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Monday, October 11, 2010

What’s New in InfoPath 2010

With the upcoming releases of SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, a new version of InfoPath will also be released. InfoPath 2007 included some minor enhancements over 2003 but did not get the Office 2007 user interface (UI) or ribbon bar. With InfoPath 2010, Microsoft has fully integrated InfoPath into the Office UI, as well as added relevant new features.

The overall goal of InfoPath 2010 is to make it much easier to create rich forms; web forms and client forms. Big investments have been made to make it simpler to build rich forms-based applications on top of the SharePoint Server 2010 platform. Here are some highlights of what you can expect from InfoPath 2010:

Quickly Design Forms with Easy-to-Use Tools

InfoPath ships with many new out-of-the box templates and includes a new rules management interface. Finally, no more clicking OK 500 times just to complete the addition of a new rule.

Layout Forms Using Pre-built Page and Section Layouts

Insert a pre-built page layout to give your form structure. Then, insert some section layouts into the page layout to start building your form.

New and Improved Controls

Some new controls have been added and the feature gap between client and browser forms has been narrowed for a more consistent user experience. New controls in InfoPath 2010 include:

* Picture buttons – Instead of the default gray button, use any image as a button in your form
* Hyperlink capabilities – Allow users to insert their own hyperlinks when filling out forms
* Date and time picker – Allow users to insert dates and times in their form
* Person/Group pickers – This control has been updated and is included by default in the Controls gallery
* Signature Line (Editor Only) – Allow users to digitally sign a form

Controls and functionality that are now supported in browser forms include:

* Bulleted, numbered, and plain lists
* Multiple selection list boxes
* Combo boxes
* Choice group and sections
* Filtering functionality

Quick Rules

With the new out-of-the-box rules and improved rules management UI, you can easily add rules to validate data, format your forms, or perform other actions - without any code.

Styles

You’ve come to love styles in Microsoft Word where you can apply multiple format options, including font and color, to selected text with one click. InfoPath 2010 includes a similar formatting tool.
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