Review of InfoPath forms functionality in Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)
I got some hands on experience about Business Productivity Online Suite(BPOS). Its a great tool for small companies who wants to have exchange server, office communicator, sharepoint and live meeting for their business needs. I do have experience with SharePoint and InfoPath but this assignment was quite challenging.
Well, What’s the challenge?
- New assignment requires me to use InfoPath forms to reduce client’s paperwork.
- Many bloggers have written that InfoPath form is not supported in BPOS standard suite.
- Client does not want to invest in buying InfoPath. Many of client users are contractors and client does not want to buy license if they need to.
So how I am going to do?
InfoPath is supported in BPOS standard suite. Even browser enabled InfoPath forms are supported.
So why am I writing review?
Well, even though InfoPath is supported, there are lots of limitations that I want to share with you. Of course, if the client would have got InfoPath license, my life would have been much easier but I love challenges. I had previously not worked with browser enabled form so it was a new concept for me. When I initial though of creating solution, I thought that InfoPath form is backed by .Net power so I don’t need to worry about anything and I will quickly put the solution but I was wrong. Here is a good list of InfoPath 2007 features those are not supported in InfoPath Form Service. This is a limitation of Form Service. On the top of it, there is a limitation of BPOS which cripples how we develop the solution.
Here is a list of limitations of InfoPath form Service and BPOS that I confronted so far.
- I cannot use any kind of .Net code
- I cannot retrieve data from SharePoint List/Web Service (throws evergreen LogID 5566 error. This error occurs because of certificate name – as per support response) using custom views.
- Some of the controls are not supported in browser enabled forms.
- BPOS does not support data connection library in standard suite so I have to manually change the URL while moving forms from staging site to production.
- Browser enabled form does not support mobile view.
Here is a list of what you can do with it?
- I can only use Rules, Conditional formatting and Data Validations.
- You can get all data from the list but not from particular view.
- It supports multiple view. You can even hide view and open it (for example) by clicking on a button.