Microsoft InfoPath 2013

Create Customized Forms for Integration with Microsoft SharePoint

Online mortgage application form on a digital tablet
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You have likely filled out an online form, which consisted of drop-downs, open response fields for typing information, and other buttons. This is the type of form one can create and customize in Microsoft InfoPath.

InfoPath 2013 is Microsoft's latest version of a tool for developers, allowing them to create customized forms.

Looking for a different type of solution? Check out: Creating Forms in Microsoft Access or Google Forms.

The InfoPath User Experience

While Microsoft InfoPath is a tool for developers, the application experience includes a design pane that is WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get), which is a familiar experience from other programs you have used. For instance, you can view a logic tree to help visualize the organization of folders and fields.

The Role of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

The forms created in InfoPath 2013 are intended for integration with Microsoft's team collaboration system, SharePoint Server 2013.

The Role of InfoPath Forms Services

Alternatively, InfoPath 2013 also allows developers to share form templates with those who may not own SharePoint Server 2013. This is accomplished by using InfoPath Forms Services, which essentially allows form fullfillment through an online browser.

In InfoPath 2013, those web forms meet the improved Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. They are also more sophisticated and dynamic thanks to improvements to InfoPath 2010, such as multiple selection list boxes, filtering, picture buttons, date & time options, and more.

New Visual Studio 2012 Integration

Microsoft Visual Studio is a too for writing in the Visual Basic language code.

With InfoPath 2013, the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications IDE is no more. Now, Visual Studio 2012 is required to write code for InfoPath forms.

Continued Features in InfoPath 2013

InfoPath 2013 naturally includes features added in InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, such as:

· Improved Security in InfoPath 2013: Digital Signatures - Forms, or just certain sections of forms, can now be authenticated as digitally-signed documents. These can be single, dual, or counter signatures. For these signature lines to be available, the user's browser must be supported by SharePoint Server 2013. InfoPath 2013 is in compliance with Cryptography Next Generation (CNG) security standards.

· InfoPath Controls - InfoPath allows the developer to insert controls, or clickable buttons, for the person filling out the form. This creates a stronger user experience, which should be a main goal for anyone authoring a form. New or improved controls include Image Buttons and a Digital Signature Line.

· Quick Publish - One button rather than myriad dialog boxes is an appreciated convenience in the InfoPath 2013 experience.

· SharePoint List Forms - InfoPath can add value to your SharePoint lists as well, by letting you customize code for forms. For example, you may add views or create rules for data validation in InfoPath.

InfoPath of course features many additional tools from previous versions, but hopefully this gives you a good bird's-eye perspective on improvements to InfoPath 2013 as well as general information on what this application is capable of helping you accomplish.

Please let me know if you have additional questions, or check out Microsoft's InfoPath 2013 site for more detail.