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Technical Solutions for SharePoint Server 2010

Customizing SharePoint List using InfoPath 2010

Posted by Chandrasekaran C N on June 6, 2010


In MOSS 2007, to customize OOTB SharePoint ASPX pages for a custom list i.e., newform.aspx, displayform.aspx, editform.aspx is possible but cumbersome. We can customize those ASPX pages in following ways

Using SharePoint Designer: Customization of SharePoint list forms layouts  and to add some business logic can be possible using SharePoint designer. Also, we can create a new ASPX page from scratch using SharePoint designer, but it is very limited to HTML, some JavaScript and XSL. Adding customizations to list forms using SharePoint designer 2007 results in having a big chunk of XSL into HTML markup of the form that makes very hard to maintain.

Using Standard Browser: In this approach, we can tweak the list forms to add web parts and business logic to manage the list forms. But Microsoft does not support this approach and list forms should only have List Form web part.

Both aforesaid ways are not having a clean and complete customization over SharePoint list forms, hence Microsoft introduced a new and exciting feature in SharePoint 2010 to customize SharePoint list forms using InfoPath 2010. It is very flexible, easy and very intuitive for developers/power users to customize SharePoint list forms.

Here are the steps to customize list forms using InfoPath 2010

  1. Open up any existing SharePoint list, say Contacts list
  2. Select List tab in SharePoint ribbon UI
  3. Select the option Customize Form (Marked in rectangle)


Once selected, it will open up the InfoPath 2010 designer as shown in the diagram.

InfoPath 2010 designer creates all the fields automatically and place them in an order. Also, when  you select the control, it displays the control’s properties in the ribbon, which a cool feature.  We can do all sort of customization for SharePoint list forms in InfoPath 2010 such as validations, layouts, inserting images, splitting  up into different sections, pulling values from other SharePoint lists, etc., and publish it into SharePoint site.

Below diagram shows a sample customized view of standard SharePoint Contacts list in SharePoint site



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