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2/26/2007

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Where Is InfoPath Forms Services In SharePoint 2007 Standard?

It's not!

I'm working on a big InfoPath 2007 / SharePoint 2007 presentation that is going to pimp InfoPath Forms Services, and I just wanted to clarify something for everyone. My hope is that you don't waste a perfectly lovely Sunday afternoon like I did last week: reinstalling SharePoint and cross-referencing product keys.

The problem I ran into was that the InfoPath Forms Services section, which is SUPPOSED TO BE located on SharePoint 2007’s Central Administration’s Application Management page, was GONE. In fact, it was never there. I fell deeply in love with InfoPath Forms Services when I first played with it back in SharePoint 2007’s Beta 2 days, but when I finally needed it, it was nowhere to be found!

I finally figured out what the situation was, and that’s what I wanted to share. InfoPath Forms Services is part of MOSS 2007 Enterprise; it is NOT part of the Standard installation. The ISO that is available from MSDN Subscriptions contains both flavors (as well as x86 and x64 for each), and the actual version that is installed is determined at run time by which product key you use.

Finally, don’t confuse InfoPath Forms Services with Forms Server 2007. The later is a stand-alone server product from Microsoft for the specific use of hosting electronic forms. I (of course) made this mistake when I first got my hands on beta 1, and it actually won’t let you install Forms Server alongside SharePoint 2007.

One footnote: As far as requiring the Enterprise version for InfoPath Forms Services, I am curious to what extent this is “enforced” in SharePoint 2007. I noticed that, although the InfoPath Forms Services section and its links do not exist in the Standard edition, the physical pages do! For example, if you’re running Standard, go onto your server and manually type http://<server name>/_admin/ManageFormTemplates.aspx into your browser. The page will load, and appear to work normally…

Furthermore, the InfoPath Forms Services web service also seems to be alive in Standard. However, when attempting to publish a browser-enabled form, InfoPath did not detect that InfoPath Forms Services was running. I did not dig very deeply, but I’m curious if this can still somehow work in Standard.

It’s a shame that Microsoft forces users to go Enterprise to get this awesome feature.

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