With Microsoft officially announcing that there will be no more versions of InfoPath available, a lacuna seems to have been created. Designed way back in 2003 as a part of Microsoft office software, InfoPath was basically used to make business forms which could be filled up by the end-user from their web browser itself. Even though it had some limitations, it was a superb tool for business as it supported basic calculations and conditional formatting as well as external data sources and custom code.
Today many a form building software claims to be the ideal InfoPath alternative but out of them only a handful few can be said to be truly capable of replacing InfoPath. Some of the most worthy ones areà
- Frevvo Mobile Forms: Providing end users with a smooth work experience, this InfoPath workflow alternative
- Uses drag and drop to design templates for forms and workflows
- Reduces approval time consequently increasing productivity
- Is mobile enabled and can be used in the cloud or on your premises
- Reduces dependency on other technical resources
- Nintex forms: This is completely web-based and is also compatible with mobile devices. Its form designer is web based thereby enabling the end users to build custom forms and also publish them. But being a third party tool it has license implications.
- Net Forms: Herein end-users use visual studio to make custom forms and publish them in SharePoint. It is highly extensible and can be used across a lot of different technologies. But this InfoPath alternative can be difficult to maintain unless the end user is himself a developer.
- Excel Online services: Light forms, called spreadsheets, can be created using this application. Since it uses excel, it is much more accessible and it is also easy to visualise and transform data. But it has neither any designer form options not is it mobile friendly.
- Access online: End users can of course use the Access database to create self-reliant applications containing tables and data relevant to each other. It is also easy to build and use and can also handle relational data transactions. But they are not like single lists and exist only in either an application or database within Access.
InfoPath was developed in an age where in the requirements were vastly different from what the clients and end users want today. Today the requirement is for a complete solution which will design and deploy intelligently integrated forms across servers and services as well as clients and end users. The need of the hour is also for a solution which will work across all devices like personal computers, mobiles, laptops, tablets etc.