Developing InfoPath 2007 forms using Visual Studio 2008

by Administrator 13. August 2011 00:20

Hi all

I have been on a project for quite some time now, that amongst others, include developing InfoPath 2007 forms that will be hosted by Forms Services on SharePoint 2007.

I decided early on, that we will develop the forms using Visual Studio 2008 for a couple of reasons;

  1. This way we have all the source files easily accessible without having to save the form as source files and packing them back together as an .XSN file. I often need to edit either the Manifest or one of the XSLT’s
  2. We get the file in Source Control individually so one developer can change an XSLT while another changes another XSLT or the Manifest or whatever
  3. We get a nice way to reference .NET projects from our forms and automatically keep them updated when the projects change.

It has been, however, a complete NIGHTMARE using Visual Studio (And Team Foundation Server for source control) with the following really silly limitations:

  1. If you want to build your entire solution, you need to check out all the projects in the solution… or at least the Manifests because they get updated on a build. So if someone else is modifying a form you will get conflicts in source control if you need to build the solution Sad smile
  2. If you want to publish a form you again need all the projects (or at least the manifests) checked out because for some reason, Visual Studio simply builds the entire solution just because you choose to publish one form. It doesn’t stick to just the one form or the projects that are referenced by this one form – oh no, it builds the entire solution.
  3. If you have one of the forms open in Visual Studio (The Manifest file) you cannot do a “GetLatest” from source control. You need to close that file first.
  4. Some times you get an error about not being able to do anything because you have a modal window open… without you actually having a modal window open…
  5. If I want to open up a form I need to do it BEFORE I create the VPN connection to my customer. If the VPN connection is established first, Visual Studio crashes.
  6. If I delete an image from the form, it isn’t deleted from the Manifest, so next time I try to open the form, it won’t.
  7. Some manual changes to the XSLT is simply overwritten by the designer

All in all, it just sucks. How this ever came to be released is beyond me.




About the author

Jan Eliasen is 37 years old, divorced and has 2 sons, Andreas (July 2004) and Emil (July 2006).

Jan has a masters degree in computer science and is currently employed at Logica Denmark as an IT architect.

Jan is a 6 times Microsoft MVP in BizTalk Server (not currently an MVP) and proud co-author of the BizTalk 2010 Unleashed book.

BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed

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Microsoft MVP

6 times: July 2004, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, and July 2012. Not currently an MVP.


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