InfoPath 2010 is unveiled at the SharePoint Conference

As many of you may know, the SharePoint Conference 2009 is taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada and it's been a particularly exciting week for the InfoPath product team. Over the past 3 years of product development, we have made huge investments in integrating with the SharePoint platform. Finally, this week, we got the opportunity to unveil the fruits of these investments to the world, and so far, the reception has been tremendously positive! (Check out what people are saying about InfoPath 2010 on Twitter.)

SPC is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel:

SPC 2009 - Mandalay Bay Hotel

InfoPath Booth:

(from left: Umut Alev - development lead, Peter Allenspach - group program manager, Rick Severson - test lead):

SharePoint Conference - InfoPath Team Members

InfoPath 2010 is well represented at this year's conference with a total of 5 sessions. The 1st session took place on Monday and was presented by Peter Allenspach and Bojana Duke from the InfoPath program management team.

The InfoPath session drew big crowds:

SPC 2009 - InfoPath Session Audience

The session opened with an introduction to InfoPath 2010, followed by 3 feature demos which illustrated just how easy InfoPath 2010 makes it for Information Workers to create their own solutions without reliance on IT departments. Some highlights below -

InfoPath 2010 Overview:

InfoPath 2010 Overview

Demo 1: Customizing a SharePoint list form

In this demo, Peter and Bojana walked through a real Microsoft internal College Recruiting scenario. Employees use SharePoint lists to sign up for recruiting trips. Bojana wowed the audience by taking the Recruitment Trip list form and customizing it in InfoPath in under a minute!

Peter and Bojana then went on to show how this form could be further enhanced and customized. Our new out of the box rules were used to add data validation and to conditionally show or hide sections in the form. A data connection to the Colleges list was added to pull details about the colleges into the recruiting trip sign-up form. The form layout was customized using our new pre-built layout tables and themes. They then showed how in a single click, the form could be published to SharePoint. Not only that, but they then showed how the list, including the customized form could be taken offline in SharePoint Workspace.

Last but not least, they opened the form in Firefox showing that you can use your browser of choice to fill out your forms.

Before Form:

SharePoint List - Default Form

After Form:

SharePoint List - Customized InfoPath Form

Offline Form in SharePoint Workspace:

SharePoint WorkSpace - Offline Form

Demo 2: Creating Mashups using the InfoPath Form Web Part
The 2nd demo took the Recruiting scenario to the next level. In this demo, Bojana created a simple portal page with 2 Web Parts, the Recruiting trip list and the new InfoPath Form Web Part. In only a few clicks, she connected the 2 Web Parts. Now when she selected an item in the recruitment list, the details for that trip were displayed in an InfoPath form.

Portal Page:

InfoPath Form Web Part

They concluded the 2nd demo by showing that both SharePoint solutions and InfoPath forms are truly portable and reusable. The site was saved as a template (WSP) and a new site was created from this template. The SharePoint list, portal page and InfoPath form were fully functional on this new site.

Demo 3: Office Business Applications: Procurement scenario
In this final demo,  Peter and Bojana showed the audience how InfoPath helps IT departments develop full Office Business Applications on the SharePoint platform. They used a procurement scenario to demo these capabilities. In this scenario, an employee submits a request to purchase a new laptop computer. The solution used an InfoPath form that connects to a vendor database, that brings in details about the goods you can purchase.

Procurement Form:

Procurement Form

This type of application can be built in SharePoint Designer, using web part pages to create the user experience. The data can be stored in form libraries, SharePoint lists, and external systems using Business Connectivity Services. If InfoPath rules don’t do the job of defining the desired form behavior sandboxed or full trust code can be added to the forms. SharePoint workflows can be used to send e-mail notifications and track status. And once you’re all done, you can package your application so it can be tested and eventually deployed to the production servers.

Procurement Portal Page:

Procurement Portal Page 

This first session set the stage for the remaining InfoPath sessions of the week:

  • Building Applications with InfoPath and SharePoint Designer  (this session took place on Tuesday - more details to follow)
  • Performance Best Practices for Forms Applications
  • InfoPath 2010: Form Design Best Practices
  • Form-Driven Mashups using InfoPath and Forms Services 2010

Stay tuned for more updates from Las Vegas!