Eric Richards' place of techno (as in technology) happiness, rants, and corporate love.

Browsing Posts published in May, 2006

Here is Ted Pattison showing, in a twenty minute screencast, how to leverage InfoPath 2007 within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint when combined with SharePoint V3:

Creating Custom Document Information Panels

This is a very nice tour, hitting on both the SharePoint UI you need to be aware of (even showing how you set up a new content type with specific meta-data) and then how to launch InfoPath 2007 to customize the default Document Information Panel that the meta-data is displayed within.

Look ma, No Code!

The power of the Document Information Panel is an excellent reason to learn how InfoPath 2007 works and why it can save you time and money.

For instance, do you have documents where you need to edit structural information along with free-flowing information? The Document Information Panel (I’d love to use its acronym, but it’s rather embarrassing) is exactly what you need. If you have Office 2007 or the Beta of Office 2007, give it a go and let us know what you think.

PS: why two posts on the same topic? I seem to experiencing some Blogger hiccups. I posted first through “Blog This!” and that went nowhere, so I retyped via Word 2007′s blog tool. Neither post showed up on my blog until I added the link to this entry. I guess it’s just the ghost, or echos of dev burps, in the machine.

The power of InfoPath 2007 integrated into Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: Creating Custom Document Information Panels !

This excellent screencast video steps you through some of the power that comes with SharePoint V3 + Office 2007. It’s a twenty-minute instructional screencast that shows you how to create a meta-data rich document library, see how the meta-data is rendered in the Document Information Panel, and then how to customize that panel’s content to do some cool stuff via InfoPath. No code!


  • Create a content site
  • Add extra meta data, site columns, to that content site for the documents you’re saving in the new content site.
  • Association of a document template with a content type.
  • Configuring a content type. The all important “Allow management of content types” option.
  • Finally! Opening a new document with the Document Information Panel (a rather unfortunate acronym).
  • “Go to Document Information Panel” (!)
  • Back on SharePoint, try the “Edit Properties” to see SharePoint view into same data.
  • Now, going a little bit further… the custom Document Information Panel via InfoPath!
  • SharePoint UI showing you the DIP Settings.
  • A little trick?
  • “Create new custom template.”
  • Woof! That’s sweet. Now we’re in InfoPath and ready to customize the Document Information Panel.
  • Now how do you get it back on SharePoint? Hello Publish Wizard. I sure am glad we fill in the defaults for you so that you can do next… to publish.
  • Hmm, yes, that’s one unique name we choose.
  • Later: “edit this template” is the nice special sauce.
  • More customization using the power of InfoPath for easy data wrangling. Setting the meta-data “Sender” field to be the same as core property creator.
  • “Save” in this case saves you back to the content type library in your site.
  • New… wait for it… wow! Kick butt.

If you have Beta2 and SharePoint V3 Beta2 please give it a try and tell us what you think!

Maybe you’re a big InfoPath fan and have downloaded the public beta. Hmm, and you hear that we actually have done a lot of hard work to make InfoPath 2007 hostable within your own code.

How do you figure out how to use this spiffy control so that you can integrate InfoPath 2007′s ability to edit structured data within your application? Use the Source: Download details: Using IOLECommands with the InfoPath Form Control

We’ll follow-up with more details on the InfoPath Team Blog but for right now, if you’re the dive in and do it technical sort, we’ve done a lot of hard work to code up a .NET application example of hosting the InfoPath control.

I-O-What? you might ask. Well, first there’s hosting the control and calling into it via methods and interfaces it provides. Then there’s doing jazzy stuff like hooking up menu and toolbar items so that you have an InfoPath-like experience (like editing within rich-text fields). You need to use IOLECommands for that, and there are specific parameters you need to pass. So once again: Use the Source.

(One small warning: we will be moving some of the commands into just plain query status when the next public release comes. Meaning? Well, we’ll be re-releasing this example to show you we’ve simplified and streamlined a few things. You’ll need to match and recompile. Sorry about that, but it’s for your benefit.)

I’m in Office, not on the Outlook team, but it still hurts to rub this salt in: 65 Reasons Why Outlook 2007 Will Suck ~ Chris Pirillo

Well, uh, Chris, anyway you could give InfoPath a look?

Chris had an earlier post on Outlook: Outlook 2007 Might Not Suck!

And he also had a post on the latest Vista Beta: Windows Vista Feedback

It’s good to read this, even when it hurts.

Oh, and I’m signed up to go to Chris’ Gnomedex this year in downtown Seattle. I hope to meet Chris along with lots of other groovy attendees.

Office 2007 Beta is now available – go here 2007 Microsoft Office system preview site for more information.

Oh, I forgot to add this:


You can either get the Beta by mail – for a limited time, hurry now – or by download. Just be clear that it’s one heck of a big download.

When you download the Beta and install it, my first quick bit of advice is: don’t go turning InfoPath 2007 off. Bad idea. Why? InfoPath is pretty heavily integrated into other parts of Office and those parts will either force InfoPath bits to be installed as they need them (document information panel) or will just turn off features (email forms in Outlook).

Be sure to check out the InfoPath Team Blog for more Beta feature discussion.

On this page, you can download a 30 minute presentation going through details of InfoPath 2007 forms integrated into Outlook 2007: Download details: RDP Sessions.

Look for:

Office 2007 InfoPath Forms In Outlook.wmv

Tim Willoughby posts about his initial impressions around Infopath 2007. Thanks for sharing your comments, Tim. A snippet:

Just sat through an Infopath 2007 demonstration and presentation.. the system
seems to be radically improved from the previous version.. the integration with
mail is excellent – can email a form and gather responses and then map them in

This looks fun: MSR MapCruncher. Get a map, find some reference points, and then MapCruncher works to overlay Virtual Earth data over your map. Nice.

To try out the new Word 2007 blogging feature, I made a post yesterday (Woodinville Wine Village – any year now). Joe Friend talks more about it here:Joe Friend: Microsoft Office Word : Blogging from Word 2007

First of all, I figured the new blogging feature out on my own (except for the picture part, which I didn’t even try and Krista sent me some info on). So that’s good news!

The main thing I ran into was smart quotes dorking up the post. It’s a known issue. For now, I’m turning off smart quotes, though I’m afraid the occassional emdash is going to sneak through because me likey the emdashy.

I gave some feedback to the team early on and I’m excited to see the feature come together. Good job, Andrew! I’ll think of you everytime I post from Word…

The posting Creating Passionate Users: The myth of “keeping up” represents yet another reason why I just love Creating Passionate Users. I’m currently in the process of simplifying my reading queue, though since I’m such a pop-culture geek I’ll continue with the Entertainment Weekly sub.

A little subversive but all around a really good site that’s well aligned with the over-achieving geek in me.

The Popularity Breeds Contempt is another interesting post along with Don’t give in to feature demands!