I have been asked enough times now about the licensing requirements of SharePoint to be able to show InfoPath forms in the browser that I’m finally putting together this blog entry about it :-). With InfoPath 2010, you can create SharePoint Form Library Forms, SharePoint List Forms and SharePoint Workflow Forms. Let me try to break down each of these briefly and talk about the licensing requirements.

SharePoint Form Library Forms

InfoPath’s ability to create form templates that can be posted to a form library in SharePoint dates back to to 2003 when InfoPath 2003 first came out. Once the form is published to that library, your users can click on the New Document link/button and that will open up the form. This form can only be opened in the browser if you have SharePoint Enterprise license. No exceptions here. If you don’t have enterprise licensing on your server then your users will require at least the InfoPath filler application (or InfoPath Designer application) on their machine to open up the form. If that’s not the case either, they will get an error saying that no compatible application can be found to open up the form (just like the error you would get if you didn’t have MS Word installed and you tried to open up a .doc document).

SharePoint List Forms

This functionality is new in 2010 products. SharePoint lists (such as Tasks, Announcements, Links etc.) come out of the box with ASP.NET forms that let you take actions on the list (viewing a list item, editing an item, creating a new item). You can see these forms in the browser or through SharePoint Designer 2010. If your SharePoint server has SharePoint Enterprise license, you can modify these out of the box forms or create new forms (recommended) using InfoPath 2010. If you don’t have enterprise licensing, you can still customize or create new list forms without code. However, you will need to use SharePoint Designer 2010 to do that and the resulting forms will be ASP.NET forms as well.

SharePoint Workflow Forms

This functionality is also new in 2010 products. When you create a workflow using SharePoint Designer 2010, it creates forms that users interact with as needed (for example task forms, initiation forms, association forms, forms to collect data from users etc.). If your SharePoint server has SharePoint Enterprise or Standard license applied to it, you can use InfoPath 2010 to modify these forms. If you are instead running SharePoint Foundation, you can still modify these forms, but that would have to be done using SharePoint Designer 2010 and the forms will be ASP.NET forms.

I hope this breakdown eliminates some confusion. InfoPath 2010 is an Awesome product! If you have the proper licensing, I would definitely recommend using it!

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