Get started: Create a meeting note system with InfoPath and SharePoint

By making minor modifications to a sample form template from Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 and creating a document library on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, you can implement a system that you can use to take meeting notes in a consistent way, send the notes to every meeting attendee, and store those notes in a SharePoint Services document library. This article show you how to create this system.

In this article

Overview

Before you begin

Create your new meeting notes system

Update the form template

Overview

Included with InfoPath is a sample form template that was designed specifically to collect common meeting data, such as agendas, attendees, discussion items, and action items. The sample form template is configured so that you can send a copy of a form that is based on the template through e-mail to every meeting attendee.

The sample form template is configured to help the note taker collect the data that is typically recorded in a meeting. The controls are arranged in logical sections to help the note taker collect the right data and also relieve him from collecting data that can be automatically generated. The layout of the controls also provides a consistent framework, so instead of the note taker having to remember what kind of data to collect he just fills in the blanks as the meeting progresses.

Although you can modify the form template to collect additional data, we suggest you use the existing form template as is with one modification that allows you to save completed forms to a SharePoint document library. You can then test the effectiveness of your system and use what you learned during the test to modify the form template to fit the needs of your group.

You can use this sample form template in your system by first publishing the sample form template to a new document library on a SharePoint site. You will create a new document library as part of the publishing process. After you publish the form template and create the new document library, you will then modify the form template so that it saves a completed form to the new document library and sends a copy of the form to meeting attendees.

To use this system, the note taker goes to the document library and creates a new form that is based on this form template. During a meeting, the note taker fills in the data in the appropriate controls on the form. At the end of the meeting, the note taker submits the form to the document library and a copy of the form is sent to each meeting attendee. Those people who did not attend the meeting can read the notes by going to the document library and opening the form in InfoPath.

The sample form template contains the following sections:

Meeting agenda form template with four sections

1. Title section contains controls for the name, purpose, location, and meeting dates and times. The Date control automatically displays the date the form was created. By default, the End Time text box control automatically displays a time that is one hour later than the time entered in the Start Time text box control.

2. Attendees repeating section contains controls for the names and e-mail addresses of each meeting attendee. When the note taker submits the completed form, each attendee listed in this section receives a copy of the completed form.

3. Discussion item repeating section contains controls for each presenter (an attendee who leads a discussion) and notes about each discussion item. The Presenter drop-down list box control displays names from the Attendees section.

4. Action item repeating section contains controls for the name, assignment, and due date for each action item. The Assignment drop-down list box control displays the names from the Attendees section.

If you are new to InfoPath, the following articles will help you understand the important concepts and better define the terms that you will encounter as you complete each task in this article. You'll also find these links in the appropriate sections in this article in case you need more information as you complete a task.

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Before you begin

You'll need the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and, at the minimum, design permissions to the site collection of the SharePoint site that you will use for this system. If you can create a document library on your site collection, you have the appropriate permissions. People who need to see the meeting notes will need read permissions to your site collection. Contact the administrator of your site collection if you need permissions to create a document library or to set up read permissions to your site collection for your form users.

You'll also need at least one e-mail address to which you can send a copy of the completed form, and an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, that is configured to receive messages so that you can test the form template.

This article assumes that you are using a default configuration of SharePoint Services.

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Create your new meeting notes system

To create this system, you will do the following:

  1. Open and save the sample form template.

  2. Publish the sample form template to create a new document library for the meeting notes.

  3. Modify the sample form template to save completed forms to the new document library and then send a copy to each attendee.

  4. Publish the modified form template.

  5. Test the modified form template and the new document library by creating and submitting test forms that are based on this form template.

Open and save the form template

  1. On the File menu, click Design a Form Template.

  2. Under Open a form template, click Customize a Sample.

  3. Under Customize a Sample, double-click Sample-Meeting Agenda.

  4. On the File menu, click Save.

  5. If InfoPath displays a message about publishing the form template, click OK.

  6. In the Save As dialog box, specify the location where you want to save the form template.

  7. In the File name box, type a name for the form template.

  8. In the Save as type list, click InfoPath Form Template, and then click Save.

Publish the form template

As part of the publishing process, you will create a new document library.

To learn more about publishing a form template, see the article Introduction to publishing a form template.

  1. On the File menu, click Publish.

  2. On the first page of the Publishing Wizard, click To a SharePoint server with or without InfoPath Forms Services, and then click Next.

  3. On the next page of the wizard, in the Enter the location of your SharePoint or InfoPath Forms Services site box, type the URL of your site collection on the SharePoint site, and then click Next. For example, to use a site collection with the URL http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeesOnly, you type http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeesOnly in the box.

  4. On the next page, click Document Library, and then click Next.

  5. On the next page, click Create a new document library, and then click Next.

  6. On the next page, type a name and description for the new document library, and then click Next.

  7. Accept the suggested columns and click Next.

  8. On the last page of the wizard, verify that the information shown is correct, and then click Publish.

  9. Click Close.

    You will receive a confirmation on the last page of the wizard when you successfully publish the form template.

Write down the URL of the new document library; you will need this information later in this article. The URL of the new document library will be the URL of the site collection, followed by a forward slash (/), followed by the name of the document library. For example, if you created a new document library called MeetingNotes in the site collection with the URL http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeeOnly, the URL of the new document library will be http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeeOnly/MeetingNotes.

Modify the form template

This section shows you how to do the following:

  • Add a new submit data connection that saves the completed form to the new document library.

    To learn more about submit data connections, see Introduction to data connections.

  • Change the options for the data connection so that it saves the completed form to the document library and sends a copy of the completed form to each meeting attendee.

  • Configure the form template so that it closes the form after submitting.

To learn more about submitting a form that is based on a form template, see the article Introduction to submitting form data.

Add a new submit data connection

In this section, you will create a new submit data connection to the new document library and configure the data connection to save the form with a unique name. The form name will be a combination of the meeting title and the date on which the form was created.

Start creating the data connection
  1. On the Tools menu, click Data Connections.

  2. In the Data Connections dialog box, click Add.

  3. In the Data Connection Wizard, click Create a new connection to, click Submit data, and then click Next.

  4. On the next page of the wizard, click To a document library on a SharePoint site, and then click Next. Selecting a destination for submitted data in the Data Connection Wizard

  5. On the next page of the wizard, in the Document library box, type the URL of the document library that you created in the previous section. For example, to use a document library with the URL http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeesOnly/MeetingNotes, you type http://www.adventureworks.com/EmployeesOnly/MeetingNotes in the Document library box.

    The next section steps you through the process of defining a unique form name, which requires that you stay on this page of the wizard. Don't click Next yet.

Define a unique form name

The form template saves the form to a document library with a default name. If you use the default name, the new document library will store only one completed form. In this section, you will configure the data connection to save forms that are based on this form template with a name that is composed of the meeting title and the meeting date. You do this by creating a formula that uses an XPath function.

To learn more about formulas and functions, see Add a formula to a control.

  1. Click Insert Formula Formula button .

  2. In the Insert Formula dialog box, click Insert Function.

  3. In the Categories list of the Insert Function dialog box, click Text.

  4. In the Functions list, click concat, and then click OK.

  5. In the Formula box, double-click the first instance of double click to insert field.

    Double-clicking to insert the first field to use as part of the form name

  6. In the Select a Field or Group dialog box, open meeting, click meetingTitle and then click OK.

    Selecting the meetingTitle field in the Select a Field or Group dialog box

  7. In the Formula box, click the second instance of double click to insert field to select it (don't double-click it).

    Double-clicking to insert a dash character as part of the form name

  8. Type a double quotation mark ("), followed by a dash (-), followed by another double quotation mark.

    Inserting a dash character as part of the form's name

  9. Double-click the third instance of double click to insert field.

    Double-clicking to insert another field to use as part of the form name

  10. In the Select a Field or Group dialog box, open meeting, click meetingDate, and then click OK.

    Selecting the meetingDate field in the Select a Field or Group dialog box

    The Insert Formula dialog box should look like the following:

    The finished formula in the Insert Formula dialog box that builds the form name

  11. To check the formula for the correct syntax, in the Insert Formula dialog box, click Verify Formula.

  12. If the formula does not contain any errors, click OK to close the dialog box.

Finish setting up the data connection
  1. In the wizard, click Next.

  2. On the next page of the wizard, in the Enter a name for this data connection box, type a descriptive name for this submit data connection.

  3. Verify that the information is correct in the Summary section, and then click Finish.

  4. Click Close.

  5. On the File menu, click Save.

Change the submit options to use both submit data connections

  1. On the Tools menu, click Submit Options.

  2. In the Submit Options dialog box, select the Allow users to submit this form check box.

  3. Click Perform custom action using Rules, and then click Rules.

  4. In the Rules for Submitting Forms dialog box, click Add.

  5. Click Add Action.

  6. In the Action box, click Submit using a data connection.

  7. In the Data connection list, click the data connection to the document library that you created in the previous section, and then click OK.

  8. Click Add Action.

  9. In the Action box, click Submit using a data connection.

  10. In the Data connection list, click Main submit, and then click OK.

    You will use the Main submit data connection to send a copy of the form to each attendee.

  11. In the Name box of the Rule dialog box, type Submit rules to identify the rule that you just created.

  12. Click OK twice.

Configure the form template to close the form after submitting.

  1. In the Submit Options dialog box, click Advanced.

  2. In the After submit list, click Close the form.

  3. Click OK.

  4. On the File menu, click Save.

Publish the form template

After modifying the form template, you need to publish it to the document library to deploy the modifications.

  1. On the File menu, click Publish.

  2. On the first page of the Publishing Wizard, click To a SharePoint server with or without InfoPath Forms Services, and then click Next.

  3. On the next page of the wizard, in the Enter the location of your SharePoint or InfoPath Forms Services site box, type the location of your document library in the site collection of your SharePoint site, and then click Next.

  4. On the next page, click Document Library, and then click Next.

  5. On the next page, click Update the form template in an existing document library.

  6. In the Document library to update list, click your document library, and then click Next.

  7. Click Next.

  8. On the next page, verify that the information shown is correct, and then click Publish.

    You will receive a confirmation on the last page of the wizard when you successfully publish the form template.

Test the form template and the site

  1. On the last page of the Publishing Wizard, click Open this document library and then click Close.

  2. In the document library, click New.

  3. Fill out the form as if you were taking notes in a meeting. After you enter a time in the Start time text box control, press the TAB key to move to the next control. InfoPath automatically fills in the End time text box control.

  4. Enter the e-mail address of a meeting attendee in the E-mail box of the Attendee section. To add additional attendees and their e-mail addresses, click Add attendee.

  5. On the InfoPath toolbar, click Submit.

  6. In the dialog box, verify that the correct e-mail addresses appear.

  7. Click Send, and then click OK to close the dialog box.

Your meeting notes should appear in the document library and should also arrive in your e-mail inbox as a new e-mail message.

After testing the system by creating and submitting a few forms based on this form template, you can start using the system to store and distribute your meeting notes.

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Update the form template

After other people have tried out your new system by creating and saving meeting notes, you may want to change the design of the form template in response to their feedback. To make changes to the form template, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the form template from the document library, modify the form template as needed, and then save your changes.

  2. Commit your changes to the document library by publishing the form template.

Open the form template from the document library

  1. Open the document library.

  2. Click Settings, and then click Form Library settings.

  3. Under General Settings, click Advanced settings.

  4. Under the Template URL box in the Document Template section, click Edit Template.

  5. If InfoPath displays a message about publishing the form template, click Yes.

After modifying your form template, save the form template before publishing it.

Publish the form template

After making any modifications, you need to publish the modified form template to the document library.

  1. On the File menu, click Publish.

  2. On the first page of the Publishing Wizard, click To a SharePoint server with or without InfoPath Forms Services, and then click Next.

  3. On the next page of the wizard, in the Enter the location of your SharePoint or InfoPath Forms Services site box, type the location of your document library in the site collection of your SharePoint site, and then click Next.

  4. On the next page, click Document Library, and then click Next.

  5. On the next page, click Update the form template in an existing document library.

  6. In the Document library to update list, click your document library, and then click Next.

  7. Click Next.

  8. On the next page verify that the information shown is correct, and then click Publish.

  9. Click Close.

    You will receive a confirmation on the last page of the wizard when you have successfully published the form template.

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