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Submitting to a SharePoint List

Submitting to a SharePoint List

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As you know, submitting to a Microsoft Windows SharePoint form library from an InfoPath form is quite simple: just add a “submit” type of data connection to InfoPath and away you go. However, submitting to a SharePoint List is another matter. In this post, we will take a look at the steps necessary to enable this functionality.

Step 1: Create the list

1. Create a new custom list named: MyContacts
2. From the Settings button choose List Settings
3. Click Create Column
4. Add the following columns/data types:

  • FirstName, Single line of text
  • LastName, Single line of text
  • Email, Single line of text
  • Phone, Single line of text

The next step is to create a Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) template that contains the same XML nodes as the columns we added to our list – this will be used as a secondary data connection in the InfoPath Form Template.

Step 2: Create the CAML template

1. Launch Notepad (or any text editor)
2. Copy and paste the following code to the Notepad document:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Batch OnError="Continue">
    <Method ID="1" Cmd="New">
        <Field Name='Title'></Field>
        <Field Name="FirstName"></Field>
        <Field Name="LastName"></Field>
        <Field Name="Email"></Field>
        <Field Name="Phone"></Field>
    </Method>
</Batch>

3. Save this as: Add List Item Template.xml

 

Step 3: Create the InfoPath Form Template

1. Create a new, blank, browser-compatible form template
2. Add a “Receive” type secondary data connection to the Add List Item Template.xml file created in Step #2. (Make sure the options “Include the data as a resource file in the form template” and “Automatically retrieve data when the form is opened” are enabled.)
3. Add a “Receive” type secondary data connection to the “MyContacts” SharePoint List created in Step #1 and make sure the option “Automatically retrieve data when the form is opened” is enabled.
NOTE: Be sure to include the “Title” field along with the custom fields we created.

Each SharePoint list is created with a unique identifier called a GUID. In order to submit items to a SharePoint list, you must know the unique GUID for that list. These next steps will enable you to identify the GUID for your “MyContacts” list.

Step 4: Identify the list GUID

1. Open a browser and navigate to the MyContacts list
2. From the Settings menu choose List Settings
3. In the browser’s address bar you will see the URL appended with “List=”

 

4. Copy everything after the equals sign and paste this into a text editor as we will need this value later on.

NOTE: We will need the list GUID to be formatted as “{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}”. If your GUID appears as above with the hyphens and braces “escaped” (i.e. %7B for the braces and %2D for the hyphens) then you will need to replace the escaped characters with the braces and hyphens so when we use this GUID later, it will appear as: {1E76517B-2C36-4473-A420-A737D98589BC}

Step 5: Add controls to the InfoPath Form Template

1. Open the Data Source Task Pane
2. From the Data Source dropdown box choose the “MyContacts” connection

3. Right-click on “MyContacts” and choose Repeating Table – this will add a repeating table bound to that connection to your View
4. From the Data Source dropdown box choose Main
5. Add a text box to the “myFields” node named: ListName and set the Default Value property to the GUID value of your list – we will use this node to specify the list when we perform the Submit operation

 

To update the SharePoint list we will be using the “UpdateListItems” method of the SharePoint “lists.asmx” web service. This web method requires a couple of parameters (the list name and what gets updated) – now that we have added the “ListName” node which contains the GUID and we have the Add List Item Template XML data connection which describes our data structure we have all the necessary information to add the “UpdateListItems” web method!

Step 6: Add the “lists.asmx” web service

1. Add a new “Submit” type of web service data connection to the “lists.asmx” web service – this is typically located at: http://servername/_vti_bin/lists.asmx
2. Select the “UpdateListItems” operation
3. Double-click the “listname” parameter and assign the “my:ListName” node as the value

4. Double-click the “updates” parameter, select the “Add list Item Parameter” data source, select “Batch” and click OK
5. For the “Include” option select “XML subtree, including selected element”

6. Complete the Data Connection Wizard

Now that we have all the connections that are required, we now need to add the “submit” functionality to the form template.

Step 7: Add Submit functionality

1. Display the Data Source Task Pane
2. From the Data Source dropdown box choose the Add List Item Template data connection
3. Drill down through the data source, right-click on the Field node and choose Repeating Table

 

We need to change the text box control in the “Name” column to Read-only – if these values were to be changed it would affect the CAML and the submit would fail.
• Double-click on the text box in the Name column of the Repeating Table
• Select the Display tab
• Enable the Read-only property and click OK
• Add a new Button control to the View
• Double-click the button to display the Properties
• Click the Submit Options button
• Enable the option “Allow users to submit this form”
• Enable the option “Perform custom action using Rules” and click the Rules button
• Click the Add button
• Click the Add Action button
• From the Action dropdown box choose “Submit using a data connection”, select the “Web Service Submit” data connection and click OK
• Click the Add Action button
• From the Action dropdown box choose “Query using a data connection”, select the “MyContacts” data connection and click OK (this will automatically refresh the list in InfoPath so you can see the newly added record)

• Click OK until you are back to your form

NOTE: If you want to automatically clear out the submitted values, add another action to this Rule to “Set a field’s value” and the only option you need to specify is the “Field” option – select the “Field” node from the “Add List Item Template” data connection and then simply leave the Value option blank.

Step 8: Test!

1. Click the Preview button to preview the form
2. Fill in values for each of the fields: Title, First Name, Last Name, E-mail and Phone

3. Click the Submit button – the contact information should be submitted successfully and the “MyContacts” list automatically updated!

A special thanks to Matt Faus of InfoPathDev for for initially posting this solution!

Scott Heim
Support Engineer

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 6 and 6 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • PingBack from http://www.virtual-generations.com/2007/03/27/sharepoint-2007-link-dump-2/

  • Thanks for this fancy reiteration of my post!  However, since people have been doing this for over a year now, I think a more helpful post would be on how to get this form to look good.  The schema does not allow for very easy representation with standard InfoPath controls.  We have discussed possibilities for solutions to this problem in our forums, but an elaborate (and codeless) example form would be stupendous!

  • Any ideas how to integrate a dropdown list for any of the sharepoint list fields in the form?

  • Hi Gerhard,

    I am not sure I follow your question. For instance, what I can do is simply add another data connection to the same list and use this connection as the source of values for the dropdown list boxes - does that help?

    Scott

  • Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your suggestion and again - thank you for the original post!

    Any way I can ping you offline about your request?

    Scott

  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the article. I followed the steps described in this article. When I click submit I get the message saying "This form was submitted succesfully". But there is no new item in my contacts list. Do you know what I might be missing here?

  • Hi - off the top of my head, the first thought is if you have the correct GUID specified for your list?

    Scott

  • well, found the solution. I wrote a windows app to submit data to the same list I was trying earlier and that gave me the required error message.

    I was getting:

    The list or view of the list referenced here no longer exists.

    found the solution to that in this KB article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/840549

  • I am glad you found the cause of the problem!

    Scott

  • This weekend I took some time to research and then test methods to post information from an Infopath

  • Hi Scott,

    My english is very poor! I think you will very difficually to understand the meaning for this quote :>

    My problem is look like techietex.

    I can submit the form and show the successful message. But the target list can not be update any information.

    I double-checked the default GUID value in the ListName and sure this GUID as same as the traget list.

    Do you have any idea ??  Waiting for your reply.

    Iota

  • Hi!

    I'm experiencing the same problem as iota and techietex. When I'm submitting my form I recieve a message that tells me that the data has been posted successfully. But of course, no item in the list.

    I checked the GUID three times just to make sure. And I tried creating a new Team Site with a new List that the form could post to, but still the same result.

    It's really strange...

  • Same thing here, double checked everything and tried it on two different sharepoint systems.

    I do get the message that everything was submitted, but nothing appears in the list. Any suggestions?

  • OK, solved the Problem.

    Somehow the GUID changes after the creation. I created the List, checked the GUId and tried it with that ID, with no success, then i added something to that list and rechecked the GUID and got another one, after trying again with that GUID it worked.

  • Hi Doubter13,

    I tried your solution in the last time but not successfully. Do me a favor, can you check some configure in your form and SP server as the following ?

    1) Which type are you selected for your site ?

    e.g. Document Library, Form Library, Custom List etc.

    2) Do you define the ID field in the XML file ?

    e.g. <Field Name = 'ID'></Field>

    3) Would you please to check the DCOM services status in your IIS server ? I found the error messages for this in the Event Viewer - System. Please see the error detail as the following.

    ************************************

    Event Type: Error

    Event Source: DCOM

    Event Category: None

    Event ID: 10016

    Date: 4/24/2007

    Time: 4:31:10 AM

    User: NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE

    Computer: ABCDE

    Description:

    The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {73738744-F397-33D0-9953-00C04FD939C3} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-2-3-45).  This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

    ************************************

    Are you happen this problem in your server ?

    Thank you for your Help.

    IOTA

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