Deprecating features within SharePoint is always a hot topic and in our July webinar things were no different. The webinar focused on InfoPath deprecation and with good reason – Microsoft InfoPath is an extremely popular application in the Microsoft Office suite that can be used to design, fill, move and submit electronic forms. However, InfoPath has become outdated and some features are dying (the last update was 2013).
Rencore and skybow have teamed up to provide a solution for life after InfoPath, and within July’s webinar live Q&A session, attendees proposed many burning questions, which were mostly answered – you can catch up on-demand here, but for those questions that came after, or could not be answered due to time restriction, our very own MVP, MCM and MCSM Erwin van Hunen, and skybow’s serial MVP Adis Jugo have answered the most pertinent ones below.
Q: Have you heard that Flow should actually replace SharePoint Workflow?
Erwin: “There is no official statement from Microsoft that Flow will replace SharePoint Workflow. However, history has shown that with every release of SharePoint a new workflow engine was released. The current workflow technology embedded in SharePoint is not being actively developed anymore, this means that what you have today, is what it will be. Microsoft Flow is a cloud only technology, and the only way that technology can be exposed on-premises is through a connector of sorts. Keep that in mind when defining your future workflow strategy. Having said that: Microsoft is investing heavily in Flow and they recently released approval flows in SharePoint Online which are based upon Flow too. It’s safe to say that the future of workflows in SharePoint Online is Microsoft Flow.”
Q: Does your solution provide a migration path from InfoPath?
Erwin: “While we were not able to demonstrate that during the webinar, yes we provide a migration path. SPTransformator will analyze your farm, discover the InfoPath workflows and then offer through 3rd party plugins the ability to convert those InfoPath forms to the 3rd party forms technology.”
Q: Is there a migration path for my existing data in forms library? Will these forms render the XMLs already residing in my forms library?
Erwin: “SPTransformator focuses on customizations and not on content. For content migration we refer to other ISVs like for instance ShareGate.”
Q: Do we need to upgrade existing InfoPath forms to skybow forms?
Erwin: “Yes, that is the recommendation. You can find out more information by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking the ‘Replace InfoPath’ button. Try out Rencore and skybow’s InfoPath solution first hand.”
Q: How can we use SPTransformator and skybow to analyze the InfoPath forms?
Erwin: “Transformation consists of 2 components: the client, which we demoed during the webinar, and a farm inventory component. The farm inventory will run on a SharePoint farm and will run a full inventory of all customizations on that farm. The result of that inventory will be used as input to the SPTransformator application which will run an extensive analysis of that inventory. During that analysis we break down an InfoPath form into its underlying components (views, fields, rules) and we send that information to the 3rd party plugin, in this case the skybow Rich Forms plugin.”
Q: Does this form support external sharing?
Adis: “The forms are embedded into SharePoint pages and fully follow their permissions. If the page is anonymously accessible in SharePoint Server, then skybow Rich Forms will be publicly accessible. This is not possible with SharePoint Online, where at least guest access and login with Microsoft ID has to be used.”
Q: Can you import/export the web part?
Adis: “Web parts can be freely placed inside the skybow Rich Forms. When a form is exported, the reference to the web part is exported as well. However, during the import, on the target site, the web part needs to be present in order to be imported.”
If you missed July’s InfoPath webinar, you can catch up on-demand. Furthermore, you can find out more information and try out Rencore and skybow’s InfoPath solution first hand. Discover and migrate InfoPath forms into Rich Forms today.