Article: Coding Options for Building InfoPath Forms

Decisions, decisions. How do you add code to your InfoPath forms or decide whether putting code in them is even necessary? Learn the basics to decide what’s right for your forms.

When you want to build a simple form—something with a set of fields and perhaps a table of repeating fields—it’s easy to pick up InfoPath and bang out a form in a matter of minutes, or at least within an hour. However, integrating code with your InfoPath forms can make form building a trickier proposition. Sure, VB.NET and C# are supported languages for extending InfoPath forms, but how does that support work and how are you going to be able to deploy it?

This discussion will allow you to investigate options for developing code when using InfoPath, consider the limitations, and discover ways to make intelligent, code-enabled InfoPath forms.
A Cornucopia of Coding Options
At first glance your options for developing code with InfoPath look simple. You can use either script or .NET code, namely C# or VB.NET, but in addition to language choices there are two different approaches that you can take for .NET development. You can use either Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) or Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). VSTA ships with InfoPath and doesn’t require a Visual Studio license, but VSTO does. As you explore the coding options for InfoPath, consider these .NET development environments first.