In Microsoft InfoPath 2010, it is easier to build rich forms-based applications on top of the SharePoint Server 2010 platform. InfoPath 2010 provides optimum integration with other 2010 Microsoft Office system programs and servers, which helps improve the way that you collect, organize, and manage data. New features make it faster and easier to design great-looking, powerful forms for gathering reliable data.
New ribbon user interface
The new InfoPath 2010 ribbon, part of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, provides a cleaner and simpler user interface for people who are filling out and designing forms by displaying commands in a tab structure, organized by tasks that are related to a certain activity.
Clicking the File tab opens the new Microsoft Office Backstage view. The Backstage view provides a single place for information and options that are essential to the task you are performing. Instead of clicking through several dialog boxes to perform an action, such as publishing your form, you can now complete tasks in fewer steps than with menus and toolbars.
Design form template
In InfoPath 2010, choose the type of form you want to create and then quickly design and customize the form. With InfoPath 2010 forms you can gather data from employees, partners, suppliers, and others who have access to your forms.
Select a form type Choose from a variety of form templates that help you design a form to match your needs. As you click each form template, a description of template appears. To simplify the form design process, some templates include the default layout table or automatic configuration of options such as the submit location of your form.
Lay out form structure Insert a pre-built page layout template and use pre-built layout tables — columns, alignments, and label options — to start building your form. Choose layout styles and colors to create forms that are both functional and visually appealing. Layout styles and color schemes are combined in the theme gallery on the Page Design tab.
Add form controls The new controls gallery in the ribbon provides a fast way to add new controls and modify the control properties. New controls for InfoPath 2010 include the following:
Picture Button Use a custom image as a button.
Date and Time Picker With this control, user can type a date and time or select a date from a calendar display.
Hyperlink Insert hyperlinks when filling out a form.
Person/Group Picker Type or select a person from a SharePoint list.
Signature Line Users can digitally sign the form.
External data picker Type or select items from external systems through Business Connectivity Services (BCS).
Add Rules to your forms With new quick rules that have pre-built conditions and actions, you can use the default options or create custom rules. An improved rules management user interface helps you design forms with rules to validate data, format the form, or perform other actions with a few clicks and without writing any code.
Publish form templates The new Quick Publish button in the Backstage view enables you to publish SharePoint list forms in a single click. The new Quick Publish can also republish any form to the same location in one click. You no longer have to navigate through multiple dialog boxes each time you want to make an update and republish the form.
Create forms for SharePoint lists Extend and enhance SharePoint forms used for creating, editing, and viewing items in a SharePoint list. You can create new forms or modify existing lists.
You can modify the layout, create additional views, set field values, and add rules to validate data and show or hide sections of the form. The new Quick Publish publishes the SharePoint form in one click.
Use SharePoint Workspace for offline form completion of SharePoint lists Users can take SharePoint lists and libraries offline in SharePoint Workspace. InfoPath 2010 is hosted inside SharePoint Workspace and is used for viewing and entering data in all offline SharePoint forms. Information entered informs while offline is automatically synchronized after a connection to the server is established.
Richer Web forms
InfoPath 2010 includes more supported features in Web browser forms. Web browser forms provide a more consistent user experience matching the experience when using the InfoPath application. Controls and functionality supported in browser forms include the following:
Bulleted, numbered, and plain lists
Multiple selection list boxes
Choice group and section
Date and time controls
Data that is displayed in controls can now be filtered in Web browser forms. You can apply filters to limit the number of items displayed to a user in list boxes, drop-down list boxes, combo boxes, repeating tables, and repeating sections.
Host forms on Portal Pages using the InfoPath form Web Part
In SharePoint Server 2010, it is now easier to host your forms on Web pages using the InfoPath Form Web Part. Previously, users who wanted to host their InfoPath forms on Web pages had to write code in Visual Studio. Now, without writing any code, you can add the InfoPath Form Web Part to a Web Part page and reference your published form.
You can use the Web Part to host any InfoPath Web browser form that has been published to a SharePoint list or form library. You can also connect it to other Web Parts on the page to send or receive data.
Standard compliant browser forms
InfoPath 2010 Web browser forms are now compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) AA. You can create forms that are accessible to users with disabilities.