The company I am working for is just starting out on Sharepoint. None of us have experience using it. The on-line training courses do not seem to tell the whole story. My Google search on Infopath shows that it is not popular, but most of the comments I have found have been on the 2007 version. What about the 2010 version? Is Infopath a good choice in that it is quick and easy? Is it a good choice for mobile devices? You can use the application rather than the web form so you do not have to be concerned about broweser compliance?

  • I'd suggest to flip a coin. The InfoPath story looks very similar to the SilverLight story. Your concern should not be just your current version, but also what will happen in the next 2-3 years. – Christophe Oct 3 '13 at 17:58

It depends on your organization, I am SharePoint administrator for a government agency and in the US government there is a big push to go completely paperless. In that aspect InfoPath is good at generating forms and being able to submit those forms straight into SharePoint making things nice and easy. On the other hand when you start creating a lot of InfoPath forms there can be a lot of overhead in the management of those forms ie. updating, editing, legal... Just think of a situation that your organization uses a form on a daily basis and create it in InfoPath and see if it works for you. When you implement digital signatures into the forms you start to see how your organization can go completely paperless.

Hope that helps.

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Practically InfoPath enables easy creation of Forms using ways familiar for Office users. Behind the scenes actually the forms are stored as XML which enable advanced customizations & development scenarios that could allow for further manipulation. At the same time InfoPath enables IT-Pro audiences to embed advanced business rules & logic, connect to other data sources (e.g. Web services, other SharePoint lists, etc.), used by example in building cascaded lists scenarios, etc.

For business users (IT-PRO) there are essentially 2 types of Forms:

  • Edit forms for SharePoint Lists - enabling fast customizations of how new/edit/display forms are looking & behaving
  • Forms libraries - create templates with advanced grouping & repeatable sections, which can than be submitted and stored as an Xml file directly in a library (a file). Publishing the form also can be combined with something known as "promoting fields" which practically translates in automatic storage of data during submission of the InfoPath. SharePoint collects data from InfoPath and stores it in fields just as with regular forms.

There is much more to say about the InfoPath, such as Administrator published forms, or publishing to Content Types, etc. but I hope this gives you an idea.

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