InfoPath 2007 review

Price when reviewed

InfoPath, Microsoft’s electronic forms app, is now in the top three editions of Office and also available as a standalone app. New for 2007 is the ability to fill in forms and submit them via email, and to publish forms to a web server and have users fill them in there without needing InfoPath installed on their PCs.

InfoPath 2007 review

The InfoPath Forms Service is part of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, so you have to buy that or a standalone Forms Server to make use of this feature. There are some restrictions in what the Forms Server can do, mainly regarding security, so the InfoPath forms designer includes a compatibility checker that will warn if you use any features incompatible with the Forms Service. You can also design web-based forms to work on mobile devices, and design different views of the data, depending on the device, so users always get the best experience possible.

InfoPath forms can be used to gather metadata about other Office documents, with the form appearing at the top of the window, just under the Ribbon. Its complex data-validation rules help ensure the integrity of such data according to custom business rules.

InfoPath gathers data into small XML files, which can be saved to an ordinary network file store, to SharePoint, or the data can be submitted to SQL Server, another database or through BizTalk to any or multiple back-end data stores. Saving to SharePoint also allows complex workflows to be performed on the InfoPath data.

If you already have forms designed in Word or Excel, the InfoPath import wizard can convert these to the InfoPath format. The results depend on the clarity of the original, but usually give you a head start. Several new controls make form design easier, including a multiple-selection list box and a horizontally repeating table.

All the new options in InfoPath 2007 show that the app is growing up, and the ability to publish forms to a server so users only need an internet browser, is a leap forward. InfoPath is definitely a company tool and needs careful thought to implement properly, but it has great potential.


Software subcategoryOffice software


Processor requirement500MHz processor

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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