Taste of new Masala from Microsoft Kitchen

 lets more dig into InfoPath 2007, Forms Server and MOSS 2007 –Whew !! Well it’s at a point where I can share it. I got back home last night, at around 11.30PM, and thought .. hmm ..

 I had a discussion with my CEO today morning in regards to create a solution on Quotation system  for our organization ,She was very interested on building the system behind sharepoint services and I as well suggested various possibilities on making the system around sharepoint with the help of Infopath forms.

In recent days I were spending more time on Infopath forms since I know these can really reduce lot of hectics for any kind of organizations.

Let us say, I run a fashion agency in bangalore, that is constantly in search for new faces. So we interview wannabe models, and then we rate them on a scale of 1-10. Of course, the tech savvy person I am, I didn’t just write down these numbers – I instead created a word document (smart boy !!!). Now, soon I realized that each word document was similar in structure. So it had “Name of a Model”, Age, Photograph, and Rating (1-10). To keep this consistency, I decided to create a form in Word.

You must have seen such forms in your company – for expense reports, vacation or business card requests etc.

Anyway, here is how my form looks.

Info

Now, soon enough, this word document solution doesn’t quite scale, and I wished I had used Excel instead. Of course Excel won’t format well, and then photographers in Bangalore want to peruse the database. So some smartass consultant comes in and tells me that he has a better idea.

Of course, I don’t believe him, so I observe as what he does.

The consultant fires up Infopath, and Imports my Word 2007 form using the dialog box below.

Info1

And soon enough, he is able to setup and reformat my word form into this in InfoPath 2007 as shown below.

Info3

He goes ahead and saves this in a file on my desktop called “Hot or Not.xsn”.

The next thing the consultant does is, goes ahead and sets up a document library in SharePoint called “Wanna bees”.

Next he goes to InfoPath 2007, and runs the Design Checker – Change Compatibility Settings

Info4

In there, he makes sure that under “Compatibility”, the checkbox for “Design a form template that can be opened in a browser or infopath” is checked.

Finally, he goes to Infopath 2007 and selects Publish

1. Screen #1 – choose publish to a SharePoint server with or without Infopath forms services.
2. Screen #2 – location of your SharePoint site: http://yoursitenamehere.
3. Screen #3 – Choose “Site Content Type” – this is generally a better and more manageable way to publish infopath forms as you will see shortly.
4. Screen #4 – Choose “Create a new Content Type”
5. Screen #5 – Call it “Hot Model” (The new content type)
6. Save the Form Template at http://yoursite/Form Templates. Call it Model Review.xsn
7. Finally, on the last screen choose a few columns that you want to be available in SharePoint sites or Outlook folders. I have wisely chosen Model Name, Hot or Not and Her Phone Number as shown below:

8. Click Publish.

Your form is ready to use – but your SharePoint document library isn’t quite yet. J

Go to SharePoint central admin under the administration tab, and make sure that Forms Server is running.

Next, go to the Wanna Bees list, and go to Document Library Settings. Under document Library settings check “Advanced Settings”, and under there choose “Allow Management of Content Types”. This will allow you to change the default content type to “Hot Model”. Also, since we wish to open this functionality to folks who may not be running Infopath locally, click on “Display as a web page” under “Browser-enabled documents”. This will cause Forms server to kick in and render the form for you.

Next, go ahead and manage the content types – add the “Hot Model” content type you just created – make it default. And get rid of the “Document” (or whatever else) content type you may have in there.

Now go back to your list and create a new “Hot Model” as shown below.

Watch closely what happens ;-). You see a weird “Loading Form” message. (It came and went too fast for me to take a screenshot, and it’s 2AM in the morning as I am typing this, so just trust me – there is a “Loading Form” message).

And walla – the Infopath form is now running inside a browser. Nice!!

Go ahead fill in the details of whoever you interview, and hit “Save”, give it a meaningful name just like I have:

Go ahead and fill in some more sample data of all the hot models you have interviewed (or ever wished to interview).

With some sample data populated is where it gets really interesting. Go ahead and create a custom view as I’m doing below:

I’m gonna create a Standard View. But here is the interesting part; I am going to uncheck all columns except couple of columns that were derived from the form – “Model Name”  and “Her Phone Number”.

And here we go – I suddenly have data of the world’s supermodels on my fingertips.In siddhu words the “A Peeled banana piece fell into a glass of milk“.

(Evil Laugh) HAAHAHAHAAH!!! All this power.

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