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InfoPath 2013 Will Be the Last Desktop Client for this Application, What are Businesses in Need of a No-Code Forms Engine for On Premises Systems to Do?

On February 5, 2014, Gayan Peiris, a Microsoft(R) SharePoint Technology Specialist based in Australia published a very short post to MSDN’s SharePoint Blog. The title of the post is “Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms”. The one sentence in the post sure to be “heard round the world” reads as follows: “In an effort to streamline our investments and deliver a more integrated Office forms user experience, we’re retiring InfoPath and investing in new forms technology across SharePoint, Access, and Word.” So what is a business committed to an on premise engine for building no-code forms to do?

In anticipation of the eventual announcement of this decision by Microsoft sometime after the debut of the new SharePoint Online, Office 365 effort, SharePoint-Videos.com hosted an online course, led by Darvish Shadravan, titled SharePoint 2013: Enterprise Forms. As anyone clicking on the above link will note, this online course has been used to produce a set of video tutorials any business committed to the Microsoft approach to no-code, on premises enterprise forms development can purchase for local, unlimited viewing, by an unlimited number of users.

As our instructor points out, there are a number of good reasons for the decision by Microsoft to sunset on premise InfoPath. Some of these reasons have to do with the new App model for SharePoint 2013, and the need for a better method of isolating the server from potential threats represented by high use trusted, albeit custom, solutions.

Access 2013, in fact, can be successfully used to accomplish much of the functionality of InfoPath. Of course there will be the issue of porting old forms over to an Access 2013 publishing model, but given the fact both are built on XML publishing methods, the task may not be too arduous, especially for businesses with the requisite internal teams familiar with InfoPath and Access.

If your organization faces an important decision about the best way to proceed, given the sunset of InfoPath, please contact us.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved