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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 1 and 8 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Hi Sanjay,

    Make sure you are referencing the correct "Lists.asmx" web service. For instance, if your list is at http://server/lists/list_name then the web service you will want to use is http://server/_vti_bin/lists.asmx; however, if your list is at http://server/site/lists/list_Name then the web service you need to use is http://server/site/_vti_bin/lists.asmx.

    Scott

  • Hi Sanjay,

    Please excuse my lack of SharePoint knowledge here...but have you tried:

    http://servername/SiteDirectory/SanjaySite/_vti_bin/lists.asmx

    Scott

  • Hi Scott,

    There is no lists.asmx file at the URL http://servername/SiteDirectory/SanjaySite/_vti_bin/lists.asmx

    Thanks and Regards,

    Sanjay Patel.

  • What is "SiteDirectory" in your URL? Is that a site or something else? For instance is http://servername/SanjaySite the same as http://servername/SiteDirectory/SanjaySite?

    Scott

  • Hi Scott,

    Since it is not possible to rename the "Title" field in the CAML file, is there a way to hide it? I would like to create an InfoPath form that links to an existing list and I would like for users not to see the "Title" field when they fill it out.

    Greatly appreciated!

  • Hi shakes11,

    Sure - try the following using the sample from this post:

    - Right-click on the Repeating Table used to add new items and select Conditional Formatting

    - Click Add

    - From the first box choose the field: Name

    - From the second box choose: is equal to

    - From the last box choose Type Test and enter: Title

    - Select Hide this control

    - Test!

    What this will do is prevent the Title field from showing in this repeating table. Now, you can submit items without a title but, by default, the title field shows in the list and a new item without a title shows: "No Title."

    Scott

  • Thanks Scott, it works!! My next question (and i think i might have the answer to this already, but I just wanted a confirmation) is if I want to point to a list that already exists, and the Title field has been renamed, is it possible to still link to it?

    I am assuming the answer is no, because I tried, with no success (I am guessing that one of the columns is the title field, I did not try all of them).

    Thanks again!

  • Hi shakes11,

    Chances are it was just the "caption" that was changed - the underlying name of the field is probably still "Title."

    Scott

  • Hi Leary,

    I too spent some time trying to get this to work in a similar fashion as the "add" but kept running into issues...and then ran out of time to continue working on it.

    The way I do this now is to use custom code - there is a sample earlier in this post.

    Scott

  • Hi Team,

    I have followed every step in this article. I receive this error:

    " An error occured while the form was being submitted."

    Thank you.

  • OK, Please ignore the above post. I am getting a new error.

    Records were submitted. But I am not seeing it in the list.

    Thank you.

  • OK, Please ignore the above post. I am getting a new error.

    Records were submitted. But I am not seeing it in the list.

    I checked the GUID. Nothing was modified.

    Thank you.

  • I made even more progress...

    When I add a new task in the list via Sharepoint it loads in the Infopath form.

    When I try to add records to Sharepoint via Infopath. It does not work. Do you have any idea as to why this is not working.

    Thanks.

  • Hi paras2020,

    A couple of things to check:

    - Make sure you are using the correct "lists.asmx" web service for your site

    - Make sure the fields you reference in the "Add List Item Template.xml" file contain valid fields that actually exist in the list.

    Scott

  • BTW....is there a math function in Infopath which an create a random as the form loads. Sorry for going off topic.

    Thanks in advance.

    Paras

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