Forms are essential application components that enable users to access, create and manipulate structured information in order to execute their work functions and activities. InfoPath was Microsoft’s declarative, no-code rapid application development tool, integrated within SharePoint, for creating sophisticated form applications. However InfoPath’s capabilities have not been advanced since the release of the 2010 version, and Microsoft recently announced that it has been officially deprecated and will be phased out.
ClaySys AppForms is a comprehensive platform that works with SharePoint to enable the easy creation of Forms, and the extension of Forms to create an integrated Application itself. It substantially advances the no-code form development paradigm enabling power users and developers alike to efficiently create sophisticated form applications that are fully integrated within SharePoint and go beyond what was possible with InfoPath. It is web based, using current web standards technologies, and incorporates the extensive wish-list of functionality that users and developers have wanted from InfoPath, such as:
> Check in/check out capabilities allowing multiple developers to work on a form
> Versioning of forms with single click rollback
> Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) support process for development, testing, and production deployment
> The ability to create and update information in multiple data sources (Lists, Libraries, SQL Server, SQL Azure, Web Services, RESTful Services, Azure Table, Azure Document DB etc) from a single form simultaneously without writing code
> Generating and submitting repeating item information (e.g. master/detail) without requiring code
> A robust visual point and click Expression Builder for creating complex rule statements
> Support for Tab structured forms and Sub forms.
> Linking and passing of data parameters between forms at runtime
> Built in functions for calling external processes (e.g. workflows) and opening or embedding other forms
> Configuring Human Workflow for Form routing process automation requirements and working with SharePoint Designer Workflows for more extensive Workflow configuration
> Error handling and debugging facilities
> Embedded Search capabilities
> Capabilities for embedding hierarchical menus and tree views within forms
> Metadata architecture to insure full compatibility with future versions of SharePoint and Office365
> The ability to export forms deployed on premises to online environments with no modification
> Ability to convert forms to PDF or Image files for maintaining audit trails
> Ability to design dashboards with Charts and Graphs summarizing the data in SharePoint lists, or other data sources like SQL Server, SQL Azure, Web Services, RESTful Services, Azure Table, Azure Document DB and others.
> Designing Forms based on different User Interface design themes
> Responsive Design support for rendering complex forms on Smartphones and Tablets
> Browser based spell checking
In the same manner as InfoPath, ClaySys AppForms is based on the XML Metadata declarative model, and it presents its functional capabilities in highly accessible ways enabling the creation of sophisticated and complex Enterprise class applications in a fraction of the time it would require to do so writing code.
The key benefit of the Meta-Data Driven Architecture (MDDA) of ClaySys AppForms is its future proof design, where we maintain backward compatibility with all the historic versions of the metadata created with earlier versions of the product. So Forms and Applications continue to work in future versions of SharePoint.
Disclaimer: The add-in's designer requires Silverlight supported browser.