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Creating simple data entry page in SharePoint

Hi, can anyone please guide me and clarify if my understanding regarding SharePoint technology is correct in creating simple Task request form:

Creating the form lay out: using MS InfoPath
Create and use SharePoint Site (WSS 3.0) to govern who can access the page to create new request using the form above
Create the database using MS Access 2007 to collect and store all the data from the form above. The reason I chose MS Access is that the auto numbering feature.

is that possible or do I need to download SharePoint Designer freeware to do some ASP.Net programming ?
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Senior IT System Engineer
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Senior IT System Engineer
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10 Solutions
 
vaderjCommented:
If this is just something to collect data, you can create your form in InfoPath, attach each field to a custom list you create in SharePoint and if you want something to happen after the firm had been filled out you can create a work flow in the SharePoint GUI, in SharePoint designer, or in visual studio depending on your requirements.  What are your requirements btw?
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QPRCommented:
You can so everything you need out of the box without the need for access. A task list is a list and the entered data lives in SQL server along with the other data. The list will already have the sequential ID which can choose to show by alerting the list view. Although than access all your assumptions are correct
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QPRCommented:
If the out of the box task list does not suit then create a custom list and add your own columns to suit. Every list created in SP gets an automatically created add/view/edit form that you can leave as is or edit in infopath.
Once people add requests you can then use workflows to do "stuff"
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
VaderJ: no I do not need a work flow, I just need a simple form to fill in the RFC so that everytime authorized users go to the Share Point site and then click on the new button, a new XML form is generated with autonumbering and the data is saved into MS Access Database.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
QPR: the reason that I need to save it into MS Access is that just for reporting purpose only, as I'm not sure how to generate the report later on down the track if the data is not saved to MS Access DB.

my understanding is that when the data from the list is typed in to the form correctly, once the user submit it, the data will reside in the MS access DB, and then at the end of the month I can export the data into Excel spreadsheet to generate graph from it for statistic reporting.
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vaderjCommented:
Does it need to save to an access database? It might be easier to save it to a SharePoint list and then have your access database reference that SharePoint list. If you really need to use an access database, have you considered using an access web database?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
access web database ? is that feature comes as built in WSS 3.0 or Access 2007 ?
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vaderjCommented:
Oh - no, probably not. I think you need office '10 and probably SharePoint Server as the access part is a service application. I have to ask: dear god, why access?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
well the reason that I need to have MS Access as the databse is for creating the report later on and easy export to Excel.

so is there any reason to not use MS Access in my case here ?
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vaderjCommented:
Well, it all depends on how important reporting is to your company vs hope much the company has to spend.  My opinion is biased being that I have worked as a SharePoint support engineer for MS, a SharePoint consultant independently and for a couple consultancies, and now a SharePoint administrator for a large governmental organization - if your organization has the means, try to get to SharePoint server and your office software upgraded to 2010 - combined with SQL 08R2, the reporting features are SO much better once you get your infrastructure built. Not to mention, management becomes so much easier - WSS/MOSS is a pain.
But for your current situation, I think if you really need the form on SharePoint, InfoPath pointing to a list, with access referencing that list as needed is your best bet.  Alternatively, you can have your access db on a shared drive and create a new access form and table to collect the same info, cutting SharePoint out of the mix entirely - however access is slow and becomes unstable when your tables become large enough to start doing real analysis
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Wow, many thanks for the quick reply VaderJ: may I know what do you mean by " InfoPath pointing to a list, with access referencing that list as needed is your best bet"

Does that means I need to create DSN / ODBC connection to the MS Access from the Site page ?
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vaderjCommented:
That's one way. Another way could be via SOAP/RPC, or, at least with 2010, you can call the SharePoint client object model directly, though I'm not sure if access 07 can do that
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QPRCommented:
You could promote infopath fields out to the library and then use views and export to excel. If you plan to export to excel then I'm guessing you care more about totals etc than prettiness. So really everything you need is already there. No coding, odbcs, access
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QPRCommented:
As a test - to see if it meets your needs...
Open Infopath designer.
Create a very simple form with a few fileds.
During the publishing wizard, specify that you want to promote some of these fields as columns.
Point the newly created form to a new forms library.
Create a couple of items.
See how the fileds you promoted end up as columns in the library
Click the "library" tab.
Select export to excel from the ribbon.

By using views in the library you can select which columns/sort/group etc you want the columns to show. Then when this is in excel you can create your graphs.

If the above is missing anything, report back and maybe we can find a way to do what you need without the extra work that your initial thoughts would surely bring
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Clay FoxDirector of Business IntegrationCommented:
Just to pile on but Access is not designed for an enterprise or multiple users.  sharePoint is running on SQL and SQL reporting services is really the best reporting vehicle.  I understand that it would take some additional work on your part but be the right solution in the end for the users and the company.
you may also want to look at www.qdabra.com, they already have a packaged task list / project management solution for SP and SQL using InfoPath forms which is very nice.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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