How to create a browser enabled feedback form using Microsoft InfoPath

You may want to include a feedback form or questionnaire on your Share Point site. Not every one will have the InfoPath client installed on their local machine, so the best way to ensure that everyone can access the form is to web enable it.
 
Enabling the form for use within a web browser is fairly simple: the only drawback being that you will be fairly limited during design as to what controls and functionality you might use. Saying that, for a simple survey, you won’t need anything beyond the basics.
 
To start off it would be best to setup your site and document libraries first. (I will presume that you do not have a site setup already so we will start from there). Once the site and libraries have been setup, we will create the form in InfoPath.
 Setup your site
 
Open up your Share Point environment, click onSite Action >Create Site.
 
Once in the “New SharePoint Site” form, enter the Title and other fields. Click onCreate when done.
 
You will be taken to the front page of your new site. Click on Site actions and clickCreate. We will now create the library where we will keep our InfoPath forms.
 
Click onForm Library under Libraries: you will be taken to the new library form. Enter the name of the form and a description. In this exercise we will call the library “InfoPath” and the description would read something like “Library for storing InfoPath forms”.
Now selectNo under “Display this document library on the Quick Launch?” This library won’t be used directly and will be used to store the InfoPath XSN form we upload to the server. The next library we create will be the one that is used to create new instances of the form and will link to the XSN file in the InfoPath folder.
 
Go through the same motions above but click onDocument Library under Libraries instead. Enter the name and description (we shall call this one “MOSS Feedback”. Choose whether or not you want it to appear in the “Quick Launch” menu, and selectnone in the “Document Template” dropdown: click onCreate when done.
 
Now we have the basics setup in SharePoint. We will need to do more here later – but will continue setup after we have created the InfoPath form. For now we have all the URLs for the document libraries that we will need when setting up the forms Submit and Publishing settings.
 Create your form in InfoPath 2007
 
Open up InfoPath by going toStart >Programs >Microsoft Office >Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007.
 
If the “Getting Started” box is shown, click onDesign a Form Template. Under “Based On”, select theBlank icon. Make sure that “Enable browser-compatible features only” is checked (as were going to target this and web users that don’t necessarily have InfoPath installed).
 
Clicking OK opens up a new, blank for – ready for our design. For this exercise, we will create a simple form for gathering feedback from a user of the SharePoint site. Because we don’t want the form to be too long and involve lots of scrolling for the user, we will have a separate view for each question.
 
Let’s start buy modifying our views. On the menu, go toView andManage Views. The Views panel should be shown on the right of the design environment. Double clickView 1 (Default) and change its name to “Q1”.
Under “Actions” clickAdd a New View. Enter “Q2” for his view.
 
Now we are going to modify the “Q1” view. Select it in the View panel. Enter some text on the page like “1. What did you think of the site design?” Now we will add a control: click onInsert >More Controls. The Controls panel will be shown on the right.
 
We are going to add an Option Button control to the form. Double click or drag the Option Button to the form. You will be asked how many options to have. To keep it simple I set it to 2.
 
Change the “Field 1” text for each option box to read something like “liked it” and “didn’t like it”. You may want to change the name of the field used to store the selected value of these Option Buttons.
Click onView >Data Source and the Data Source panel will be shown. Double clickField 1. In the dialog, change the name to “SiteDesign”.
 
Now go back to the Controls panel and add a Button control to the form. This will be our Next button to open up the “Q2” view. Double click the button: change the label to “Next”.
We will need to create a Rule for this button so that it displays the next view.
Click onRules >Add and enter the rules name. Now click onAdd Action; the action dialogue we be displayed.
In the Action dropdown list, selectSwitch Views. In the View dropdown list, select “Q2”. Click OK until you have closed all the dialogue boxes.
 
We want to modify the “Q2” view now. To open the view, on the menu selectView andQ2. Add some text and a control for the answer.
 
Once we have “Q2” setup, we want to configure the form to submit to the “MOSS Feedback” document library we had set up earlier.
 
Go toTools >Submit Options: the “Submit Options” dialogue will open up.
Check theAllow users to submit this form box, and selectSharePoint document library from the dropdown list: clickAdd.
 
In the Data Connection Wizard, enter the document library you want to store the InfoPath forms into; in this case “http://mycheshireteamsdev/sites/sandbox/MOSS Feedback”. (Make sure you put the full URL in, I’ve made the mistake a couple of time of simply putting the document library name in, and the Submission would fail).
 
We will now create a formula that will save any new forms into the MOSS Feedback library with a unique name.
 
We are going to call the form “Feedback” with the current date and time on the end. To do this we enter a formula, concat(“”Feedback “”, now()), in the File Name box.
ClickNext,Finish, andOK.
 
Now we need to Publish the form: on the menu, clickFile >Publish.
Make sure that “To a SharePoint server with our without InfoPath Forms Services”: clickNext.
Enter the SharePoint services site (i.e. http://mycheshireteamsdev/), clickNext.
Check “Enable this form to be filled out using a browser”, and selectSite Content Type: clickNext.
SelectCreate a new content type, and base the content type onForm: clickNext.
Enter a name and description: clickNext.
Now Enter a location and file name for the template (i.e. http://mycheshireteamsdev/sites/sandbox/InfoPath/MOSS.xsn). Then clickNext twice andPublish.
 
Finally, you will have the option to “Manage your new Content Type”, or view the form in a browser. We won’t need to change any settings for the Content Type.
 Setting up the Document Library
 
Earlier we created a Document Library that will store all of our new forms created from the XSN form stored in the InfoPath Library.
 
In your site, browse toView All Site Content >MOSS Feedback >Settings >Document Library Settings: now click onAdvanced Settings.
 
In the Advanced Settings page, you will be able to specify where any submitted forms should go to.
 
First off, we need to change “Allow management of content types?” toYes. Since we want to have the form accessible via the web client, we need to selectDisplay as a Web page under “Opening browser-enabled documents”.
The enter values as follows:
 
Destination name = MOSS Feedback
URL = http://mycheshireteamsdev/sites/sandbox/MOSS Feedback/
 
We then need to tell the Document Library what content type it should allow. Go to the Content Types section under the Document Library settings and click onAdd from existing site content types.
 
Find “Moss Feedback Form” in the list and move it to the right hand list box. ClickOK.
 
We will want to hide the default content type for this library and make our type the default: click onChange new button order and default content type.
 
Uncheck the “visible” checkbox for “Document” and change the order for our content type to 1. ClickOK.
 
Now to test our form: go to the MOSS Feedback document library and click onNew >Moss Feedback Form. If all was setup correctly the demo form we created should open up in the browser window. Select an option and clickSubmit.
 Troubleshooting
 
You may run into a couple of problems during the publication and running of the InfoPath form, so here are a few things to look out for.
 Under Site Collection Administration > Site Features, make sure that “Office SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection features” is activated.Under Site Administration  > Site Features; make sure that “Office SharePoint Server Enterprise Site features” is activated.

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2 thoughts on “How to create a browser enabled feedback form using Microsoft InfoPath

  1. Thanks for the post – a good pathway to seeing how InfoPath can work with SharePoint ( though I have to say I am a little underwhelmed )

    Why would someone want to do a simple survey through InfoPath when its already implemented better through OOTB SharePoint 2010 Surveys.

    I found it much quicker to set up a questionaire in SharePoint using a Survey. you can view all the responses as an RSS feed .
    You can export all the survey results to Excel when your done.

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