Skip to main content

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/infopath/

Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms.

Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026.

Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath.  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do not require advanced developer skills in order to accomplish many functions.  Both may be used to implement form-based solutions on your intranet.

There is no automated migration path from InfoPath to Power Apps.  You will have to start from scratch and create Power Apps using your InfoPath forms to represent requirements such as the form layout, validation and business rules which should be handled by the form.

 Power Apps is based on Dynamics 365 and is available only as a cloud service, not for deployment as standalone apps on a PC or running on a network server.  This is different from InfoPath which could be run on premises or even standalone.

Power Apps does not seem to be designed with a goal of emulating paper forms or producing pixel-perfect renditions of standard forms such as government tax or employment forms.  Instead, Power Apps is a modern web app, with excellent support for connected mobile devices.

Customers who are interested in a more paper-based approach which is closer to InfoPath may consider third party products such as Nintext Forms or creating SharePoint forms without InfoPath using custom .NET pages, Excel, or Word.


Popular posts from this blog

The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act enacted in May 2014 calls for making spending data available in open, standardized formats to be published online.  It is a continuation of transparency initiatives and lessons learned with experiences such as grants.gov, the 2009 economic stimulus under the Recovery Act and the spending site USASpending.gov.

Government grantees will have significant new administrative responsibilities.  Many organizations that were tracking grants in spreadsheets or documents will have to adopt more sophisticated automated grant management systems such as Microsoft Grants Manager to keep up with reporting rules.

For profit companies will lose some privacy as a result of this law.  Grant recipients will be required to disclose information including officer salaries.

Continued improvements to publishing grant opportunities such as grants.gov may make it easier to find grants. These reforms together are designed to improve the effectiveness of grant prog…

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Community Business Development

Local governments agencies such as the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in my hometown of Washington, DC, - work on behalf of residents to improve living conditions, create economic opportunities and jobs by attracting businesses and helping businesses thrive. A customer relationship management system is key to work in community business development.  If you are a Microsoft customer, which apps in Dynamics 365 should you use for business development?
Core functions - All the Dynamics 365 modules track accounts (companies) and contacts (individuals) as well as activities such as phone calls, emails, letters, and meetings. Sales - Dynamics 365 for Sales provides the ability to track opportunities to attract startup businesses or businesses that are relocating from another area. Sales includes functions for qualify opportunities and working through all the steps in your workflow through a successful win.  You can ascribe dollars to opportunities as well as…

Key Concepts for Microsoft Dynamics 365: Entities and Attributes

To understand Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement), you need to learn some new terms and concepts that may be a bit different from what you know from databases and solutions that are hosted on premises. This is the second post in a series, and covers entities and attributes.

Entities are the most fundamental part of Dynamics 365 in terms of storing your business data.  They are similar in concept to database tables, and the relate to one another like tables in a relational database. For instance, Dynamics 365 has an entity called Contacts that stores data such as name, address, and email address of people that you track.   Accounts is a related entity that describes the organizations to which Contacts may belong.

Although they are similar to database tables, Dynamics entities allow you to do some customizations that are not possible in a standard database table.  Field labels, for instance, are part of an entity, and they may differ from …