InfoPath web-enabled supported features

InfoPath web-enabled forms are extremely useful, and are one of the features helping MOSS enter new industries. These forms are rendered such that a variety of web browsers (not just IE) can use and view the forms. This is powerful because you can now create forms which have a specific look and feel including limited custom code to display and capture information.

For companies with legacy systems such as Lotus Notes, this opens new doors where they can use InfoPath forms to move their Notes applications into. Now, this isn’t what I would advise, but it does open that door if it is a strict requirement. Having said that, there are many limitations to web-enabled forms. I was quite surprised to find how limited as well.

Understanding the technology behind InfoPath helped me understand why those limitations were there, and how to find some workarounds (I will share these as I can in future posts). InfoPath is based on Xml and Xsl. Thus, the presentation has to be handled by Xsl which is why it has many limitations.

I can’t go into the technology specifics, but there are many Xsl and Xml tutorials out there. I have to say it did make me feel a little more at peace to know that (I was quite annoyed by the limitations). It still don’t make me love web-enabled InfoPath forms, but I know how to work with them and achieve the behaviors I need.

For a complete list of the features supported by InfoPath web-enabled forms go to

Creating a custom group/role with unique permissions

SharePoint creates several groups with permissions, which are used as roles, when a site collection is created. Optionally, more groups with permissions are created when additional sites are created. The following instructions can be used to create a custom group with permissions for a particular need or requirement.

  1. Click “Site Actions”
  2. Click “Site Settings”
  3. Click “People and Groups”
  4. Click “Site Permissions” (left column)
  5. At the top-site, Click “Settings”
  6. Click “Permission Levels”
  7. Else, if inheriting permissions from parent site:

a. Click “Actions”

b. Click “Manage Permissions of Parent”

c. Click “Settings”

d. Click “Permission Levels”

  1. Else, if not inheriting permissions from parent site:

a. Click “Actions”

b. Click “Edit Permissions”

c. Click “Settings”

d. Click “Permission Levels”

  1. Click “Add a Permission Level”
  2. Enter name of permission level (ex. “Author”)
  3. Under List Permissions, check “Add Items” and “View Items” (and if necessary “Open Items”)
  4. Make sure “Edit Items” and “Delete Items” are unchecked
  5. Under Site Permissions, check “View Pages” and “Open”
  6. Click “Create”

Workflows in SharePoint: When to use Designer vs. Visual Studio?

SharePoint has two primary tools available from Microsoft for design and development:

SharePoint Designer 2007 and Visual Studio 2005.

Both tools allow creating custom workflows in SharePoint.  SharePoint Designer 2007 is a tool used when a no coding approach is required and a one time solution workflow is required. The SharePoint Designer allows users to create workflow by creating conditional logic based on the list’s data, and the user can publish the workflow directly to the list or library for immediate use.

A one time solution workflow is a workflow that will be specific to a particular site and library in SharePoint. The workflow will not be portable and it is only configurable through the SharePoint Designer tool.

Visual Studio 2005 can be used to create complex and logic rich workflows through programming. The workflows can be designed and developed to be portable and configurable.  To deploy workflows design and developed with Visual Studio 2005, an administrator must approve the workflow as trusted code and upload the new “feature” to the SharePoint server.  Once uploaded, the site collection administrators will have to “Activate” the new workflow before users can use the workflows in their lists and libraries.

Making a mark on the web

Hi Everyone,

I hope to use this blog to document my SharePoint finding’s among other things. Often I have learned things I’d like to put somewhere, but I have yet to actually do this as I’d like. A blog isn’t exactly what I’ve had in mind, but after two years of thinking this … I figure it works for others, why not? right?! So I will share my findings with others … some things of course won’t make it here as they may be specific IP to a client or my employer. Otherwise, I hope this will benefit me and others. I look forward to reading positive feedback as well. I invite other to help me enrich the knowledge shared here.

I am a senior consultant for the Gimmal Group in Houston, TX. Our company specializes in Enterprise Content Management. Previously, we have been a Documentum shop; With the emergence of MOSS 2007, we have added MOSS as a strategic tool which compliments Documentum and other ECM systems. Having said that, SharePoint isn’t an full blown ECM system, but it offers many content management features to business for a very affordable price.

I look forward to writing more … later