InfoPath – What can it do for you – part 6

In this article, of my InfoPath series, I want to show you how easy it is to create and design SharePoint lists from InfoPath.

InfoPath can be used to implement the look and feel of a company within lists and forms. It is possible to change the design of an existing SharePoint lists with InfoPath. You can change the standard look and feel by using the Customize form option in the ribbon. Why do this afterwards while you can perform all these actions within InfoPath! I am going to explain this process from a fictional case from our beloved company Contoso. The company Contoso is using paper forms for hardware requests by their employees. Contoso would like to integrate this process in their SharePoint portal. The hardware information, such as type and price, is already stored in a SharePoint list. This information and the Contoso branding needs to be integrated in the new list.

I open InfoPath and choose to create a new list. The following screen appears:

I need to enter the URL of the SharePoint site, after this I can click Next and the following screen will appear:



I enter the name of the new list. I will call this Hardware requests. After clicking Next two times the form is shown. The form only contains the fields Title and Attachments. I can now starting editing our new list!
The form does not need these two fields and the standard look and feel so I delete the whole form. To create a new design I only have to click at Page Design and Page Layout Templates and choose for Title only. I hit Enter to create a new line and add the Contoso logo. I center this logo and under the logo I add the title of the form. To create space for the labels and controls I click at Insert and add the Two- Column1 from Tables. The form should look like this:


It is now time to start adding the first columns. I want to show the following:

Column name
Person or group – from a directory
Single line of text
Person or group – from a directory
Single line of text
Hard Disk
Single line of text
Single line of text
Price laptop
Single line of text
Price hard disk
Single line of text
Price webcam
Single line of text

It is pretty easy to create new columns from InfoPath. The form contains an Action menu, right bottom of the form, I click at Add Field and the following screen appears:


The values of the columns Laptop until Price webcam need to come from the Hardware list. This list looks as following:
In my previous article I described how to retrieve information from another SharePoint list and use this information in a digital form. I need a data connection to set this up. I configure one to the Hardware list and retrieve the fields Title and Price. We are now going to start to configure the columns Laptop and Laptop Price. I select Laptop Price and click in the ribbon at Default Value. I click at Insert Field or Group and Show advanced view. The data connection to the hardware list can be selected under the header Fields, now follow the instructions from the following figure:
Now I click add Filter Data and Add:
The field will now show the corresponding price from the Hardware list. We have to execute the same steps for the remaining fields. I can now configure the first part of the form:
The second part of the form consists out of selecting the hardware. I am adding a new Two-Column1 under the Personal Information section:
You can use a Picture Button to show the hardware images. I created a section for every hardware type.   The following figure shows a more detailed view of the section:
I added an extra control, a check box, so the employees can use the check box to decide if they want to hardware. We have to create three new check boxes. I called these Select Laptop, Select Hard Disk and Select Webcam. After all the sections, with the labels and controls, are added we can start creating rules!I want to add something cool to this form, that is why I added the picture buttons. The employees should be able to click at a picture of the hardware and see more information. To do this we need three more check box controls. These should not be visible at the form because they are being used to execute the rules. I named these Choice LaptopChoice Hard Disk and Choice Webcam. The following rule is applied to the laptop section:


I also do this for the remaining sections. The employees are now able to click at a button and only that section will open with the hardware information.

I prefer to use a submit button over the ribbon so I add a new button control and call it Submit request. The submit action is connected to the button so it saves the new entry in the list. I also configure a custom message:



The final step of this form is the change the Title field. This field is required and is used to edit the item in the SharePoint list. I configure the field with the following unique name:
concat(“Hardware request”; “_”; “../my:EMail”; “_”; Created)
I can now publish the form and the employees will see the following form:


That’s it! Don’t forget to change the view of the SharePoint list to hide most of the fields 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this article!

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  • Reply
    Jan Ligtenberg
    January 4, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Nice post!
    If the submission must be secure a hidden view is not enough, even hiding from the Search engine.
    Created a SPD-workflow which will set the required rights.

  • Reply
    Jasper Oosterveld
    January 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Thanks, and thanks for the tip 🙂

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