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Lab 2: Deploying and Managing InfoPath 2007 Forms

Office 2007

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Learn how to deploy a form template to a server running InfoPath Forms Services. You will also learn about several form management activities. (7 printed pages)

InfoPath Forms Services provides a reach, or Web browser-based, form-filling experience. This reach experience is provided through a server built on, and seamlessly integrated with, the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 platform as part of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007. To achieve this experience, InfoPath form templates (.xsn files) created in Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 are converted into browser-enabled form templates that run on the Office SharePoint Server 2007 platform.

The server administrator deploys form templates to a central location, and then activates them to site collections. These are form templates that contain a compiled, managed code DLL, or that require full trust. You can manage these form templates on the Manage Form Templates page of the SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration site.

In this lab, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Verify a form template by using the command line and the SharePoint Central Administration site

  • Upload a form template by using the command line and the SharePoint Central Administration site

  • Activate a form template to a site collection

  • Upgrade an already deployed form template

To complete this lab, you must have the following:

  • Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007

  • Access to a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 server as a Farm Administrator

  • Access to a site collection

You must have Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 installed on a client computer and InfoPath Forms Services installed on a server. Both applications can be installed on the same computer.

If a site collection does not exist, create it by following these steps on the server.

To create a site collection

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

  2. On the top navigation bar, click the Application Management tab.

  3. Under SharePoint Site Management, click Create site collection.

  4. On the Create Site Collection page, click the Web Application menu, and then select Change Web Application.

  5. On the Select Web Application Web page dialog box, click SharePoint - 80.

  6. On the Create Site Collection page, in the Web Site Address section, select Create site under this URL. In the URL name box, type lab.

  7. In the URL path box, select sites.

  8. In the Primary Site Collection Administrator section, in the User name box, type the user name of the domain-authenticated user who will be the site collection owner.

  9. In the Template Selection section, select Team Site in the Select Template box.

  10. Click OK to create the new site collection.

Publishing Form Templates

To deploy a form template to users, you must complete two actions after you receive the form template: upload it and activate it. Before uploading a form template, you have the option of verifying that the form is ready to be uploaded, which you can do by using Office SharePoint Server 2007. As the farm administrator, you typically receive a form template that is already prepared for deployment.

For this lab, use the deploylab01.xsn form template included in the download and located at C:\2007 Office System Developer Resources\Code Samples\InfoPath2007SampleTrainingLabs.

Using the Command Line to Verify and Upload the Form Template

Form template verification is the step in the deployment process that checks that the form template is acceptable to be uploaded to the server. This is a manual step that must be performed by the administrator before deployment to verify that a solution is valid. Command-line verification must be performed on the Office SharePoint Server 2007 server where the form template will be deployed.

To verify by using the command line

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.

  2. Type cmd, and then click OK.

  3. At the command prompt, type cd "C:\Program Files\common files\Microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Bin" including the quotation marks.

  4. At the command prompt, type stsadm -o verifyformtemplate -filename "C:\2007 Office System Developer Resources\Code Samples\InfoPath2007SampleTrainingLabs\deploylab01.xsn" including the quotation marks.

  5. Press ENTER.

  6. Read the errors and warnings to verify that this form template can be uploaded.

To upload by using the command line

  1. If you have not done so, verify that the form template can be uploaded by using the previous procedure.

  2. Type stsadm –o uploadformtemplate –filename C:\2007 Office System Developer Resources\Code Samples\InfoPath2007SampleTrainingLabs\deploylab01.xsn.

  3. Press ENTER.

    The form template is uploaded to the server. Although the form template is uploaded, it is not yet available to users. It can be activated by a farm administrator who has site collection administration permissions. You will do this in another part of this lab.

Using SharePoint to Verify and Upload the Form Template

The SharePoint Central Administration site contains the Upload Form Template page, as shown in Figure 1, to verify a form template before uploading it. Once the form template is verified, enter the path to the form template and upload it to the server.

To verify the form template by using SharePoint Central Administration

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

  2. In the top navigation bar, click the Application Management tab.

  3. On the Application Management page, under InfoPath Forms Services, click Upload form template.

  4. On the Add Form Template page, click Browse.

  5. In the Choose file window, browse to C:\InfoPathLabs\deploylab01.xsn, click the template, and then click Open.

  6. In the Deploy Form Template section, click Verify.

  7. In the Report Details section, look for any errors and warnings for the form template.

  8. If the system warns you that the template already exists, click Application Management, click Manage form templates, click the arrow that appears next to the form template, and then click Remove Form.

  9. On the Remove Form Template page, click Remove.

  10. If you did not receive a warning, click OK.

To upload the form template by using SharePoint Central Administration

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

  2. In the top navigation bar, click the Application Management tab.

  3. On the Application Management page, under InfoPath Forms Services, click Manage form templates.

  4. On the Manage Form Templates page, click Add Forms.

  5. On the Add Form Template page, click Browse.

  6. In the Choose File window, select the template, and then click Open.

  7. Click Upload.

    The form template is uploaded to the server. Although uploaded, it is not yet available to users. It can be activated by a farm administrator who has site collection administration permissions. You will do this in the following exercise in this lab.

Activating the Form Template

The previous exercises demonstrated how to verify and upload a form template. To make the form template available to users, the form must be activated to a site collection. Using the form that you deployed in the previous exercises, you can now activate the form to a site collection.

To activate to a site collection

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

  2. On the top navigation bar, click the Application Management tab.

  3. On the Application Management page, under InfoPath Forms Services, click Manage form templates.

  4. Point to the form template that you want to activate, click the arrow that appears, and then click Activate to a Site Collection.

  5. On the Activate Form Template page, click the Site Collection URL, then click Change Site Collection.

  6. Using the Select Site Collection page, click the site collection you created earlier, and then click OK. Skip ahead to step 9. If your site collection is not listed, click the Web Application URL, and then click Change Web Application.

  7. Click the correct Web application on the Select Web Application page. This is typically SharePoint - 80.

  8. On the Select Site Collection page, click the site collection you created earlier, and then click OK.

  9. Verify that the information looks correct on the Activate Form Template page, and then click OK.

To verify that the form template is available on the site collection

  1. In Internet Explorer, browse to http://localhost/sites/lab.

  2. Click View All Site Content.

  3. On the All Site Content page, in the Document Libraries section, click Form Templates.

    The template you made available appears in the Form Templates list.

To set the form template as a template for a library

  1. In Internet Explorer, browse to http://localhost/sites/lab.

  2. Click View All Site Content.

  3. On the All Site Content page, click Create.

  4. On the Create page, click Form Library.

  5. On the New page, in the name box, type lab, and then click Create.

  6. In the form library that you just created, on the top navigation bar, click Settings, and then click Form Library Settings.

  7. On the Customize lab page, click Advanced settings.

  8. On the Form Library Advanced Settings: lab page, under Allow multiple content types, select Yes, and then click OK.

  9. On the Customize lab page, in the Content Types section, click Add from existing site content types.

  10. On the Add Content Types: lab page, in the Available Site Content Types list, select the form template that you want to use as the template for this library, click Add, and then click OK.

Upgrading Form Templates

Each administrator-approved form template is identified by the uniform resource name (URN) embedded in it. When a form template is uploaded or registered, the system verifies whether the URN is already registered, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Using SharePoint tools to upload a new form template

Add a Form Template Central Administration

If the URN is not registered, the form template is added as a new form template. If the URN is registered, the system behaves as follows:

  • Earlier Version: If the incoming version is earlier than the existing version, the following error is displayed:

    There is already a more recent version of this form template on the server. Either remove the existing form template from the server or increase the version of the new form template and try again.

  • Same Version: If the incoming version is the same version number as the existing version, the following error is displayed:

    A form template with the same version is already on the server. This may be the same form template, or you may need to increase the version of the form template and try again.

  • New Version: If the incoming version is a newer version than the existing version, and version upgrade has been requested by the user, there are three methods that an administrator can choose.

    • You can allow existing browser-based form filling sessions to complete using the current version of the form template.

    • You can terminate existing browser-based form filling sessions.

    • You can quiesce the form template. When you quiesce a form template, you gradually transition it from an active to an inactive state. In the following exercise, you will quiesce a form template.

In a production environment, updating a form template requires more than replacing the existing form template with the new form template. It is possible that users might have active sessions of the form open. The administrator can control the upgrade process to allow active sessions to complete, and gracefully manage the form template when it is inactive.

To quiesce a form template

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

  2. On the Application Management page, under InfoPath Forms Services, click Manage form templates.

    NoteNote

    On the Manage Form Templates page, you will see a Status column. Form templates that are available to users are designated as Ready.

  3. Point to the file you want to update, click the arrow that appears, and click Quiesce Form Template.

  4. In production, you would quiesce the form for at least as long as the session state is configured for the server. By default, session state is configured for 240 minutes. For the purposes of this lab, in the Time in Minutes box, type 2.

  5. Click Start Quiescing.

    In the Quiesce section, the status changes to Quiescing.

  6. After two minutes, click Refresh.

    The status of your form template is Quiesced.

  7. In the top navigation bar, click the Application Management tab.

  8. On the Application Management page, under InfoPath Forms Services, click Manage form templates.

    NoteNote

    On the Manage Form Templates page, in the Status column, form templates that you have quiesced are designated as Quiesced.

    After the form template is quiesced, you can deploy the upgraded new version of the form.

In these exercises, you learned how to do the following:

  • Publish an InfoPath form template from the command line and by using Office SharePoint Server tools

  • Activate a form template

  • Quiesce and update a form template

In Lab 3: Integrating InfoPath 2007 with the Data Connection Library, you will learn how to use Universal Data Connection (UDC) files in a Data Connection Library (DCL) to provide data connection settings to Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 form templates for use in both client and server forms.

For more information about developing with InfoPath, see the following resources:

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