Last week, Microsoft product manager Sonya Koptyev sat online on a conference call on ITUnity to discuss the future of forms with SharePoint. She was clear that she wasn’t sharing any new information, but she did a good job of catching everyone up on the latest, which is namely, that:
- There is no InfoPath client 2016. InfoPath 2013 is the last client that will ever be. You will still using the 2013 client for building forms in the next version of SharePoint
- Nothing will change on the back end with Forms Services in 2016, so you’ll still be able to create forms using the 2013 client, and your online forms will still work.
- Forms on SharePoint Lists (FoSL) was a set of functionality to allow users to customize the look and feel of a SharePoint list. The prototype was created and demonstrated at the SharePoint conference several years ago. The hope was that it was low hanging fruit, and an easy “win” for getting users some basic functionality as a replacement to InfoPath in regards to customizing the look and feel of SharePoint forms. However, it didn’t accomplish all the things they had hoped it would. As they started thinking about an overall forms strategy, they realized FoSL didn’t really fit into the big picture, either. So, away it went. FoSL is officially dead.
- That being said, they are working on an overall new forms approach. (My guess is that it will span beyond just SharePoint, but that’s only my two cents based on nothing she said.) The office roadmap simply states “The ability to create custom SharePoint Listforms is an important scenario. We are refining our plans in this space as part of a more comprehensive set of forms investments. We will update the roadmap when we have more information to share.”
- Forms Services will be maintained in SharePoint Online at least 12-18 months after the release of SharePoint 2016.
- In the meantime, she actually advocated for using at least 4 other vendors who do forms, if you want a forms solution immediately: Nintex, K2, Qdabra, and Formotus.
The Adobe Connect session seemed to have some technical difficulties toward the end, but these points hit the highlights of her talk. You can view the session at: http://www.itunity.com/presentation/infopath-update-sonya-koptyev-recorded-presentation-891