InfoPath – What can it do for me?

InfoPath forms in SharePoint are an invaluable feature that most firms can leverage. First let’s jump into a brief explanation of what an InfoPath form is. An InfoPath form in SharePoint is an electronic form that allows user to populate data into it via the use of drop down menu and text boxes. SharePoint allows you to attach a workflow to a form to mimic a business process, if need be.

The great thing about InfoPath is you don’t need to be a developer to create an InfoPath form, you can create a codeless form using InfoPath Forms Designer.

Let’s take a look at some real world scenarios. One of the most common uses of InfoPath forms in SharePoint are for expense reports. Rather than using excel or a manual paper process, you can easily create an expense form in InfoPath in which different expenses appear in a drop down menu, you can even add cost centers in the form. Once a form is submitted you can have a workflow attached to it so someone in accounting or a supervisor  receives notification of the submission. Once they approve it you can automate the notification of the approval/rejection back to the originator. This eliminates an employee submitting an expense report and wondering where in the chain of command his/her expense report may be.

Some other uses of InfoPath in organizations include:

  •  Employee New Hire Forms
  •  Medical/Dental Forms
  •  Insurance Claim Reporting
  •  Inventory Management
  •  Market Research

In addition to creating the forms in InfoPath, the data entered in the forms can be stored as metadata in the forms library and be easily reported on.

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2 Comments

  1. Louli says:

    Amanda,I’m getting ready to start on a large pcorejt and thought you might know the answer to this question. First a little background to explain the situation. I work for a school district with 80+ schools. Each year our schools are required to fill out a School Improvement Plan, which is basically a detailed form. In the past they were done in word and emailed back and forth and it was a mess. This year I want to create the form in infopath 2007 and I’ll have the form saved in a sharepoint document library for each school. This way they can go back to modify, since it takes them a couple of months to complete the plan. I have that part working fine. Here is my question. To start I have created one master form. Each school gets a form based off the master so now my document library has 80 forms. Now all of a sudden the superintendent decides to change some of the verbiage in the School Improvement Plan. Since the forms are already saved in the document library 80 time, I have to go into 80 forms and make the change. If I were using template parts, and I made the change in the template part, would it propagate through the 80 saved form in my document library? I would really appreciate your input on this matter. Thanks

    • alongi says:

      You really should use one form if possible for all schools. Maintaining 80 forms is a nightmare potentially.