Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 — A Novel XML Forms Editor
The Business Problem
Modern businesses are under enormous pressure to reduce the costs of doing business while simultaneously improving data quality. Because an increasing proportion of business activity is based on software using XML format, the need for tools that reliably, efficiently, and flexibly collect information in XML format is obvious. An important practical factor is that most information workers are likely to know little or no XML and have no desire to grapple with its complexities and subtleties. Microsoft InfoPath 2003 is designed to provide a working XML editor that can submit to and query a variety of XML-based data sources using a familiar forms metaphor, without requiring any knowledge of XML by end users of InfoPath form templates. Of course, designers and developers of InfoPath forms must be familiar with various XML technologies (discussed briefly later in this article), as well as with JScript or VBScript.