Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Ways to create SharePoint list forms, part of SharePoint 2013: Customizing List Forms.
- This is a time of transition in terms of SharePoint lists and the tools that you and I will use to create and modify the forms for those lists. Let me give you an overview of the current geography. If you wanna create SharePoint list forms, the easiest way to create simple forms is simply to create your list. If you create a new contacts app, that app is provisioned with forms. If you create a new announcements list, that list app has forms. That's also true if we export data to create a list, for example from an Excel table or from an Access table, or if we import that data using one of the apps that can link to external data.
Now matter what you do, all of these are going to result in forms for your list. But the forms aren't that easy to modify, and they're not that stunning looking. They're very simple forms. So many of us have been using InfoPath Designer for a while to create more robust forms, to be able to add rules to forms and to be able to add logic, to be able to use our forms easily with workflows, for example. But InfoPath Designer isn't a sure thing anymore because in the fall of 2013, Microsoft announced that the current version of InfoPathDesigner is the last one we'll ever see.
There will be no InfoPath Designer 2015 or 2017. It will stop with 2013, and there will be a successor product. But they don't yet know what it is. So they've guaranteed support for forms and solutions created using InfoPath Designer through 2023, if you're running SharePoint Server on premises. Of course, more and more people are running SharePoint Server Online as part of Office 365, and forms in that environment will be supported until further notice, which is Microsoft's way of saying they don't yet know what the successor form (cut off) for InfoPath will be.
But at the SharePoint 2014 conference, there were a couple of different products demonstrated so that the developers there could weigh in on them. One was Access web apps. The forms that are created in Access Web Apps are easy to create, very interesting, and one of the demonstrations that was done actually used Access as the tool to be able to modify the default forms built into SharePoint. Not a bad thing. Not functionality we have yet, but something that they could show us as a demonstration.
And then, another possibility that was demonstrated was something called an Excel Survey, which you may or may not have heard of. But Excel Surveys began not in SharePoint but actually in OneDrive, because they're surveys that report their results back to an Excel spreadsheet. Now, we can store that in SharePoint, but we could also store that in OneDrive. Either would work. The important thing to note is that these two tools or their successors may ultimately be the replacement for InfoPath.
Now, there are some other tools that require coding. You might wonder, "What happened to SharePoint Designer? "I was working with that, "with SharePoint 2010." Yes, you were, but SharePoint Designer no longer allows us to create no-code forms because the form editor has actually been removed. This is what it looks like now, to be able to edit a form in SharePoint Designer. It's very similar to another fine tool that you can use to work with forms if you're interested in working with code.
And that's Visual Studio. If you want to work directly with your asp.net code, either Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer will let you do that. And another possibility is to use a third-party form creation tool. There are some listed here. There are others, as well. Some of the people working with SharePoint and working with SharePoint Forms believe that one possibility is Microsoft will do something it's done in the past, which is to purchase a best-of-breed tool that already exists and use that tool as the new SharePoint Form tool.
So keep watching this. It's not exactly clear which way we're going, but we have a lot of things to choose from, and a lot of tools that do different things in relationship to SharePoint list forms. What we'll be looking at in this course, SharePoint and the default forms that are created with list apps, the forms that we can create and modify with InfoPath Designer 2013, Access web apps and the forms that we can create and modify there, and finally, Excel Surveys.
A lot to cover. Let's get going.
- Setting options for default list forms
- Modifying form layouts with InfoPath Designer
- Creating an Access web app to use as a list form
- Creating Excel surveys
- Sharing the results from Excel surveys