href="manifest.xsf"
productVersion="11.0.4920" PIVersion="" ?>

5. If you don't want the XML file to open in InfoPath (if it's installed),
remove the following line from the template.
<?mso-application progid="InfoPath.Document"?>
Note: You cannot remove the <?mso-infoPathSolution> PI from the template.
If InfoPath doesn't find this PI in the template file, it will not consider
it valid and you won't be able to create new forms based on it.
6. Save and close "Template.xml". Now any new forms you create from this
template will have the stylesheet specified.
7. In the files you extracted from the form template, open the
"Manifest.xsf" file in design mode.
8. Publish the form template to the SharePoint Form Library using "Publish"
from the "File" menu. These steps won't make any breaking changes to
existing forms, so you can choose to "Modify and Existing Form Library" if
you wish.
9. On your SharePoint Team Services site, navigate to the Forms Library and
switch to "Explorer View".
10. Open the "Forms" folder and copy the view1.xsl file into that folder.
(If you have a different view you would prefer to use, copy that instead.)
11. Perform steps 4 and 5 for any existing documents in your form library
so they will open the way you want.

NOTE: Users should be careful about saving forms that have this
modification to their local machines. The transform will still operate
from this location, but any script or HTML in the transformed file will
operate with Local Machine privileges. This means that arbitrary script in
the file could run without warning, potentially exposing the user to damage.

Status: This behavior is By Design

Joel Alley,MCSD

Joel Alley,MCSD


24 aug. 2003 14:32:372003-08-24

I am new to InfoPath, so please bear with me if I am not getting the
obvious. The step you listed - 1 to 11; will they make the form available in
the browser in 'view-only' mode, or will the user be able to edit the form,
albeit, without all the rich features offered by the InfoPath client?


""Joel Alley [MSFT]"" <> wrote in message

Joel Alley [MSFT]

26 aug. 2003 16:34:292003-08-26
This will make the form available in read-only mode. In order to fill out
the form, the user must have InfoPath.

Joel Alley,MCSD

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