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Building HTML Forms for SharePoint 2013

All Access 2013 forms are built with HTML as the underlying code. As Darvish Shadravan notes in a video tutorial titled Access 2013 HTML Forms, Access 2013 includes an HTML editor which is “very, very easy to use.” The editor permits drag and drop actions. As well, the editor can be used to work with forms design in a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) view.

A very important advantage presented by building HTML forms is the very wide set of clients capable of interacting with these forms. In fact, any browser capable of working with HTML 5 code will work as well as any other, regardless of whether the browser runs on an iPhone or a Windows PC.

The HTML editor may also be of interest to SharePoint 2013 stakeholders. In fact, the editor has limited capabilities, so personnel from LoBs who may not be very knowledgeable about online forms, but, nevertheless can play an essential role in the architecture phase for forms (to ensure, for example, fields are included for all of the important information to be captured) can participate, safely in the process.

This video includes a close study of an Access 2013 form built with the HTML editor, including a runtime view of the form and a review of its structure in the editor. Darvish explains developers can expedite their introduction to Access 2013 HTML Forms by opting to include a “Dev” site collection in a sand box instance of SharePoint Server 2013. This type of site collection includes the hooks required for Access 2013 and any of the other methods conforming to Microsoft’s cloud app model. Of course, he recommends deciding to do this prototyping in SharePoint Online, as accomplishing the same objectives with on premises SharePoint Server 2013 will certainly be a lot more work.

The forms in this demonstration are built on the same Records Management theme we used in our exploration of using InfoPath 2013 to build electronic forms. The form examples demonstrate the conditional formatting capabilities of using Access 2013 for the task. As well, we demonstrate how the data collected by the forms are stored in the database.

Ira Michael Blonder

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