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Microsoft Phasing Out InfoPath Web Forms Product

Microsoft announced today that it will phase out its InfoPath Web forms product in favor of a future "Office forms" technology.

InfoPath is a means for organizations to publish updatable forms, which can be accessed within an organization's intranet or accessed over the Internet via a Web browser. The forms, hosted on a server, return data after people fill out the form's fields and hit the submit button. The Microsoft Office team plans to develop a new forms product that will better address "Office clients, servers and services" for use on PCs tablets or smartphones, according to an announcement of the InfoPath phase out.

The InfoPath 2013 client and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 products will be supported through April 2023, but they are being deprecated in favor of the new product. The current InfoPath technology is based on SharePoint Services 3.0 technology, according to Microsoft's description.

Microsoft also has an InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 product. No phase-out date was announced for that service. It's going to be "supported until further notice," according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft's notifications for its services follow a different pattern from those associated with its premises-based products. For its online services, Microsoft typically offers "a minimum 12 months prior notification before customers must accept any change that is deemed a 'disruptive change,'" according to the company's online services support lifecycle FAQ page.

Microsoft's announcement provided no details on what might replace InfoPath. It suggested that organizations continue to use InfoPath until it rolls out a "new forms technology across SharePoint, Access, and Word."

A "sneak peek" look at the new technology that will replace InfoPath is planned for Microsoft's SharePoint Conference, coming up in March. Microsoft will profile it at an "InfoPath and SharePoint Forms Roadmap" session at the event.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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