Wednesday, April 27, 2016
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST
Building fully interactive electronic forms and apps can be a complex undertaking. Power user tools such as Nintex Forms or Microsoft InfoPath can be great for non-developers, but often do not take you all the way there, or can't be customized exactly the way that is desired. Using the SharePoint Apps model is a potential solution, but it can be much more complex than the solution needs to be. In this session we’ll look at alternatives to these approaches, highlighted by real-world scenarios where we have implemented them.
We’ll start by looking at how we can build rich, interactive HTML forms using common open-source techniques. Bootstrap is one that allows us to build fully responsive forms that adapt to a changing browser size on tablets and phones as well as desktops, and provides an ideal experience on all devices. We’ll also touch on HTML engines such as Handlebars or Knockout that allow us to generate the HTML quickly and dynamically. Lastly, we’ll cover how to save that form information. Whether it is going directly into SharePoint, or updating other line of business systems, REST APIs are our approach here. Don’t worry if you’re not a coder, we’re going to stay at the conceptual level. The key is that REST is a very standard way of communicating between systems. We can use the built-in REST methods provided by Microsoft in SharePoint (whether On Premise or in Office 365), or we can build our own if we need to run with elevated permissions (important in a lot of electronic forms) or access other systems. Security and single sign-on is an important aspect of this, and we achieve this without all the complexity of traditional SharePoint apps.
Some of the examples that we'll show during the session are:
- Vacation request form (both simple and a more complex SAP integrated example)
- Pension portal with address and banking change forms, and a pension calculator
- An anonymous library resource booking form for a secondary school
- A Bootstrap compatible responsive global navigation control driven from the SharePoint term store
The examples will be for both Office 365 and on premises SharePoint 2013.