ARTICLE

Development using InfoPath: Part I

Posted by Destin joy Articles | SharePoint 2010 August 24, 2011
In this article I am describing about the basics of InfoPath development
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Introduction

InfoPath is a software application for developing XML-based data entry forms. The main feature of InfoPath is its ability to author and view XML documents with one-to-many links among different data groups in an XML schema

Versions of InfoPath

  • InfoPath 2003 (Included only in Office 2003 Professional and Professional Enterprise Edition (Volume license only) and sold separately)

  • InfoPath 2007 (Included in Office 2007 Ultimate and the volume license editions, Professional Plus, Enterprise, and sold separately)

  • InfoPath 2010 (Included in Office 2010 Professional Plus)

Form template XSN Package

A form template is a single file that contains multiple supporting form files (form files: A collection of files that are used to implement an InfoPath form. File types can include .html, .xml, .xsd, .xslt, script, and other file types that are necessary to support the functionality of the form.), such as files that define how controls in the form should appear, files for graphics that appear in the form, and programming files that enable custom behaviors in the form.

 

File type

File name extension

Description

Form definition file

.xsf

The file that contains information about how the form is put together, including the XML Schemas that it uses and the resource files it contains. InfoPath automatically generates this file when you design a new form template. As you design and modify the form template, the file is automatically updated to reflect your changes.

XML Schema

.xsd

The file or files that constrain and validate the data in a form. The contents of XML Schema files - that is, the elements, attributes, and so forth - are represented by groups (group: An element in the data source that can contain fields and other groups. Controls that contain other controls, such as repeating tables and sections, are bound to groups.) and fields (field: An element or attribute in the data source that can contain data. If the field is an element, it can contain attribute fields. Fields store the data that is entered into controls.) in the Data Source task pane. Each data source (data source: The collection of fields and groups that define and store the data for an InfoPath form. Controls in the form are bound to the fields and groups in the data source.) associated with a form template, including the main data source, has a corresponding .xsd file.

View

.xsl

The XSL Transformation (XSLT) files that are used to present, view, and transform into HTML the data contained in a form's underlying XML document files. When you work with the different views of a form, you are actually looking at different HTML representations (or transformations) of the form data.

XML template

.xml

The file that contains the data that you want to appear by default in specific controls. Users see this data when they first open a form and until they select different values in the controls.

Presentation

.htm, .gif, .bmp, and others

The files that are used to show custom task panes (custom task pane: An .html file whose content is displayed in a window next to a form. Custom task panes can provide form-specific commands and Help content.) Or pictures within the form template.

Business logic

.js, .vbs

The files that contain scripts for implementing specific form behavior. These script files are either Microsoft JScript (JScript: An interpreter, object-based scripting language that borrows from C, C++, and Java. It is the Microsoft implementation of the ECMA 262 language specification.) or Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) (Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript): A subset of the Microsoft Visual Basic programming system. At least Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, along with the other Web browsers, can read VBScript programs that are embedded in HTML pages.) files.

Binary

.dll, .exe, .cab, and others

The external files that provide programming code and additional business logic. For example, if you create a custom ActiveX control (ActiveX control: A custom control. Form designers can add or remove ActiveX controls in the Controls task pane.) for your form template, you might need a .cab file in order to automatically install and register that control on your users' computers. Binary files are not created in InfoPath, but in programs such as Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

Development Using InfoPath

InfoPath are light weight data entry form and its basically comes with the following template 

3.png

 

Blank

This template allow developer to design his own connectivity and development 

Web service

Web service template helps developer to connect to web service for pulling or pushing data 

Database

This template help use to connect to Database table and the fields

XML or Schema

It can connected to any schema and XML file in network

Connection Library 

In SharePoint, InfoPath connect to external data source through data connection for security reasons its best practice that when using InfoPath in SharePoint make InfoPath data connection using data connection file udcx file.

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