It is possible to use SharePoint Designer to create a new form, and then set it as the Display/New/Edit form for a library and we have done this for a few forms so far.

However, this doesn't really seem ideal, and SharePoint Designer doesn't offer the most efficient development environment for heavy modification of these types of pages.

Example of a customised form - Tabbed Interface

One example of the kind of customisations I'm talking about is creating a tabbed interface to improve UX. We are displaying the Fields using code similar to below:

<SharePoint:FormField runat="server" id="ff35{$pos}" ControlMode="Display" FieldName="Plan" __designer:bind="{ddwrt:DataBind('u',concat('ff36',$Pos),'Value','ValueChanged','ID',ddwrt:EscapeDelims(string(@ID)),'@Plan')}" />

The FormField controls are placed throughout the page, with some custom Html/CSS to section off the different fields into tabs that group related columns.

Editing the forms in this way, isn't very maintainable and there is no Source Control meaning that once a file is overwritten, it's gone.

There's really two questions here:

  • Is there an ideal way to manage development of these customisations, for example by using Visual Studio and deploying the changes from there?
  • Is using the FormField control the best way to render the controls in these custom form situations?

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