Sunday, December 09, 2007

To infopath or not to infopath, that is the question

I'm reading the book "Pro Infopath 2007" by Philo Janus. It's a great book and an easy read. It and has spurred some of my thoughts on the topic of infopath.... specifically when does it really makes sense for an organization to build Infopath based solutions?

After some experimentation with infopath lately, specifically forms services - I like what it can do. There is no question it's a great form tool for quickly building and deploying forms. For example, in 20 minutes and having very limited experience with it I put together a somewhat complex form with several controls and had it up and working in production for a change control procedure.

What I'm in process of determining is where does it cross the line in terms of where it is a better decision to build in ASP.NET vs. Infopath. There is a point where the complexity of the form reaches a level where you start working around the limitations of Infopath and doing a lot of code-behind, but I think up until you reach that point Infopath is a wonderful tool. Just like with anything in technology, if you try and 'push' something into a space it was not intended to be you will introduce a number of problems later on.

So I will post my findings when I complete my thoughts on this, but so far I think Infopath 2007 can fill a void in many organziations (just not ALL of those voids).

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