Are you ready for a deep sneak peak at InfoPath 2007′s new level of integration with Outlook? Here you go: InfoPath 12 – Tudor Toma : Using InfoPath e-mail forms
The current version of InfoPath allows you to send your form via email. What you get is an HTML version of the form and the XML as an attachment. You can then open that attachment up in InfoPath and go from there.
That’s a fine experience, but it’s sort of a disconnected. Good, but with lots of room to grow.
Thanks to a lot of good thinking, we’ve integrated InfoPath forms into Outlook to where it’s a first class Outlook item. When you receive an InfoPath email form and open it, it opens directly in InfoPath. Any changes you make can be saved back to the original item.
And the biggest, greatest, get-ready-to-pick-up-your-socks-coz-I’m-about-to-knock-them-clear-off feature is InfoPath folders: you can create an InfoPath folder associated with a particular form, set-up a rule to route forms of that type into the folder, and then promote columns out of the XML forms into your Outlook folder view.
Have you tried InfoPath on SharePoint? You can promote properties (fields) out of your form design into column on SharePoint to get a quick view into the data (or to sort columns or such based on the data).
That same promotion information is now used by Outlook to promote values from each form into an Outlook column. Once promoted, too, you can unleash the power of Outlook to do further manipulation.
It’s like having your very own SharePoint folder inside of Outlook to do with as you like… online, offline, whatever.
Plus we’ve made it easy to fill-out InfoPath forms while you’re inside of Outlook by writing a smaller version of the InfoPath “fill-out-a-form” dashboard inside of Outlook.
One last thing to call out: analysis. You can select a bunch of InfoPath forms, either as regular items or items in an InfoPath folder, and export them to Excel. You can also take that selection and merge the forms together into a single InfoPath file.
Oh, and one last last thing to call out, too: Access uses InfoPath email forms as one of its data collection features. The items go out as an InfoPath email form and then are collected using Access’ special add-in to roll all your responses together.
InfoPath technology is spreading through more and more of the core Office applications. Now is the best time to start coming up to speed on how to design, distribute, and use InfoPath forms so that you’re ready to leverage Office 2007 to the fullest when it’s released.
But remember, I’m biased.
InfoPath Outlook Office