Thursday, June 29, 2006

Problems with InfoPath Forms on Forms Server

I have started to experiment with forms server and have noticed some things that are good to know, and I also noticed that in news groups and forums there are some FAQ's that need to be answered.

FAQ : "Where do I get VSTA"?
People who try to add code to web enabled forms are getting prompted that they cannot use this until they install VSTA. Most people dont bother reading the whole message and go to the internet and look for it. VSTA is a part of the office12 installation, but when you choose the default installation it doesnt get installed. You will have to go to "add-remove programs", click on office 12, and pick "change" to get to the feature selection screen:

Notice how the box next to infopath is gray? this is because not all the components were installed (namely the VSTA).

Click the gray box and select "run all from my computer" and then click the "continue" button to install. next time you open infopath you will have the ability to add managed code to your forms.

FAQ - I wrote code in my form in jscript or vbscript, but I now want it in c#

Since web forms only support the .net managed code and not the scripting languages, you will have to remove the client code, and change the scripting language to a .NET language.

To do that, open the "tools" menu, select "Form Options" and switch to the "programming" section. Here you will have the button to remove existing code, and after you do that you can switch to a different language of your choice.

Notice in this screen that task panes will not be ported to the web form (naturaly).

Text boxes cannot be vertical in web forms

Rich text boxes cannot contain images

Master-detail not supported in web forms
Ok, this is dissapointing, and hopefully microsoft will figure out a way to do this in future releases or service packs. Meanwhile, it is not possible to use the Master-Detail functionality in a form published as a web form to the form server. (note the validation task pane)

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