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Chapter 15. Integration with Office 2003... > Working with Access Data in InfoPath - Pg. 546

Integration with Office 2003 and SharePoint Services 546 Of course, the main purpose of InfoPath is to capture information, and this is where InfoPath crosses paths with Access. Because InfoPath is designed to capture data, it supports saving the data it captures in a variety of ways. The native data source for InfoPath is XML. InfoPath saves captured data as an XML file that contains not only the structure of the form, but also the data that was entered in that form. Additionally, InfoPath allows data capture in Access and SQL Server. InfoPath makes it easy to build forms from an Access database and link the fields in that form directly to Access. In many ways, InfoPath functions like the Access Form object, but it is a bit more robust and extensible. There are two main ways to connect InfoPath forms to Access databases, and we'll discuss each of these in turn. Designing InfoPath Forms Based on Access Tables The primary way to connect an InfoPath form to an Access database is to use the data source to build the form. Because the form is built directly from the table, InfoPath ensures that all the appro- priate fields are on the form and takes care of all the links to data. Suppose you want to create a form that will allow you to manage and maintain the product list for your business. You want the form to be available to a specific number of your employees so that they can participate in keeping the product list up to date. As an example of how we might do this using Access and InfoPath, let's build a form using the Products table in the Northwind database. Use an Access table as the basis for an InfoPath form 1. 2. 3. Start Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003. Click Design A Form on the File menu or in the Office 2003 task pane. In the task pane, select New From Data Source in the Design A Form section, shown here: