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Concurrent editing of an Infopath 2010 form

    Question

  • I'm working on a project where multiple user groups have to collaboratively fill a large form (more than 300 questions) that is divided into 10 sections. Each user has to fill in his/her section and sign it. After completion the whole document is supersigned by another user.

    Filling in the form is often done concurrently and one person has the task to merge all sections together again. Goal of the project is to migrate the whole process from word forms and manual merging to infopath/sharepoint 2010.

    One of the major problems at the moment is that of concurrent section editing. Is there any way to realize this in infopath? An alternative approach is to split the form into multiple sections for editing but they have to be merged into a single form after completion. Any ideas on how to do that?

    It is ok to use external tools/plugins but the custom development effort should be minimal.

    Friday, October 15, 2010 7:53 AM

Answers

  • No, InfoPath does not support co-authoring.  Only Excel, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint.  When an InfoPath form is opened by a user, it is locked and only editable by that person.  Unfortunately, although InfoPath is an awesome tool, it is not meant for huge amounts of text and is not a collaborate text editor.  It's mainly for data advanced input.  It doesn't seem to be a good fit for what you have to do, not that it can't be done.  I just don't have any idea on how to aggregate tons of large chunks of text, because that's one of the areas where it's not strong.
    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    Friday, October 15, 2010 8:36 AM

All replies

  • No, InfoPath does not support co-authoring.  Only Excel, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint.  When an InfoPath form is opened by a user, it is locked and only editable by that person.  Unfortunately, although InfoPath is an awesome tool, it is not meant for huge amounts of text and is not a collaborate text editor.  It's mainly for data advanced input.  It doesn't seem to be a good fit for what you have to do, not that it can't be done.  I just don't have any idea on how to aggregate tons of large chunks of text, because that's one of the areas where it's not strong.
    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    Friday, October 15, 2010 8:36 AM
  • Thank you for your answer and honest opinion - I already feared that I'm on the wrong track with Infopath/Sharepoint as soon as the concurrent editing use case popped up.

    I guess I have to fall back to custom development which will increase the expected project costs significantly. Or does anyone know of 3rd party tools which may come for rescue?

    Friday, October 15, 2010 8:51 AM