Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
intuitive design view that offers forms-based controls as well as rich text-editing
features, ensuring that the forms you create for your organization are as effective
and accurate as possible.
The Traditional Form Process
Let’s follow the path of a traditional status report to see how InfoPath can make
a difference in handling process data. Suppose that for a weekly status report,
an information worker uses a standard format template in Word and enters the
information by typing it in from a paper form she has filled out over the course
of the week. She then prints a copy of the report and places it in her supervisor’s
inbox. Or, alternatively, she e-mails a copy of the report to the supervisor. All
the information is there on the screen, but it is simple text—not live information
that can be applied in any real sense. The supervisor must read, analyze, and
perhaps copy and paste the numbers or comments from the report to compile
a larger status report that includes similar data from all her staff members. She
places each person’s information in the appropriate column on her summary
report and then prints or e-mails the status report to her supervisor. So much
effort, and a lot of time invested. But where’s the usable data?
Consider this scenario using InfoPath. The status report is now an InfoPath
form in which the knowledge worker can type (or write, using a Tablet PC), the
data items her supervisor needs to know: How many units shipped this week;
how many are outstanding; was this over or under projections; what factors
influenced work flow this week; and so on. Some of this information is numerical;
other pieces of data are text- or date-based. Because the data gathered is stored
in XML format, the underlying schema both controls data entry (making sure
numbers are entered in the expected form, for example) and ensures that the
information is stored immediately in a back-end database, from which the
supervisor (and the supervisor’s supervisor) can pull automatic reports when all
the reports have been filed.
InfoPath Applications
The last section walked you through one example showing how static information
that must be copied and pasted from application to application can be
automatically saved and used in InfoPath. Here are some other common business forms
that would work well in InfoPath:
Summary project-planning sheet
Invoices
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