Doing Data Validations in Infopath 2007 Programmatically

Infopath 2007 provides rich validation function for each of its controls. For ex, you can validate a text box or a field

For conditions such as equal to, is blank, is greater than and if that field fails the validation, we can display a message box.

One important thing to be noted is that, Infopath 2007 would not submit the form unless all the controls pass the validation.

let’s talk about the complex validation, let’s say, I want to validate
whether or not the textbox contains email address or not.

this can be also done out of the box using pattern matching. If we look
at the validation options in Infopath, one finds the options matches pattern, does not matches pattern. Here one can specify a complex regular expression to be matched.

Custom Validation

we come to our main topic, custom validation, means validation using
some business logic which Infopath cannot provide out of the box.

To implement custom validation, each control in Infopath provides a validating event, which is usually called when the value of the control Changes. This is almost same as Changed event,
with one difference that during the execution of validating event, the
whole document tree is read only. That is, we cannot write to any field
in Infopath while validating event is being executed.

reason for this is that, the values of Infopath fields can change due
to the change in values of other fields, which will result in
Validating event to be called again and again, until the stack runs out
of memory.

Now, coming to our main point, validating event, here we will see how to validate a simple field in Infopath, programmatically.

To write managed code in Infopath, you must have either VSTO or VSTA installed.

To write a validating event for a field, right click the field and choose Programming ->validating event

The code editor will open up the desired function for inserting the code for the validating event for particular field.

Below is an example of one of the typical implementation of validating event

public void OtherAttendees_Validate(object sender, XmlEventArgs e)




this.Errors.Delete("Invalid Value");


catch (Exception) { }

string str = e.Site.Value;

bool flag = CheckAttendees(str);

if (flag == false)


"Invalid Value", "The value of the "+ e.Site.LocalName + " field must
be email addresses seperated by ;");



understand the above code, we must first realize that this function
will be called as soon as the value of the field will be changed.

We clean up the Errors collection prior to validating our field using this.Errors.Delete();

function implements the business logic which determines that weather
the field is valid or not. The input to the function is nothing but the
value of the field.

Now, if the decide that field validation has failed, we add an error into the Error Collection using this.Errors.Add(), indicating the value and the custom error message we want to be displayed.

You can find out about the Errors collection here:

Now the point is, if the Errors
Collection contains an item, the Infopath will not allow to submit the
form. And, if you try to submit it, it will highlight the particular
field and display the custom error message.

Tip about Validation and Submit in Browser Forms

sort of validation works fine in client form since everything is
executed on client. However in browser based forms, the user would not
come to know about the failure in validation until he clicks submit and
this would cost an expensive server page postback.

To overcome this limitation, we can implement the same logic in Changed
event handler and set a value of hidden field which would indicate the
validity of the form at the time of submission. Now on submit button,
we can use custom rules to check the value of the hidden field and
prevent the submission at the client side only. This prevents considerable overhead of page postback.