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Using Office applications with SharePoint 2013 : Using form libraries, Integrating Project with SharePoint

4/20/2014 3:26:03 AM
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Using form libraries

InfoPath forms are managed in form libraries, which are a specialized class of document libraries optimized to work with XML-based forms. A site owner can specify a particular InfoPath form as the form library’s document template. They can then use its browser-enabled document option to display InfoPath forms within the webpage, using InfoPath Form Services (IFS), which requires SharePoint Server Enterprise CALs. This allows for seamless integration with SharePoint’s web-based collaboration platform. Form libraries also have the option to allow for content type management and version control. They inherit all the other powerful features that a standard SharePoint library has to offer.

There are two InfoPath products:

  • InfoPath Designer 2013, which is used to design and publish forms.

  • InfoPath Filler 2013, which is used to enter data into a form. Many organizations do not use this product because forms are published as web forms and users use the browser to display the form and enter data.

A user can publish a form template directly from InfoPath Designer to a SharePoint form or document library in the same way that users can save Word documents directly from Word into a document library. Before an InfoPath user publishes a browser-compatible form template, they should run the Design Checker in InfoPath Designer to identify and fix any compatibility issues that the form’s design might have prior to publishing. Design Checker can be found on the File tab and is a great tool for final testing and review.


InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013

InfoPath 2013 has not changed much from InfoPath 2010, and that is also the same for IFS in SharePoint Server 2013. InfoPath 2013 has a new look, as do other Office 2013 client applications. The Microsoft Visual Studio Tools For Applications integrated development environment is removed from InfoPath Designer 2013. The developing environment is now Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 with the Visual Studio Tools For Applications 2012 add-on installed. However, no new functionality or scenarios have been introduced.

Integrating Project with SharePoint

Project can be used to share project plans with team members when integrated with SharePoint. Key features include the ability to create a project plan based on an existing SharePoint task list and dynamically produce task lists for new project plans. As with the other Office applications, Project can use SharePoint’s version control and real-time coauthoring features.

Note

Project Server enables the user to create and publish SharePoint project sites for dedicated project plans. When My Sites are used, users can see an aggregation of their SharePoint, Project Server, and Outlook/Exchange Server tasks on their My Tasks page. For example, users can update their existing Project Server assignments on the My Tasks page, and the results are synchronized to Project Server 2013.

You can connect tasks lists with Project using the browser or from within Project. In the browser, on the List tab, click Open With Project in the Connect & Export group. Task items stored in the task list will be directly imported into the project plan. This feature saves the Project author tedious data entry work because values, such as start dates, task progress, and due dates, are carried over into the plan.

To create a new project plan based on an existing task list, use the following steps:

  1. In Project, on the New tab of the Backstage view, click the New From SharePoint Task List to display the Import From SharePoint Tasks List dialog box.

  2. Enter the URL of the SharePoint site that contains the task list that you want to use and click Check Address.

  3. In the Tasks List drop-down field, select the task list and then click OK.

    A new project plan will be created using the imported task items and related metadata. The Info tab on the Backstage view allows you to sync your project plan, details the site and task list the project plan is connected to, and allows you to map Project fields with the columns in the task list.

If you already have a project plan, then you can save it and make your project tasks visible in a SharePoint task list. Once saved, team members can use SharePoint to add, modify, or delete tasks without having direct access to the project plan. You can then synchronize the updated tasks in Project.

To save and synchronize a Project file, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Save As tab on the Backstage view, click Sync With SharePoint.

  2. In the Sync With menu, select Existing SharePoint Site, type the URL of the SharePoint site that contains the tasks list, and then click Verify Site. A valid URL will populate the Tasks List drop-down box, as shown here.

    A screenshot of the Save As tab of the Backstage view.
  3. Select a task list, and then click Save.

The Project file is now enabled for synchronization with the selected task list, which contains a task item for every project task.

Note

A project plan can be synchronized only to a single task list at a given time.

 
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