NITRO Forms – The InfoPath Replacement
Our recently released NITRO Studio, with its built-in NITRO Forms, turns out to be one of the most viable options for moving off InfoPath. You can quite easily replace those old forms with NITRO Forms that retain or replicate — or better yet, improve on — the functionality that the InfoPath forms provide.
Microsoft ended development of InfoPath Forms with InfoPath 2013, leaving people who had developed forms – sometimes 1000’s! – a bit in the lurch. Microsoft says InfoPath will be supported until 2026. However, no new features are being added. There is no guarantee that future enhancements to SharePoint and Office 365 won’t prevent some InfoPath features from working.
The reasons Microsoft has deprecated InfoPath are many. In short, it uses an old technology that is not adapted to the cloud and mobile world we live and work in now. Many articles online go into the technical details (even in Wikipedia). Rather than belabor those details here, let’s focus on how to replace InfoPath forms with modern, rich forms.
How NITRO Forms replaces InfoPath Forms
NITRO Forms allows you to design and implement custom forms in SharePoint and Office 365. It comes with a WYSIWYG Forms Designer where you can easily create forms using drag-and-drop controls. The Forms Designer has options for tabs, sections, themes, action buttons, scripting, permissions, and many other features that give you the ability to create the forms you need.
NITRO Forms can connect with data sources in or out of SharePoint. The forms can link associated items, implement cascading lookups, allow multiple forms on one list, and much more. The Forms tool comes from Crow Canyon’s nearly one dozen years building applications on top of SharePoint and Office 365. It is a low-cost, easy-to-implement solution for replacing InfoPath forms.
It makes sense to start the move off InfoPath to the modern, rich, mobile-friendly forms that NITRO Forms can provide. NITRO Forms is part of NITRO Studio, Crow Canyon Software’s suite of apps that enhance SharePoint and Office 365. NITRO Studio gives you the power to easily create the applications you need.
Microsoft’s InfoPath Forms solution is being deprecated and essentially phased out. The time has come to make the move off InfoPath. That is easy to say – but how can it actually be done?
Unfortunately, there is no “InfoPath Migration Tool” – InfoPath’s form and data structure, with XSN and XML files and data in various places, makes it almost impossible to develop any migration tool that can work effectively and accurately. Even Microsoft has not provided any such tool or capability.
This is why we use the term “InfoPath Replacement” instead of “InfoPath Migration”. The goal is to replace the InfoPath forms and functionality by using a tool that can easily create forms and workflows inside SharePoint and Office 365. That is what we provide with NITRO Studio. With its forms, workflows, actions, portals, reporting, and more, NITRO Studio provides an excellent way to move off InfoPath.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in an InfoPath Replacement project:
- Catalog the InfoPath Forms
- Reviewing and Refining the Catalog
- Does site structure also need review?
- Replacing InfoPath forms with NITRO Forms
- Use of NITRO Studio’s Power Portal