Question 1. What Is An Infopath?
InfoPath is an XML based electronic forms development product.
Question 2. What Are The Benefits Of Infopath 2007?
Prior to the introduction of Office 2007, the InfoPath client application, like other Office products, had to be installed on every user’s computer.
In order to develop and use a form:
- The form had to be designed using InfoPath.
- The resulting form template should be hosted in a network file share, or installed in individual user machines, or uploaded into a form library in SharePoint, from where users could fill the forms.
- Filling up forms required InfoPath to be installed on the client machine.
- Developing a connected InfoPath was complicated for end users.
- Developers did not have an integrated development platform.
- The product did not integrate with other Office products such as Word and Excel.
Benefits of Office 2007
This introduced a new server-side runtime to host InfoPath forms known as InfoPath Form Services.
The new capabilities include:
- Ability to convert Word and Excel documents into InfoPath form templates.
- With the help of InfoPath form services, a InfoPath form can be browser enabled.
- The new InfoPath forms can be embedded in Outlook.
- The form can be built once and rendered in different modes and devices, .i.e., Design Once.
- Introduction of the document information panel. I.e., an InfoPath form that is hosted inside Word 2007 or PowerPoint 2007 can be used to edit document properties.
- Introduction of logic inspector. The components which provide visual view of all the rules embedded in the form.
- The new InfoPath forms can be published to content types.
- Introduction of template parts, i.e., reusable code sections.
- Introduction of an integrated development environment inside Visual Studio 2005 using Visual Studio Tools for Office.
- The information right management can be used to protect sensitive data in the form.
Question 3. What Is The Structure Of An Infopath Form Template?
The InfoPath form template (.xsn file) is actually a CAB file [can also be considered a zip file] containing the different component files of which InfoPath is built.
Following are some of the important files contained inside that CAB file:
- ..htm and other resource files.
Question 4. What Are The Form View Files In Infopath? Or Xsl Files?
The .xsl file is the form view file that provides a way to represent different information, depending upon the runtime environment and other factors, including the security profile of end users. They are based on XML stylesheets that can be formatted depending upon the condition. [Conditional formatting is itself an inbuilt property of XSL.]
Question 5. What Is An .xsd File In Infopath?
It is the form schema file of InfoPath. It determines the format of data that InfoPath recognizes.
Question 6. Where Does Data Get Stored In An Infopath Form?
Data is stored in XML files.
Question 7. Explain In Brief The Architecture Of Infopath Forms?
An InfoPath form template is actually a CAB File containing different component files.
Below is a list of files which forms part of an InfoPath template.
- .xsf file: A manifest file that describes the basic definition of other form files.
- .xsl file: Defines the transformation for data into different views.
- .xsd file: Defines the data source schema.
- .dll file: Carries the custom logic built into .NET or COM.
- .htm and other resource files: Custom HTML resource files and other resources for the form.
When a form template is uploaded using Administrative deployment, the template is stored in the content database of the site. Office Forms Services provide a server-runtime environment for InfoPath Forms Services. While running on the browser, all rules, validations, and calculations are executed in the browser using client-side script.
All business logic is executed on the server. So when a browser requests business logic execution, a post back is executed using low cost XMLHTTP. Formserver.aspx is an InfoPath Forms Services page that accesses the form’s data from the content database and renders it to the client.
Question 8. What Are The Main Components Of Infopath Form Services That Are Responsible For Rendering The .xsn File On Browsers?
The InfoPath Form Services consists of four components that are responsible for rendering the .xsn file on browsers:
- ASP.NET modules: Return HTML to the browser.
- Infopath Form Services HTTP Handlers: Forward requests from IIS to the page generator.
- Converter: Responsible for converting the .xsn file into .aspx pages.
- Page generator: Communicates with internal data sources, and is responsible for processing postback data from the browser and maintaining session states.
Question 9. What Is Logic Inspector?
Logic Inspector is a tool in InfoPath 2007 that shows all of the code dependencies for the form in a single dialog. Depending on how you access the Logic Inspector, you initially see either the overview pane or both the overview pane and the details pane.
Question 10. What Are The Main Configuration Elements Of Infopath Form Services? Where Does The Server Level Configuration Elements Reside?
The InfoPath form services server-level configuration elements are located in SharePoint Central Administration.
Question 11. How Many Sections Are There Inside The Infopath Form Services Element?
There are five sections:
- Manage Form Templates
- Configure InfoPath Services
- Upload form templates
- Manage Data Connection files
- Manage the Web Service proxy
Question 12. What Set Of Functions Can We Perform With The Help Of Manage Form Templates?
This section allows the administrator to perform the following actions:
- Activate a form template to a site collection.
- De-activate a form template from a site collection.
- Quiesce a form template.
- Remove a form template.
Question 13. What Does Quiescing A Form Template Mean?
Quiescing is a process that takes the form templates offline gradually and prevents new sessions from being created. It allows existing sessions to be completed, thereby preventing data loss. When a form template is quiesced by the administrator, the form templates from all the site collections are taken offline.
Question 14. What Are The Set Of Functions We Can Perform With The Help Of “configure Infopath Form Services”?
This page allows an Administrator to configure some of the basic settings for the InfoPath Form Services.
There are so many sections in the page, but the important of them are following:
- User Browser-enabled form templates
- Data connection time out
- HTTP data connections
- Cross domain access for User Form Templates
- Form session states
Question 15. How Is Form Session State Maintained?
The InfoPath Form Services can maintain data in two modes:
- SQL Server database: This approach is termed as using Session State Services.
- ASP.NET view states stored in the client side: Termed form view.
Points to be noted: The application needs to be associated with the Shared Service Provider.
Question 16. When To Use Which Session State Mode?
Session State Service mode [SQL Server database] is recommended for low bandwidth users, as the form view states hamper the performance for low bandwidth. Whereas, Form View can be used for environments with small groups of users.
The administrator can also enter a value for the session data size allowed for Form View State. InfoPath Form Services will automatically revert to Session State Service when session data size exceeds the value associated with the form view mode.
Question 17. What Is The Required Feature That Needs To Be Activated Within A Site Collection For Infopath Form To Work?
The feature called Office SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features must be activated within the site collection.
Question 18. What Will Happen If “office Sharepoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features” Is Not Activated?
It would require the InfoPath Client Application to be installed.
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