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Deploy administrator-approved form templates (Office SharePoint Server)

Updated: December 1, 2006

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2006-12-01

In this article:

  • Deploying administrator-approved form templates

  • Upgrading administrator-approved form templates

  • Quiescing administrator-approved form templates

InfoPath Forms Services provides functionality that enables both Office administrators and users to deploy browser-compatible form templates. InfoPath form templates (XSN files) created in the design mode of the InfoPath program can be published as browser-enabled form templates that can be opened and edited in a Web browser from servers running InfoPath Forms Services. This enables you to expose full-featured forms to users who do not have the InfoPath program, such as customers and partners.

Form templates that contain business logic (such as a compiled, managed code DLL), require full domain trust, or use a data connection that is managed by an administrator must be deployed by an administrator. Because of the potential for security, performance, and manageability issues, it is important that these form templates are thoroughly reviewed by an administrator prior to deployment. You can manage these form templates on the Manage Form Templates page on the Central Administration site.

NoteNote:

For more information about managing form templates, see Manage form templates (Office SharePoint Server).

Deploying administrator-approved form templates

To deploy an administrator-approved form template, you must complete three actions after the form template has been designed: verify, upload, and activate . These steps can either be performed through the command-line interface or through the Central Administration site. You can upload a form template by using the Publishing Wizard in the InfoPath program, using the command line on a server running InfoPath Forms Services in the farm to which the form template will be deployed, or by using the Central Administration interface. As the farm administrator, you typically receive from the form designer a form template that is already prepared for deployment.

Deploying administrator-approved form templates using the command line

You can deploy form templates and perform many other InfoPath Forms Services administrative tasks from the command line using the stsadm.exe tool. This can be useful if you want to write a script to automate repetitive administrative tasks. This tool is located on Office SharePoint Server 2007 servers in the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12\BIN directory, and operations using the tool can be run from any server in a farm. You must be authenticated to the server as a farm administrator to use this tool. For more information about stsadm.exe, see the Command-line Forms Services management operations section of the topic Manage form templates (Office SharePoint Server).

NoteNote:

Form template verification is an optional step in the deployment process that checks that the form template is acceptable to be uploaded to the server. This step should be performed by the administrator, either through the command-line interface or the Central Administration site, prior to deployment to verify that a solution is valid. If you do not verify the form template manually, then it will be automatically verified during the upload process. Manual verification returns both messages and errors, while automatic verification only returns errors.

NoteNote:

Command-line verification must be performed on a server in the farm where the form template will be deployed.

To verify and upload a form template using the command line

  1. Click Start, and then select Run.

  2. Type cmd, and then click OK.

  3. On the command line, type cd ":\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN" (include the quotation marks).

  4. On the command line, type stsadm –o verifyformtemplate –filename <Path\FileName>.

  5. Read the errors and messages to verify that this form template can be uploaded.

  6. To upload the verified form template, type stsadm –o uploadformtemplate –filename <Path\FileName>.

Although the form template is uploaded, it is not yet available to users. It must be activated by the administrator of the site collection to which the form template will be activated. This can also be performed by a farm administrator who also has administration privileges to the site collection. For more information about activating form templates, see "Activating administrator-approved form templates" on this page.

Deploying administrator-approved form templates using the Central Administration site

You can deploy form templates from the Central Administration site. You must be a farm administrator to access this site.

NoteNote:

Form template verification is an optional step in the deployment process that checks that the form template is acceptable to be uploaded to the server. This step should be performed by the administrator, either through the command-line interface or the Central Administration site, prior to deployment to verify that a solution is valid. If you do not verify the form template manually, then it will be automatically verified during the upload process. Manual verification will return both messages and errors, while automatic verification will only return errors, if any.

To verify and upload or upgrade a form template using the Central Administration site

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to 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 Upload Form Template page, in the Deploy Form Template section, click Browse.

  5. In the Choose File window, select the template you want to verify, and then click Open.

  6. Click Verify to check the form template for problems. If there are problems with the form template, then they will be displayed in the Report Details section of the Form Verification Report.

    In the event that the verification process returns errors, have the form designer correct the errors and messages and then provide you with an updated form template. Then you can repeat the above steps. If there were no errors and no unacceptable messages, you may continue with the upload or upgrade.

    NoteNote:

    If the system warns you that the template already exists, click Application Management, click Manage Forms Services form templates, point to the form template, click the arrow that appears, and then click Remove Form. On the Remove Form Template page, click Remove. You may then repeat this procedure to upload the form.

  7. Click OK to return to the Upload Form Template page. When you return to the Upload Form Template page after verifying a form template, you will have to browse for the template again.

  8. On the Upload Form Template page, in the Deploy Form Template section, click Browse.

  9. In the Choose File window, select the template you want to upload, and then click Open.

  10. In the Upgrade section, choose how you want InfoPath Forms Services to behave if another version of the form template already exists on the server.

    • If a previous version of the form template does not exist on the server, or if you do not want to upgrade the existing version of the form template to the new version automatically, clear the Upgrade the form template if it already exists check box. This box is checked by default.

    • After you upgrade the form template, new sessions will start using the upgraded version of the form template. Forms already open will continue to use the current version of the form template. If you want existing browser-based form-filling sessions to continue using the previous version of the form template, leave the Allow existing browser-based form filling sessions to complete using the current version of the form template button selected. Otherwise, select the Terminate existing browser-based form filling sessions button. Note that selecting this choice causes any data in existing sessions to be lost.

    • If you wish to wait until all sessions of the form template have been completed before upgrading, navigate to Manage Form Templates, select the form template, and choose Quiesce settings. For more information on quiescing form templates, see "Quiescing Administrator-approved form templates" on this page.

  11. Click Upload. The upload process may take a few minutes to finish, particularly in a farm with multiple Web front-end (WFE) servers. You can check the status of the upload on the Manage Form Templates page.

Although the form template has been uploaded to the central Forms Library, it is not yet available to users. It must be activated by the administrator of the site collection to which the form template will be activated. This can also be performed by a farm administrator who also has administration privileges to the site collection. For more information about activating form templates, see "Activating administrator-approved form templates" on this page.

Activating administrator-approved form templates

To make an administrator-approved form template available to users, the form must be activated to a site collection. Form templates may be activated to a site collection from the Site collection features page by a site collection administrator. A form template can also be activated to a site collection from the Central Administration site by a farm administrator who has administrator privileges to that site collection. A form template can be activated to more than one site collection; repeat the activation process for each site collection to which you want to activate the form.

NoteNote:

Before activating a form template that uses data connections, ensure that the data connections are configured appropriately. For more information about data connections, see Introduction to data connections.

NoteNote:

InfoPath Forms Services is not supported for site collections based on some site collection templates, such as the Basic Meeting Workspace template. If you activate a form template to a site collection that does not support InfoPath Forms Services through the Central Administration site, the activation will appear to succeed, but the form template will not be accessible from the site collection. Form templates that are available for activation by site collection administrators will appear in the site collection features list. However, if you attempt to activate a form template to the site collection or to activate the Office SharePoint Server Enterprise feature, which enables InfoPath Forms Services, you will see an error message that reads Required Feature: One or more features must be turned on before this feature can be activated.

To activate a form template to a site collection from the Central Administration site

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to 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, point to the form template that you want to activate, click the arrow that appears, and then click Activate to a Site Collection.

  5. To activate the form template to the current site collection, click the Activate button. The form template is now available to users.

    • To choose a different site collection, in the Activation Location section, click the site collection box, and then click Change Site Collection. The Select Site Collection Web page dialog box appears.

    • Click the URL of the site collection to which you want to activate the form template, and then click OK. If the site collection you want is on a different Web application, click the Web Application box, click Change Web Application, and click the name of the Web application. Then click the appropriate site collection and click OK.

The form template is now available for users to access.

To verify that the form template is available

  1. In Internet Explorer, browse to the URL of the site collection to which you have activated the form template.

  2. Click All Content.

  3. On the All Content page, in the Document Libraries section, click the Form Templates document library. The template you made available should appear in the Form Templates list.

To activate a form template to a site collection from the Site collection features page

  1. In a Web browser, open the site collection home page.

  2. In the top navigation bar, click the Site Actions tab.

  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, click Site Settings.

  4. On the Site Settings page, under Site Collection Administration, click Site collection features.

  5. Activate the form template to the current site collection by finding the form template in the features list and clicking the Activate button.

The form template is now available for site collection users to access.

To verify that the form template is available

  1. In Internet Explorer, browse to the URL of the site collection to which you have activated the form template.

  2. Click View All Site Content.

  3. On the All Site Content page, in the Document Libraries section, click the Form Templates document library. The template you made available should appear in the Form Templates list.

Upgrading administrator-approved form templates

Each administrator-approved form template is identified by its embedded uniform resource name (URN). When a form template is being uploaded, the system verifies whether the URN is already registered. If the URN is not registered, then 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, then 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, then 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.

When you upgrade a form template, you have four options for how to handle existing sessions to the current form template:

  • Allow existing browser-based form-filling sessions to finish using the current version of the form template.

  • Terminate existing browser-based form filling sessions. This approach is useful in the event that a form template is found to contain a serious bug or security issue, and you want to make the form template unavailable immediately.

  • Perform a gradual upgrade, in which you upload the new version as a separate form template, and eventually remove the old version when it is no longer being accessed by users. This is a useful approach when your form template is accessible as an embedded form or through a link on a Web page, and you are not concerned about the possibility of the old version being accessed during the upgrade process. With both form templates available on InfoPath Forms Services, you can modify the link to the form template on your Web page.

  • Quiesce the form template before upgrading to the new version. When you quiesce a form template, you gradually transition a form template from an active to an inactive state. This upgrade method is useful when you want to ensure that a form template cannot be accessed after a given time. For more information on quiescing a form template, see Quiescing administrator-approved form templates on this page.

Quiescing administrator-approved form templates

In a production environment, upgrading a form template requires more than replacing the old template with the new one. It is possible that users will have active sessions of the form open. The administrator might want to control the upgrade process to allow active sessions to finish before making a form template unavailable, and to ensure that the form template will no longer be available to users after the quiesce process is complete. Using the Quiesce function, you can gracefully take a form template offline and manage the form template when it is inactive.

To quiesce a form template

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to 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.

    NoteNote:

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

  4. Point to the file you want to upgrade, click the arrow that appears, and then from the menu select Quiesce Settings.

  5. Type the number of minutes you want the quiescing process to take. On a production system, you should 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.

  6. Click Start Quiescing. In the Quiesce section, the status changes to Quiescing.

  7. To see whether your form has successfully quiesced, 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 will be designated as Quiesced.

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

See Also

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