Microsoft to retire InfoPath electronic form creation tools

Microsoft has announced plans to retire one of its Office software applications, InfoPath, that has been released for over 10 years. InfoPath is a family of electronic form creation software tools but Microsoft announced today that the current version, InfoPath 2013, will be the final release of the product. The version of InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 will also be the last release of that application.

InfoPath first debuted as part of Office 2003 for volume licensed customers. In a post on the Office blog, Microsoft stated that the company is looking to create a integrated forms experience for Office users and will add new forms technology in its SharePoint, Access and Word products. However, businesses that are still using InfoPath 2013 should continue to use the software until Microsoft comes up with some migration guidance, which is expected to happen sometime this spring.

Official support for InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2013 won't end until April 2023. Support for InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 also continues and does not yet have a end date. Microsoft plans to reveal plans for their new forms technology in March as part of their 2014 SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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4 Comments

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Interesting. Is it really a case where it makes more sense to integrate the primary functionality in other Office products (like Word, Access and SharePoint mentioned here) or is there really a better cheaper alternative software program that does this better.

I don't use InfoPath, so I'm curious.

It's more a matter of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, plus ASP.Net & MVC maturing to the point where they can do all the same things as proprietary InfoPath can. Keep in Mind InfoPath came out in 2003 because you just couldn't do forms based tasks in the browsers/web platforms of the day. Not even Adobe's programmable PDF's were up to the task enterprises needed them to do.

As I noted in my first comment on this story, LightSwitch can do things that just weren't possible ten years ago. So the retirement isn't a question of if InfoPath can do the job anymore but that the technology and capabilities of other tools have surpassed it.

No surprise here. Tool will likely be replaced with a "lite" version of VisualStudio with a Light Switch like interface for forms creation, maybe even a SharePoint targeted version of VisualStudio for all SharePoint needs and replacing SharePoint Designer & InfoPath at the same time.

webdev511 said,
No surprise here. Tool will likely be replaced with a "lite" version of VisualStudio with a Light Switch like interface for forms creation, maybe even a SharePoint targeted version of VisualStudio for all SharePoint needs and replacing SharePoint Designer & InfoPath at the same time.

I would certainly welcome that. SPD and IPD both drive me insane when using them.