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Publishing Database Connections for InfoPath 2010 to SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise

Any/all SQL Server database connections that are required to properly complete InfoPath 2010 forms must be published to SharePoint Server 2010 if other users are to have access to these forms. In a video titled Store database connections in an InfoPath form to a data connection library. The intended audience for this video tutorial are SharePoint Administrators. In order to work with the demonstration viewers should have access to a running SQL Server instance. Finally, access to Microsoft’s demonstration database, Adventure World, will prove to be very helpful.

As is pointed out in our video tutorial, any connections to an SQL Server database that are made to produce an InfoPath 2010 working form are actually stored locally on the computer used to produce the form. We demonstrated where the connections are stored within the “My Computer” folder of the operating disk. However, once the form is stored on SharePoint 2010 enterprise the database connections will have to be stored on the server, in a Data Connection Library, or else the form will not be usable by others within an organization.

The process of storing the SQL Server database connections to a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise server actually starts by locally revisiting the operations required to complete the form. The Infopath 2010 “Preview” feature should be used to go through each and every one of the operations included in the form. Once the flow of the form is fully assimilated, the form should be published to the SharePoint 2010 Enterprise server.

However, as we demonstrate in our video tutorial, the server will not accept the uploaded form. The problem is that the SQL Server database connections must be established for the server before the form, itself, can be uploaded. Before setting the database connections, the “Cross Domain Access” feature of the InfoPath Forms Services Settings must be turned on. As well a Data Connection Library where .udc (User Data Connection file format) files can be stored must be created. Only SharePoint Administrators will have the privileges to create the Data Connection Library and turn on the required feature.

We demonstrate how to create the Library for the target file types. The next step involves editing the completed InfoPath 2010 form to replace each of the database connections with new database connections for the server. In fact, the “Convert to Connection File” included in InfoPath 2010 is used in our video tutorial to instruct the server as to the intended URL settings for each of these connections. Once the locations have been set, the server will accomplish the rest of the task.

This tutorial presents a procedure that can deliver substantial benefits to organizations looking to widely implement forms created with InfoPath 2010. If you would like to discuss this tutorial or your objectives at greater length, then please do contact us. You can telephone us at (630) 786-7026, or contact us via email to further a discussion. Of course we are happy to speak about your overall SharePoint development plans, as well.

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