Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Microsoft Office InfoPath
Microsoft Office InfoPath
When you design an InfoPath form, InfoPath creates a .xsn file, which is stored
internally as a cabinet ( .cab ) file because it can actually contain additional subiles.
In other words, the .xsn file contains all of the necessary subiles required to assist
users in entering data and validating it.
There are two ways to see the files that are contained inside a .xsn file. The first
approach is to open your .xsn InfoPath form in InfoPath designer. InfoPath designer
is simply the Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 form template design environment. The
second approach requires a little more effort. You can rename your .xsn files to the
.cab extension and then extract all of the files related to the original .xsn file to a
specified folder. Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 is based on an industry-standard
Extensible Markup Language. This allows developers to create customized tags
that offer flexibility in organizing and presenting information.
The simplicity of InfoPath forms solutions is that they provide support
and facilitate you in combining multiform process information into a
single electronic form using which you can gather all of the required
information for your processes.
At this point, you might ask: if InfoPath is built into Microsoft Office, why are we
discussing it as a part of Visual Studio? Here's why. Even though the InfoPath
designer has remarkable features for creating forms with validation rules, a lot of
design capabilities cannot be achieved using the standard InfoPath environment.
When you find that you can't create the forms that you want by using the InfoPath
designer, you would typically resort to scripting, or managed code, to achieve the
functionality that you wanted. With both InfoPath and Visual Studio, that's not
necessary. A Visual Studio tool for Office development provides an environment
that allows you to integrate Visual Studio with Microsoft Office's InfoPath tools, to
create a virtually limitless approach to forms creation.
InfoPath 2007 in Visual Studio
When Microsoft first released InfoPath, in 2003, the software had some serious
limitations. There was no easy way to combine InfoPath with programming
languages. As a result, there was no easy way to use a language to refine the
functionality of a form that had been designed with InfoPath.
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