28. November 2008 11:58
When I started my consulting career up again I didn’t have a lot of experience working with XML, XSD or .NET from the application development side but had experience with SharePoint and .NET Console applications. When I started my new job I was lucky enough to work with a fellow named Josh Carlisle on a project and he taught me how to build my data structures with an XSD file and then convert to a .NET Class with the XSD.exe tool. It took me awhile to fully understand everything but once I did it made my life so much easier. Later that year I started working with InfoPath 2003 and at one point during that year I got involved with a large project that required me to add all the data that was collected from a InfoPath form and submit it to a database. I thought at first this was going to be a royal pain because of the learning curve for XPath and XML (didn’t know it that well) but then I remembered that all InfoPath forms have a XSD file and it could be just a simple of taking that XSD file and converting to a .NET Class with the XSD.exe tool and then binding the InfoPath data source to the .NET Class. So, I gave it a shot and amazingly enough it worked. The project ended up being painless because I used this method and it also cut down on the development life cycle. It’s now the end of 2008 and Office 2003 is just a memory for me and Office 2007 is in full swing but one thing that hasn’t changed is how I read all my data from my InfoPath forms when using them with either a Web Service or Workflow. That’s right I said workflow, I use the same technique for workflows too because I’m still using InfoPath forms but now with Workflows. Granted the method is not as simple as with Web Services but it’s still really easy and gives my clients a very structured approach for reading the data from an InfoPath form. In the coming week I’m going to write two posts on how to do this with a Web Service and Workflow but now it’s back to work for me. Hope everybody had a good day off.