Microsoft InfoPath 2010 is a forms-creation and data-gathering tool that helps organizations streamline business processes. InfoPath 2010 is designed for both advanced business users and developers, depending on the type of forms-based solution an organization needs.
Without writing code, advanced business users can use InfoPath 2010 to design sophisticated electronic forms to quickly and cost-effectively gather information.
Developers can create advanced forms for departmental and enterprise business processes, including composite applications and workflow sequences, with InfoPath 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, and SharePoint Designer 2010—using little or no code.
Quickly design forms with easy-to-use tools
- Design faster with the Ribbon interface. Instead of traditional menus and toolbars that might require several steps to complete a task, the Ribbon displays commands in a tab structure, organized by tasks that are related to a certain activity, so you can create the forms you want faster.
- Enjoy cleaner forms with InfoPath Filler. InfoPath Filler provides a cleaner user interface for people who are filling out forms.
- Create sophisticated forms without writing code. Declarative logic and layout features—including out-of-the-box rules, improved rules management, varied styles, and prebuilt layout sections—help you create sophisticated forms quickly and easily. You can add validation, formatting, or actions to a form with just a couple of clicks.
- Publish forms with a single click. Click an icon on the Ribbon Quick Access toolbar to publish your form, or use the Microsoft Office Backstage™ view. The Backstage view gives you a single point of reference for information that is essential to the task you are performing, such as publishing.
Create forms for SharePoint lists. With InfoPath 2010, you can create attractive forms with a click of a button based on SharePoint regular or external lists. If you have data in SharePoint lists, you can quickly and automatically generate a form with all of the SharePoint list fields, and then customize it, reducing the time to create a form.
- Provide offline form completion with Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010, formerly known as Microsoft Office Groove 2007. People can fill out forms online or offline with a native integration of forms with data (stored in regular or external SharePoint lists) in the Office SharePoint Workspace interface.
Create SharePoint collaborative workflow solutions
- Include forms in SharePoint Server 2010 business process solutions. When utilizing SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Designer, InfoPath 2010 forms can be deployed as part of an automated business process, including workflow, such as routing and notification capabilities based on information within the form. Build modular, extensible, and portable workflow solutions. For use at the departmental or enterprise level, SharePoint workflow solutions can be built using little or no code with InfoPath. These solutions are modular (you can build from an existing list or library), extensible (you can add capabilities with code), and portable (you can publish using the Windows SharePoint Services solutions file [.wsp] and SharePoint site template [.stp] formats to move the application from site to site or server to server).
- Enjoy richer Web forms. Many controls and functionality previously available in the InfoPath client application, such as combo boxes, filtering, and date and time controls, are available now in InfoPath 2010 browser forms. These can be used in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.
- Easily manage forms on the server. InfoPath forms can be monitored as a true component of SharePoint Server 2010. New SharePoint Maintenance Engine Rules ensure that InfoPath forms are correctly configured in their farms. You can also manage InfoPath forms using Windows PowerShell command line shell and scripting language, which is included in SharePoint Server 2010.
Build advanced forms and connect forms to LOB systems
- Enhance forms with code. You can enhance InfoPath forms with code to better fit your organization’s specific business-process needs using Visual Studio Tools for Applications and easy publishing capabilities such as SharePoint Server Sandboxed Solutions.
- Connect forms with line-of-business (LOB) information. SharePoint Server 2010 offers an extensible architecture for managing user access to data connections and systems. InfoPath 2010 also works with Business Connectivity Services (BCS) of SharePoint Server 2010. BCS enhances Microsoft Office applications and SharePoint platform capabilities with out-of-box features, services, and tools that streamline development of solutions with deep integration of external data and services.
- Get support for REST Web Services: InfoPath 2010 now supports getting XML data from REST Web services. REST Web Services use input parameters that are passed in through a URL. Form designers can now change the URL parameters dynamically in the InfoPath form without any code, using rules to get desired data from the REST Web Service. Embed forms in Web pages. In SharePoint Server 2010, it’s easier than ever to host your forms on Web pages using the new InfoPath Form Web Part. Without writing a single line of code, you can use the Web Part to host any InfoPath browser form that has been published to a SharePoint list or form library. You can also connect it to other Web Parts on the page to send or receive data. Also, new .NET FormView control allows developers to host InfoPath 2010 forms on any ASP.NET web pages.