But what is InfoPath exactly and why would you want to use it our SharePoint Enterprise Hosting Plan?
Microsoft InfoPath 2010 is a forms-creation and data-gathering tool that helps organizations streamline business processes. InfoPath 2010 is designed for both advanced business users and developers, depending on the type of forms-based solution an organization needs. Without writing code, advanced business users can use InfoPath 2010 to design sophisticated electronic forms to quickly and cost-effectively gather information.
Here is a general walkthrough and tutorial of some of the best features of InfoPath 2010:
1. Text Box – One of the most basic features of any form or data collection system is the text box. This feature allows users to enter and send text through an InfoPath form. You can use this feature from the tab of Home and under the group of Controls.
2. Person/Group Picker – This feature allows you to pick any person or group from within your SharePoint 2010 Enterprise site. You can use this feature from the tab of Home and under the group of Controls.
3. Add a Rule – You can validate form data, apply conditional formatting, switch views or set a field’s value by using this feature. This feature can be found on the Home the tab under the group of Rules.
4. Manage Rules – You can create and manage all of your rules from the Home tab under the group of Rules.
5. Single Column Tables – You can insert a single column table in your file by going to the insert tab under the group of Tables.
6. Two Column Tables – You can insert a double column table in your file by going to the insert tab under the group of Tables.
7. Four Column Tables – You can insert a four column table in your file by going to the insert tab under the group of Tables.
8. Pictures – You can insert pictures into your forms and surveys to make them look professional. Go to the Insert Tab and click Picture.
9. Horizontal Line – You can insert a nice horizontal line to break up a form’s sections by going to the Insert Tab.
10. New View – By designing different views of your form template, you can offer users different ways to look at data. For example, you might create a special view that is optimized for printing, or you might create a high-level summary view to eliminate some of the details in a complex form template.
11. Delete Current View – You can delete a view by visiting the Page Design Tab and selecting Delete
12. Form Page Templates – quickly change your form design with default page layout templates.
13. Design Themes and Color Schemes – Like most of Office 2010, InfoPath allows you to easily change the look of your form with themes and color schemes.
14. Headers/Footers – Easily add headers and footers to forms under the Page Design Tab.
15. Refresh Fields – You can change your forms data source or import XML and other data by using the Refresh Fields command under the Data Tab.
16. Resource Files – A resource file is a file that is used to display additional information in a form template. When you save or publish a form template, any resource files are included in the form template. You can move your form from computer to computer without having to worry that you’re breaking data connections when you use Resource files.
17. Show Fields – This opens the Fields Task Pane where you can manage all of your form’s fields and data.
18. Import Data from a Web Service – This feature allows you to import data from an XML, MySQL or other supported online web service.
19. Import Data from a SharePoint List – You can import Data from our SharePoint Hosting Plans right into InfoPath 2010! Type in site URL, select your list and then select the information you want imported. InfoPath makes it easy!
20. Import from a SharePoint Server – There is even tighter integration that can be done between SharePoint and InfoPath with our Enterprise and Dedicated Hosting Plans. When utilizing SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Designer, InfoPath 2010 forms can be deployed as part of an automated business process, including workflow, such as routing and notification capabilities based on information within the form.
21. Import from a Database – You can import data from a Microsoft Access Database or SQL Server by selecting this option.
22. Import from a Local XML file – if you have created a local XML data source you can import that into InfoPath 2010.
23. Publish Data to Email Addresses – select this option to have InfoPath forms send data to an Email Address
24. Publish Data to a SharePoint List – You can collect and publish InfoPath data to a SharePoint 2010 List with any of our SharePoint Hosting plans.
25. Publish Data to a Web Service – There are other supported Web Services that InfoPath 2010 is compatible with.
26. Publish to SharePoint Server Connection – For use at the departmental or enterprise level, SharePoint workflow solutions can be built using little or no code with InfoPath. This type of integration is possible with our Enterprise or Dedicated Hosting Plans.
27. Submit Data Options – Open this to set all the options of data collection and submission. You can send data to multiple locations, perform rules, and utilize custom code in InfoPath 2010.
28. Form Load – you can create rules to run as soon as a form is loaded by selecting this option in under the Data tab in the Ribbon.
29. The Rule Inspector – Open this to view all the rules in the form template.
30. Programming Languages – InfoPath 2010 is compatible with a few programming languages such as C# and Visual Basic
31. The Code Editor – You can edit and write code right from InfoPath 2010 using Microsoft Visual Studio for Applications.
32. Loading Event – Click this button to write code that is executed when a form is loaded.
33. View Switched Event – Click this button to write code that is executed when a form’s view is changed.
34. COM Add-Ins – Manage COM Add-ins by selecting it from the Developer Tab.
35. View GridLines – You can turn on gridlines in your document by selecting this option under the Layout Tab.
36. Table Properties – Edit your form and its table properties
37. Form Properties – Click this button under the Page Design tab to edit your print settings, fonts, and other properties before publishing your form.
38. Form Preview – click this button to preview how your form will look and work. Be sure to preview and test your form before Publishing.
39. Publish your form – When you are finished designing and testing your form, publish it.
40. Design Checker – Don’t forget to run the design checker on your InfoPath form to find any incompatibilities
41. Publish to a SharePoint Library – Create or update a form library form on SharePoint so that User can access the form online.