BPC: Building SharePoint Applications with InfoPath and SharePoint Designer with Darvish Shadravan

Let me start out by saying I am not a morning person. I require significant quantities of sugar and/or caffeine to operate any earlier than 9am. But when I saw a session at this week's Best Practices Conference that combined my three favorite topics – SharePoint, InfoPath, and Workflows – I knew I had to be there, even if it did start at 8am (who knew there were two 8 o'clocks in a day?).

Fortunately, the speaker for this session, Microsoft's Darvish Shadravan, MCTS-SharePoint, MCSE, and CISSP, clearly was a morning person, and roused everybody from their half-awake, desperately-drinking-coffee state. As an extra incentive to wake up, he offered free pens to people who asked good questions (but promised empty pen cases if you asked anything about licensing!). And yes, Bamboo Nation friends, I did get a pen! Woohoo!

Darvish (or "D", as he prefers to be called) gave a demo of a SharePoint 2010 application that was built using an InfoPath 2010 form and a workflow designed in SharePoint Designer 2010. The "new for 2010" feature buzzwords were flying: We learned about Business Connectivity Services (BCS), External Lists, Secure Store, Word Services, and Document IDs for SharePoint 2010. In the InfoPath portion of the demo, we saw picture buttons, found out you can now use filtering in browser-enabled forms (finally!), saw an application of BCS, and got lots of teasers for features that will be covered in one of D's later BPC sessions on creating InfoPath forms.

And since this is the "Best Practices" Conference, we got lots of tips for effective form creation, including "Don't make users fill out their own information," (use sensible form field defaults), use filtering to narrow down list choices in drop-down fields (now that you can!), and use hidden fields and conditional formatting if your form goes through multiple statuses.

People must have wanted those pens, because hands were up the whole session, despite the hour. And in case you're wondering, I asked a question about the workflow – which should be no surprise to those of you who have seen my frequent posts about Bamboo's Workflow Conductor. 🙂 

Speaking of workflows, make sure to catch Bamboo's own Jeff Tubb later today as he presents Process Automation Options for SharePoint.

Check out ourfull coverage of Best Practices Conference 2010:

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