A client recently expressed their wish to use electronic forms for their representatives. The reps would have to take these forms on their laptops, travel around Europe, and be able to send the data in the forms back to a webservice at HQ, when connected to the internet.
This requirement triggered me into researching Infopath for a while. Although I'm not an Infopath expert, I now know enough to see that this new addition to Office has a lot of potential!
Suppose you have XML documents and you want other people to enter data. Of course, you don't want to let the users enter data in XML in something like Notepad.
That's where Infopath steps in...
With Infopath, you can create a form-like document as a kind of wrapper around the XML. Now the user can enter data, just like in a regular webapp or winform app.
Infopath lets you use events to check submitted data and use Jscript to create a lot of extra functionality. When the user submits the form, you can send the XML data straight to a webservice or sharepoint, you can send the XML via e-mail or you can even use custom code to handle the submit.
There's a SDK for Infopath that works with VS 2003. When installed, you can handle all required actions with C#. Yeah baby!
You can send a Infopath form (.xsn) to someone else, he/she opens the form, fills out the data, do some stuff with .NET and finally press submit, and voila, the data arrives back at your webservice.
How cool is that! I gotta tell you, this new Infopath really rocks!
Especially with .NET integration, I see a lot of potential.
And it's not a premature product. As a dutch company, you can even use an Infopath form to do your income tax!
check out the Micosoft product info and the Infopath team blog.