Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Introduction to InfoPath
Finally in this chapter we come to the coup de grace of XML-specific offerings:
Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003. This exciting, new XML-based technology offers
organizations a way to use dynamic forms with rich editing features to gather
important information that is often scattered throughout their business
processes. The data, which is captured in XML form, can immediately be put to
work throughout an organization and used in a variety of forms.
From the Experts
Acey Bunch, author of Introducing Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003
(Microsoft Press, 2003), describes the process of using InfoPath: “You
design a form, deploy it to your users, and as they use it and save the info,
it is saved into a standardized XML format.” This is a huge benefit for
businesses working with many data-entry applications and provides native
support for XML Web services. “Anybody who wants to merge forms or
work with data aggregation” will benefit from using InfoPath. “We’re using
it now on my team. Every week we send the manager the status report; all
on SharePoint. I click the form and fill it in. At the end of the week, she
gets this merged, nicely formatted form with data. Nicely done with
clicks…no code…it’s all XML.”
Because XML is the native file format for InfoPath, data gathered in
InfoPath forms can be shared easily and efficiently. InfoPath works with any
customer-defined schema, which means that developers can design customized
schema to solve any number of data-gathering needs. And because XML stores
data in a highly structured, yet highly flexible, format organizations can ensure
that their critical data is standardized across applications.
InfoPath will help transform organizations that rely heavily on forms—
paper or electronic—to gather data pertinent to key business processes.
InfoPath helps integrate business processes with an intuitive interface (that
resembles the best of the other Office applications) and a dynamic method of
collecting information. Because InfoPath puts XML in the hands of everyday
workers—without requiring that they learn to write code or master new
procedures—organizations will be able to capture, store, share, and make the
best use of their data in an increasingly secure, efficient way.
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