Use InfoPath to gather your information easily and efficiently. You can purchase InfoPath separately or part of a Microsoft Suite, such as MS Office 2007. The program enables pre-populated fields, with validation in real-time, to connect to valuable information sources. InfoPath helps MS Office users collect information in work groups by simple forms and stores the gathered information in areas you designate in MS Office.
Getting Started with Microsoft InfoPath
Imagine the scenario where information is required from a large number of people in a work group. The information is specific and is needed as soon as it becomes available. InfoPath enables an easy form-filling experience that is accessible from many popular web browsers, in email messages or over mobile devices. All information can be centralized simply and easily through management and control of the input. Forms can be designed using existing XML, via a SQL Server database or another ODBC data source.
After the information has been gathered from the form recipients, it can be promulgated out again rapidly via a shared web page, accessible across computing platforms.
Form designs can be shared in the group using MS SharePoint Server applications or easily designed using one of the many predesigned forms, which have been created for common business purposes, such as employee absentee requests, change orders, service requests and simple invoices. InfoPath can also be used for asset tracking.
Integrating Information Across the Work Group
InfoPath and MS Office enable advanced integration capabilities. InfoPath extends into other modules in the MS Office Suite, gathering information for databases, documents and many commonly accessed projects.
Because this is an advanced Microsoft tool, support for many different forms of authentication is included. Via SharePoint, the management of forms that are used on multiple platforms via multiple servers for nontrivial activity can be accommodated.
The Future of InfoPath
InfoPath today is being used as part of an enterprise mashup. The application lends itself particularly well to this. In a typical national sales setting, a marketing manager could see sales information on a map mashed together, and this would provide the key to the locations of most impact in a sales promotion.
An InfoPath form could be used to roll out a new promotion. The data appears in real time and everyone, anywhere can access this information to gain the best knowledge about its progress.
InfoPath was part of the MS Office 2003 Suite, and it is currently a part of MS Office 2007. It is also included in MS Office 2010. It is an integral part of all Microsoft Work Group products and will always be a valuable component in Microsoft information gathering.