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Chapter 26. Integrating with InfoPath an... > Working with InfoPath Forms

Working with InfoPath Forms

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003—called XDocs during its early beta period—is a forms-based XML document generation and editing application. InfoPath’s primary application is producing structured data from common business forms, such as expense reports, employee performance reviews, vendor evaluations, time cards, and sales call reports. The structure of the data is defined by an underlying XML schema, which validates users’ entries in the form’s controls—text boxes, option buttons, drop-down lists, and check boxes. When you design a form from scratch, InfoPath generates the schema for you. InfoPath also can infer a schema from an existing XML document. These features mean that you don’t need to be an XML expert to produce useful data entry and editing forms with InfoPath 2003.

InfoPath forms share many of the features of Access’s data access pages (DAP), such as a design surface on which you place controls that are bound to an underlying data source. InfoPath, however, is self-contained and doesn’t rely on the Office Web Components for data binding, record navigation, and editing. You display and edit data in InfoPath sections or repeating sections, which correspond to Access’s bound forms and subforms. DAP and InfoPath use VBScript or JScript event handlers to customize form behavior.


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