I have always been a big fan of InfoPath and all the possibilities that it offers. We already have a bunch of videos demonstrating some very cool functionality within InfoPath here: https://www.visualsp.com/infopath/. A ton more videos will be created in the future for InfoPath 2010 to show you all that it can do.
Aside from all that InfoPath can do, you can of course put code behind the forms to extend it a lot further. However, my recommendation to my clients and students has always been to look at all of the other possibilities first before jumping into code because once you do go that route, there is no turning back. Also, the management of code requires a developer and most times that means that it creates a bottleneck for fixing any current bugs and implementing new features. If the original form designer, hopefully the business analyst with the business knowledge, can take ownership of fixing the issues and extending the functionality as needed, the process is usually a whole lot smoother and faster.
To that end, I would like to introduce you to Qdabra qRules. Think of this as packaged features that you can just turn ON in your forms – plug and play! Qdabra qRules lets you use rules in place of code to quickly add common features to your InfoPath forms. qRules 2.1 (the most recent release) contains 25 of the most commonly requested functions accessible via rules—even things that aren’t available in InfoPath today like encrypting fields.
Functions in Qdabra qRules include:
- Password Protect – Hide sensitive data using client-side encryption
- Format Date – Format your dates from SharePoint or SQL and show just the year, month, or day
- Get Week Day – Get the date value for a day of the week and improve your forms’ usefulness. Use Get Week Day in an open rule to quickly calculate the date for a weekday and populate your form based on it
- Input Parameters View Switching – copy Input Parameters to your main data source on load and use to switch views (codeless!)
- Submit To SharePoint List – Submit your XML form to a SharePoint list—now browser compatible
- Copy Table – from secondary source of main data source
- Set Value – filter target value
- Generate GUID, Sort Table, Save To SharePoint, and more
Here is some additional information about qRules:
- Patrick Halstead’s blog post: InfoPath Forms 101: Codeless = Less Cost
- qRules product page: http://www.qdabra.com/en/products/qRules.aspx
- qRules Encryption Template Part: http://www.infopathdev.com/files/folders/qrules/entry53061.aspx
If you are an avid user and a fan of InfoPath, IMHO you would be doing a disservice to yourself and your company by not checking out this product since it can make your current processes much much easier!