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Preparing Microsoft Office InfoPath Templates to Use in Groove 2007

Summary: Use a Microsoft InfoPath 2007 sample templates as the basis for a Groove InfoPath Forms tool, adding your own customization, or without design or layout changes. You can also create a new form template in InfoPath using a blank InfoPath form to import into Groove.

Matt Shannon, Microsoft Corporation

October 2008

Applies to: Microsoft Office Groove 2007, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007

Contents

Overview

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 includes a variety of form template samples. You can use any one of these sample templates as the basis for a Groove InfoPath Forms tool. You can add your own customization, or use them without making any design or layout changes. You can also create a new form template in InfoPath starting with a blank form, customizing it in InfoPath, and then importing the newly-created template into Microsoft Office Groove 2007.

Preparing InfoPath Templates to Use in Groove

To use any sample or new form template in Groove, you must complete several form template customization tasks.

  1. Create a new InfoPath form template or select a template to customize.

  2. (Optional) Insert and lay out controls, if necessary. In some cases, you might be able to use an existing InfoPath template as is. You can see detailed information on designing form templates in InfoPath in Microsoft InfoPath Help.

  3. Promote fields in the InfoPath form template design so that they can be recognized in the Groove InfoPath Forms tool.

  4. Set Form Submit options to "Submit to hosting environment".

  5. Set Form Security options to "Restricted".

  6. Save the InfoPath template as an .xsn file.

Figure 1. InfoPath Getting Started screen.

InfoPath Getting Started screen

Typically, you create and lay out most design objects (forms and the fields that display on forms) in InfoPath. Then, import the solution into the Groove Forms Tool designer. Once imported, you can update the form design in InfoPath and then re-import the form in Groove. Once in Groove, you can add other Groove tool features such as customized views

Open an InfoPath Form in InfoPath Designer

You create form templates in design mode, which is the InfoPath design environment. A form template is a file that uses an .xsn file name extension. The .xsn file defines the data structure, appearance, and behavior of finished forms which are .XML files.

A form template defines several items, including the following:

  • The controls, labels, and instructional text that appear on the form.

  • The way that controls behave when users interact with them.

  • Whether the form has additional views.

  • How and where the data in a form is stored.

  • The fonts, colors, and other design elements that are used in the form.

  • Whether users can customize the form.

After you complete the design of a form template, you make it available to users by publishing it as an .xsn file.

To start working with an InfoPath form in InfoPath Designer:

  1. Open InfoPath.

  2. From the Getting Started screen, select Design a Form Template…

  3. From the InfoPath Design a Form Template screen, select an existing form template or decide to design a new form template.

Figure 2. InfoPath Design a Form Template screen.

InfoPath Design a Form Template

Additional Recommendations for Configuring the InfoPath 2007 Template

The following are features and functions that are available in InfoPath 2007 templates but are not supported in the Groove InfoPath Forms tool when you import the InfoPath template into Groove 2007.

  • Secondary user interface features, such as a task pane, menu, menu area, or toolbar integration, are not supported in the Groove InfoPath tool. If an InfoPath forms tool contains these features, a warning message will display when the form is imported.

  • The InfoPath template must include one or more promoted fields. The Groove InfoPath tool designer only recognizes promoted fields for use in the InfoPath tool design. Additionally, the selected promoted fields must be field types that are supported in the Groove InfoPath Forms tool. For example, the Groove InfoPath tool does not recognize Time fields, even if promoted.

  • Custom validation settings in InfoPath form fields are not honored in InfoPath form templates imported into Groove. See the Microsoft InfoPath help for more information on adding or removing validation settings.

Select and Promote Fields

As you prepare your InfoPath Forms template, consider which form fields you will want to make available in the Groove InfoPath tool. Select fields to display on forms, to reference in views, and to make available for use in view filters and searches. In making this determination, it is also important that you should consider which field types can be used use in Groove.

To promote fields, do the following in InfoPath 2007:

  1. Open the form template in the designer.

  2. On the Tools menu, select Form Options.

  3. In the Form Options dialog box, click Property Promotion.

  4. Click Add and then select a field to promote.

  5. Repeat until you have selected all fields you want to promote.

  6. Click OK.

Figure 3. Use the Property Promotion dialog box to Add and select fields to promote.

Use the Property Promotion dialog

The following table lists the InfoPath 2007 field data types that can be promoted and imported for use in a Groove InfoPath tool.

InfoPath 2007 field data types:

Imported in Groove 2007 as field type:

Byte

Number (double)

Date (date)

Date (double)

Date and Time (dateTime)

DateTime (double)

Double

Number (double)

Entity

Text (string)

Entities

Text (string)

Float

Number (double)

Hyperlink (anyURI)

Text (string)

ID

Text (string)

IDREF

Text (string)

IDREFS

Text (strings)

Int

Number (double)

Language

Text (strings)

Name

Text (strings)

NCNAME

Text (strings)

NMTOKEN

Text (strings)

NMTOKENS

Text (strings)

NormalizedString

Text (strings)

Rich Text (XHTML)

Text (strings)

Short

Text (strings)

Text (strings)

Text (strings)

Token

Text (strings)

True/False (Boolean)

Check Box (string)

UnsignedByte

Number (double)

UnsignedInt

Number (double)

UnsignedShort

Number (double)

Note: The following details apply to the InfoPath rich-text (XHTML) field data type.

  • All rich text formatting is removed when a rich-text field is mapped at a Groove text (string) field data type.

  • The rich-text (XHTML) field data type cannot be demoted.

  • Other InfoPath field types, like Duration, Time, gMonth, and gDay can be displayed and used in a Groove form in the Groove InfoPath tool but these field types are not be available in the Groove Designer to use in views, with Web services, or in macros.

Demote fields in an InfoPath Forms template

Just as you make fields available in a Groove 2007 InfoPath Forms tool by promoting them in the InfoPath template, you remove fields from the Groove InfoPath tool design by demoting them. To demote fields, follow the procedure to promote them and click Remove after selecting a field to demote.

Set Submit and Security Options

To prepare an InfoPath 2007 form template for importing into a Groove InfoPath tool, you must set submit and security options.

Perform the following tasks:

  • Set Form Submit options to "Submit to hosting environment".

  • Set Form Security options to "Restricted".

  • Save the InfoPath Forms template as an .xsn file.

To set security:

  1. On the Tools menu, select Form Options.

  2. Click Security and Trust.

  3. Uncheck the “Automatically determine security level” box, and then click Restricted.

  4. Click OK.

Figure 4. Select the option to automatically determine the security and trust level.

Select the option to determine trust level

To set submit options:

  1. On the Tools menu, select Submit Options.

  2. Check the "Allow users to submit this form" box.

  3. Select Hosting Environment from the drop-down menu.

  4. Click OK.

Figure 5. Select the submit options to allow users to submit this form.

Select the submit options

Once you have completed the required field promotion and set form template submit and security options, you can save the InfoPath form template in the designer. The file will be saved, by default, as an .xsn file.

To save an InfoPath form as a template:

  • On the File menu, selectSave As and enter a name for the template.

Add a Groove InfoPath Forms Tool to a Workspace

The Groove InfoPath Tool provides much of the same capabilities as the Groove Forms Tool, for the purpose of developing Groove workspace application tools. Unlike the Groove Forms tool, in which you design and layout all design objects, the Groove InfoPath tool allows you to create and lay out most design objects (forms and the fields that display on forms) in Microsoft InfoPath, and then import the solution into the Groove InfoPath Forms Tool designer. Once imported, you can update the form design in InfoPath and then re-import the form. Once in Groove, you can add other tool features such as customized views.

  1. Click Add Tool in the Groove workspace and select InfoPath Forms.

  2. Click Import Template to open the Design sandbox and browse for the .xsn template file.

  3. Select the status report .xsn file you prepared, and click Open.

  4. View the InfoPath Template Warnings and Errors dialog box, and then click Import.

The errors and warnings reported in this dialog box will not have an impact on the custom tool design. The template is imported.

Import an InfoPath Template into Groove

You create a new form in a Groove InfoPath Tool by importing InfoPath form template .XSN files you have saved in Microsoft InfoPath 2007.

  1. Open the Groove InfoPath Forms Tool designer.

  2. Under the Forms options, click Import New InfoPath Template....

  3. Select the InfoPath form template file you want and click Open.

The form template displays in the Groove Designer window. All promoted form fields are listed under Fields in the design object pane. Click any field to display field properties. To modify a field, you must update it in Microsoft InfoPath and then re-import the form template file.

Create a New View in Groove

Views show the data collected in records by referencing fields.

  1. Open the Designer.

  2. Expand the Views section and click Create New View.

  3. On the Basics tab, select one or more fields to display as view columns.

  4. Name the new view.

  5. Check the fields to include as view columns.

The preview window shows the selected fields as view columns in the currently selected order.

Figure 6. Create a new view in Groove.

Create a new view in Groove

Additional Resources

For more information about Microsoft Office Groove 2007, be sure to take advantage of the following resources:

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