What is the future of InfoPath?
Microsoft’s official guidance released earlier this year declared that InfoPath 2013 will be the last version of InfoPath. This led to widespread panic (not the band) on the part of many individuals, and numerous rants about how InfoPath should be avoided at all costs and how migration to alternatives should be initiated immediately.
Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said for InfoPath.
There are three important points to keep in mind:
- InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath Forms Services will be supported till 2023 – I work on a regular basis with companies that are just now migrating to SharePoint 2010 or 2013. These are prime candidates for still being able to reap the benefits of InfoPath.
- There will be a migration path for forms – Microsoft is aware that companies have invested heavily in InfoPath. The announcement about the last version of InfoPath mentions Microsoft will be developing future forms with a migration path from InfoPath. I strongly suspect that InfoPath capabilities will probably be rolled into future Access releases.
- I haven’t owned one car for more than 6 years in my life yet.
Okay, so that last point may not look like something that’s important to keep in mind. But here’s the point: when the remaining lifecycle for a product is going to be longer than a major commitment, like owning a vehicle, I have to question the validity of declaring that it’s time to jump ship on a product.
InfoPath is still a VERY valid option for digital forms development, especially if your company is just moving to SharePoint 2010.
While there are some drawbacks to InfoPath, like not being able to access managed metadata directly, the easy learning curve, price point, and integration into SharePoint all make InfoPath a very attractive option. You can sit on the sidelines and wait to see what Microsoft’s next form solution will be, you can buy an expensive third-party piece of software to make forms, or you can start working with InfoPath and have forms built for your SharePoint environment today.
PremierPoint Solutions offers two courses on creating and using InfoPath forms, and automatically routing those forms through the creation and use of SharePoint Designer workflows.
SharePoint 2013 Workflow and InfoPath No-Code Development is a 4-day course which delves deeply into creating and using forms and workflows.
InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 No-Code Workflow Deep Dive is the comparable 4-day course for SharePoint 2010.
Learn more about these and other SharePoint training courses at http://premierpointsolutions.com.
Post Script: go to https://officeforms.uservoice.com/ to tell Microsoft what you want to see in the next generation of forms and vote on others’ suggestions!