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Public facing (anonymous access) Infopath Form on SP2010 Publishing pages. Feasible? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    We have a large amount of contact forms to develop (10+). The scenario is that we will have a staging environment that uses content deployment to publish to the public facing site. I'm investigating whether we could use Infopath forms via the Infopath webpart on the public site to capture information, to either a SP List or email.

    I have some questions!

    1. Is this feasible? Are there any risks involved or hidden gotchas?
    2. Has anyone done this before and can share some guidance?
    3. Is this a supported use of Infopath?
    Many thanks

    DAvey

    Friday, January 28, 2011 1:35 AM

Answers

    1. Yes, in 2010 we have the ability now to use InfoPath list forms.  You create lists (not form libraries), convert them to InfoPath (Customize Form button in the ribbon), then give anonymous users rights to Add Items to each list
    2. Risks are just that anyone can submit a list item and type whatever they want, and they can change any existing item if you allow edits
    3. Yes, but only for lists converted to InfoPath, which requires InfoPath Forms Services that only resides in SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise

    Not so sure about the staging part, though.  Why would you use content deployment for providing anonymous users with input forms?  Content deployment is for showing content that you've created, not for pushing lists that are empty for anonymous users to submit items.  Maybe I missed the correlation.


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    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Friday, January 28, 2011 2:24 AM
  • Yeah, form templates are not content - they are the3 underlying infrastructure. Content would be the page or document you're wanting to display that has already been created internally.  In this case, you're providing the location for users to go submit new things.  It will be a custom list that is set to use InfoPath, so it may still work fine if you deploy the whole list using content deployment, but it depends on how complex it is.  Are there extra data connections?  If not, then you may be fine.  If there are, then the connection URLs may not update themselves during the transition.  I think it's worth trying first after you build the list with the custom form - try a very simple one first before doing the full development.  If everything carries over fine, then go with it.

    The good thing about it being a list form is that there are no publishing options, and you don't have to worry about setting up a submit data connection.  It will all work in the construct of the list without the need for customization, so the content deployment will be much less complicated than moving a form library template.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:39 AM
  • Right - anonymous users can't initiate a workflow.
    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 3:00 PM

All replies

    1. Yes, in 2010 we have the ability now to use InfoPath list forms.  You create lists (not form libraries), convert them to InfoPath (Customize Form button in the ribbon), then give anonymous users rights to Add Items to each list
    2. Risks are just that anyone can submit a list item and type whatever they want, and they can change any existing item if you allow edits
    3. Yes, but only for lists converted to InfoPath, which requires InfoPath Forms Services that only resides in SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise

    Not so sure about the staging part, though.  Why would you use content deployment for providing anonymous users with input forms?  Content deployment is for showing content that you've created, not for pushing lists that are empty for anonymous users to submit items.  Maybe I missed the correlation.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Friday, January 28, 2011 2:24 AM
  • Hey Clayton,

     

    Many thanks for your reply. Sorry for the delay in follow-up.  Excellent news about Inforpath on public facing websites, this helps us a lot. We will indeed have Infopath forms services installed.

    My query on content deploymentw as around the question of where to publish the infopath forms to. typically content editors will create content on the staging server. Content deployment will then transfer this over to the public facing site. Would this be the same for the Infopath forms or would we have to publish those directly onto the public facing site?

    Many thanks

    Davey

    Monday, January 31, 2011 4:49 PM
  • Yeah, form templates are not content - they are the3 underlying infrastructure. Content would be the page or document you're wanting to display that has already been created internally.  In this case, you're providing the location for users to go submit new things.  It will be a custom list that is set to use InfoPath, so it may still work fine if you deploy the whole list using content deployment, but it depends on how complex it is.  Are there extra data connections?  If not, then you may be fine.  If there are, then the connection URLs may not update themselves during the transition.  I think it's worth trying first after you build the list with the custom form - try a very simple one first before doing the full development.  If everything carries over fine, then go with it.

    The good thing about it being a list form is that there are no publishing options, and you don't have to worry about setting up a submit data connection.  It will all work in the construct of the list without the need for customization, so the content deployment will be much less complicated than moving a form library template.


    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:39 AM
  • Hi Clayton,

     

    Thanks again. Yeah the other option I was looking at was SQL Snapshot for content deployment. Should reduce the risks of the forms not working correctly as the whole DB will be brought from staging to production.

     

    Yeah we don't (or shouldn't!) need data connections, other than to post the form data back to a list. Would I be right in saying that workflow can't be initiated if the form is filled in anonymously? I was figuring that if we did need to post form data to a DB, having an event bound to the list that does the insert, or kicks off a workflow would be the way to go?

    Many thanks

    Davey

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:06 PM
  • Right - anonymous users can't initiate a workflow.
    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Planet Technologies || SharePoint Task Force
    • Marked as answer by Seven M Thursday, February 3, 2011 3:08 AM
    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 3:00 PM