Is Infopath a good choice and why is it used so heavily with Sharepoint

Posted on 2012-09-20
Last Modified: 2012-09-22

I am a developerand looking at moving to Sharepoint. I see that Infopath is used a lot with this.
Is Infopath a good choice to use as the forms in Sharepoint? Should I rather ignore it and just use my skills?
Question by:murbro
    LVL 50

    Assisted Solution


    InfoPath is a great tool for end users to create solutions in SharePoint WITHOUT involving code, developers and everything involved with these two concepts that end users normally don't understand.

    InfoPath allows complex logic and conditional actions that go way beyond the out of the box SharePoint functionality, and all of this can be achieved through the InforPath Designer user interface.

    On top of that, InfoPath forms can also be customised with code behind the scenes, which has some implications on how the forms are published to the user.

    If you are a developer, you may want to get familiar with InfoPath to see how it can make your life easier, because a lot of wheels have already been invented, so you don't have to do everything from scratch.

    Depending on the project brief, you may then decide whether or not to use IP, use it as a starting point and jazz it up with your own code, or go all custom development.

    Mind you, in SharePoint 2010 any list form can be customised with InfoPath, but this is a very limited and not very representative showcase of what InfoPath can do. Jazzing up a list form with IP is just cosmetics. The real power of IP is in managing data stored in XML and providing an intuitive way of presenting XML data to the end user without involving developers like you.


    cheers, teylyn
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    Well put.
    if you have coding skills you will find InfoPath has its strengths and weaknesses just like everything.

    Advantages of Infopath over ASP is that it is standardized and packaged. faster to develop and easier to support in the long run.  InfoPath is designed to be a bridge for office workers to create solutions without need for custom coding.

    The biggest issue I have seen over the years with people new to InfoPath.  Non developers trying to learn and understand data structures, UI design, programming constructs.  When developers often use InfoPath, they make the mistake of coding everything and trying to make InfoPath work like ASP or whatever.  This leads to a lot of extra time and effort since Infopath can do 95% with just rules and actions.  I have made probably over 100 hundred form solutions, many of them very complex, and only used code in maybe half. In those I have maybe 6-10 lines.  I like to print programmatically which requires code to not have to use the standard office print button is the most common code I use.

    I would also echo that you really want to use a SQL database to manage the information.
    SharePoint lists are OK, but are not as robust and eventually everyone wishes they had a database to aggregate the data collected and do reporting etc.  If you are going to make an enterprise solution, do it right the first time.  So use InfoPath as the front end for your database, like you would ASP.  That way everyone has the latest info and there is one source, rather than hundreds to thousands of XML blobs around. has a toolset to bridge some of the gaps but shows a lot of the potential and promise of this model.

    Hope that helps.

    Author Closing Comment

    Excellent help. Thank you both very much

    Featured Post

    How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

    Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
    - Increase transparency
    - Onboard new hires faster
    - Access from mobile/offline

    Join & Write a Comment

    ASP.Net to Oracle Connectivity Recently I had to develop an ASP.NET application connecting to an Oracle database.As I am doing it first time ,I had to solve several problems. This article will help to such developers  to develop an ASP.NET client…
    The vision: A MegaMenu for a SharePoint portal home page The mission: Make it easy to maintain. Allow rich content and sub headers as well as standard links. Factor in frequent changes without involving developers or a lengthy Dev/Test/Prod rel…
    Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 is becoming increasingly popular for organizations both large and small. If you have made the leap to Microsoft’s cloud platform, you know that you will need to create a corporate email signature for your Office 365…
    In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    18 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now