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Sharepoint forms

Posted on 2011-03-10
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I am designing an infopath form attached to a Sharepoint library, because I want to be able to collect data and be able to print out in a report format.  What I really want to do is use a sharepoint list for data collection but I am not quite sure how I would then take this information and print it out in a nice report.   Any ideas on how best to structure this would be appreciated.

I am an advanced user only.  
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Question by:RichShare
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clayfox earned 1000 total points
ID: 35094911
The kicker is really the printing, that limits your options if you have to do advanced or intensive printing since web solutions don't handle that well.
You certainly can input the data via Sharepoint and store it in the list.  Then have a seperate InfoPath form for analysis or printing which is linked to the list.
If you can seperate the input from the reporting that could ba a solution.
Another option is to store the data in SQL and use SQL reporting services for reporting.  This is how I do all of mine. Host the form in SharePoint, store everything in a SQL, since then I can have repeating elements(which a list cannot handle) and then have any reporting I wish via SRS but that takes the infrastructure in place to provide these tools.
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by:Hairbrush
Hairbrush earned 1000 total points
ID: 35094948
Hi

If I understand what you are trying to achieve correctly, you want to have a SharePoint list with a content type that will open in InfoPath.  When the user has filled out the form, an item will be created in your list populated with data from the InfoPath form.

If you re-open the item, by default the data that will be shown will be that which is stored in the .xml file.  What would you like to have happen if the list item has been modified by another means?  Should the data in the form be updated again from the list item?  If so, you'll need some code behind your form to achieve that.

Bear in mind that InfoPath is not a report writer.  There are lots of features in a report writer that have no equivalent in InfoPath.  For example, you couldn't ask it to print all the forms in your list.

I would therefore suggest an alternative.  Have you considered using Microsoft Access (2007 or 2010)?  In either version, you can open a SharePoint list as if it were an Access table and create a report based on the data in the list, using most of the powerful report writing facilities that Access is known for.  This would be quicker and easier than using InfoPath, and probably more versatile.

If you still want to go with an InfoPath solution, can you describe your level of experience / proficiency with InfoPath?  E.g. have you designed forms and published them to SharePoint?

Would you want Forms Services compatibility (i.e. for the InfoPath form to open in a browser)?  Or just the InfoPath client?

Would you be using InfoPath 2007 or 2010?  (please don't say InfoPath 2003!!)
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Author Closing Comment

by:RichShare
ID: 35107849
Thanks to you both.  My first objective was to make sure I wasn't missing anything obvious, which from your responses is obviously not the case.
I think I will explore the Access route fiorst, as I can do this to some level.

Thank you once again.
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