When submitting an info path form, is it better to store it in a list or a library?

In our IT department, on a daily basis we record our IT Security & Backups Checks using a lengthy Infopath form. This Is launched from a list and each form is saved into the same list.

Every so often we have a requirement to make changes to our form, adding new things to check and sometimes removing older systems. Currently we've had to just update the form and cross sections out stating these are now deprecated and not in use.

Ideally we would like to publish a new version of the form using a content type? but still keeping the older version of the form for historical lookup on previous checks. So with a new version of the form, we could remove any deprecated sections but still retain this data in the older forms.

What is the best solution going forward for this?



I found the following article that can help you make your decision based on where you think things could possibly head in the future. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Comparing SharePoint List and Form Library Forms

What are list forms and form library forms?

SharePoint list forms store data directly in a SharePoint list.  Each control (e.g. text box) in the form is bound to a column in the list. SharePoint list forms are directly connected to the list, which means that you don’t have to worry about setting up the publish and submit locations.
Form library forms store data in XML files in a SharePoint form library. This means they are more flexible and you can do more with them. For example, they can be configured to save drafts and submit to different locations. However, they are more complex to work with and require more decisions to be made during configuration.

Because the way data is stored between these template types is different, it is not possible to switch between them.


Here are some basic guidelines to help you decide what type of form to design.

Use a list if:

  • You want to quickly get started building InfoPath forms on SharePoint
  • You need to use your form offline with SharePoint Workspace (formerly Groove)
  • You want to filter your SharePoint list based on a person or group
  • You would like to use the built-in display / edit views

Use a form library if:

  • You have repeating or nested data
  • You are working from a predefined industry or complex schema
  • Your form needs to be digitally signed
  • You need code in your form
  • Your form is not hosted in SharePoint or you need to store results as an XML document

Bottom line

Overall, both list forms and form library forms support much of the key functionality that InfoPath provides, such as data validation, custom rules, default values, and control over visual layout. In most cases, a list form will be sufficient for your needs. Lists have the most straightforward design and form management experience. However, for more complex scenarios such as repeating data or the need to add code, a form library may be necessary.

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