InfoPath Q&A on Power Hour


Tomorrow, March 16th, 2016, I will be answering a list of questions about InfoPath, live on my SharePoint Power Hour show, here at 11 central:

This old post of mine, InfoPath – Query Specific SharePoint List Data, has accumulated 103 comments since 2011 when I posted it.  Also, InfoPath: Pre-populate the People Picker has gotten 79 comments.

I have already done a couple of power hour episodes covering these topics:

So in this new Power Hour, I am planning on covering some specific scenarios that people have brought up, that were too complex to be able to answer in a blog comment.  The prerequisite for this session will be that you have already watched the two other sessions and understand those concepts.  Here are some of the questions I’ll be answering, and demonstrating, which are more advanced that the basic stuff that’s already been covered in the other videos.

On querying:

Brock: How would this work if for example a State fell into two different Regions? I have a situation where this is a requirement, and I don’t want to have to duplicate all the work for each State that has multiple Regions.  (Technically I will be doing this 3 or 4 levels deep, and the number of duplicates will start to grow exponentially)

Querying and a calculation:

Yuges: I need your guidance for below.  I’ve an issue on calculating lookup value from other list.. I have List called “Product”. in that I have column name “ProductCode”(Single line text) and “Unit Price”(number with 2 decimal). I’ve created a new custom list called “Purchase Form”.  In that “Purchase Form” I want to have below:

– A auto sequence column “Purchase ID” which will auto generate as “PO-15-####”. The behind number will start from 2001.

– A lookup column of “ProductCode” which will be in Choice mode.  A column which have “Unit Price” from another list will automatically generated when we choose the “ProductCode”.

– The main important column is “Purchased Value” which will calculate [Purchased Qty*Unit Price] and results will be in currency or number. [I will another column called “Purchased Qty”(number).]

I’ve tried lookup but unable to do the calculate. I need to have a workaround without using any backend commands.  Please help me to guide how to do in SharePoint 2013 or InfoPath 2013 without having workflow involved.

Pull in other field values:

Mary:  I have built the cascading fields, but now I am curious how you populate other fields from one of the list. For instance, I have three lists: Team, Program and Task. When I select a Team it updates my options within the Program List. I then select one of the Programs which then updates my options in my task list. Within my Task list, I have two other fields that I would like to be automatically populated once the task is selected and that is my Duration and my Description. These fields should not be a dropdown and should simply have the data imputed into them based on task that is selected.

Concatenating data from other fields:

Venkatesh: Does the same solution work when I try to populate a text box on the InfoPath form with concatenated values from a Sharepoint list column, filtered on a seperate field from the InfoPath form?

Filter the drop-down:

Christy: Hello Laura. Is it possible to add an item to the drop down list/options that only a specific group can see? thanks

ID showing in drop-down later:

Ginni: I am struck in a problem after the form is submitted to Sharepoint List. I have two dropwdowns BU and Sub-BU. Sub-Bu will get the data when we have select some value from BU. This is perfectly done. I selected the value in Sub-BU and submit the form.  When I open the list item in Edit mode then Sub-BU dropdown shows only the saved records’s ID (no the Display value) and no other values in the dropdown even if that dropdown have more than that. But, for BU dropdown it works fine. only in the case of cascading dropdown.

Get List Item URL via data connection:

Sonia: Hi Laura, I’ve used your blog from time to time, Thank you its been a great resource. I’ve got my lookup to another list working within SharePoint but I need to render the URL.  To be more precise, we set up a tasks list. On this task list we’d like the Assigned To person to be able to have a link back to the original submitted request because it has attachments they will have to review.  We are able to pull the original request with a second data connection but we can’t get the URL to come up. We’ve tried a few other methods we found by googling but essentially we are stuck.  Do you have any suggestions? Thanks so much!

I’d love to hear what you guys are interested in learning about next.  Here’s a poll, asking what topic you’d like:


  • InfoPath Q&A on Power Hour, but picture is you with a Nintex lanyard! Sorry, couldn’t resist! I am relatively new to the Power Hours and gain much insight from them, thanks for continuing beyond Rackspace. This may seem like a dumb question, but I initiated the purchase of Nintex at my previous employer and was just beginning to work with it when I retired last summer. I am now in a second career (without Nintex) and I understand InfoPath’s future. So, what are the best SP forms options without 3rd party software?

  • Hi Terry, I did a whole series of videos where I compared different products. There’s also that MS just came out with, that I did a post and a video on as well.

  • Thanks Laura. 2 questions:

    I have a Y/N field in a SP 2013 list. But when I modify the form the SP field is no longer a Radio Button field- it appears in InfoPath 2013 as drop down field. Am, I missing something?

    I am using InfoPath 2013 and SP 2013. I have 4 hidden conditional sections. If user picks(1) Section 1 appears. If user picks (2), Section 2 appears, etc. My issue is that displaying sections do not move up to the top of the form. They stay stuck in their original position on the form which looks goofy, For example, if they pick (4) it shows up but about 10 inches down on the page.

    Say hi to Todd for me and thanks again : >

    • Hi Jim,
      1. Yes, that is the behavior that it does. It won’t ever automatically do the radio buttons. You’d have to right-click on the drop-down box, choose “change control” and change it to radio button. The problem with radio buttons, is that they’re not going to dynamically know to show the values that you put in the column settings as the choices. You have to manually type the values on the form.
      2. Yep, just don’t put carriage returns between all your sections. Click on a section, and then use the right arrow key to get out of it. Then use the delete key to delete all the carriage returns. So if you ever want to put a section or anything in InfoPath that you don’t want to take up space, just don’t hit ENTER before putting it on the form.

  • this blank space problem can also be caused by a table in or below the section with a row setting other than ‘auto’. The table may be hard to spot as it may have been added very early in the process and contains many other nested tables. There is a bug in IP 2013 that sometimes puts row height settings in as random numbers.

  • Hi Laura,

    I am new to your many resources and think them very useful–especially as I am no coder so appreciate learning more about making better use of SharePoint and InfoPath standard tools.

    I was tasked with created a seven form InfoPath form. Each view is its own form, eg, refund, reversal, transfer, etc. By trial and error I learnt that I had to create separate controls for certain fields in each form, eg, comments, else comments entered in one form showed in all forms. I need to further each form’s uniqueness.

    To that end would appreciate your help to 1) make it so that when a user clicks on an entry in SharePoint the form (view) that displays is the form filled out–not the default view with resultant blank fields owing to it not being the one filled out. 2) as well that when viewing other forms (views) common fields like, name, location, etc, not show in the forms not filled out.


    • I don’t think that having 7 forms in one location is a best practice. Can you just create site columns and content types… and separate lists for them? I think this is turning out to be way more complicated than it needs to be.

  • I created a workflow for confidential forms (Infopath 2013) to be approved in SharePoint Online 2013. However once the document is submitted to the form library, the submitter must have access to ONLY their items and the group of approvers ( approx 40 persons) must all have access as well. Each year, it is expected that 2000 forms will be submitted. The problem is long term. i.e is breaking inheritance on the individual forms would eventually cause a performance problem ? Unlike SP 2010, SP 2013 has increased the list scope to 50,000 from 5000 , however I am still not 100% sure, that breaking inheritance is the best way forward. What is the BEST solution for this ?

    • Is this a form library or a list? With a form library, this isn’t an easy thing, but with a list it’s very easy. There’s a setting in any list’s advanced settings, called “item level permissions”, which you can use in order to set it so that people can only see the items they submitted. People with “manage list” permissions can see all of them, though. I also recommend moving away from form library forms, just in general as a best practice, since InfoPath is a dying product. Everyone’s moving off of it. At least if the data is in a list that’s customized with InfoPath, the data is still all there, even if InfoPath was gone.

  • Hi Laura,
    I have a high level question that I’m having trouble finding information on. We are on SharePoint 2010 and are in the process of migrating to 2016 on-prem. Following the on-prem migration we are planning to begin moving some sites to SP Online as part of our O365 deployment. I am struggling with how that will affect InfoPath.

    We have SP 2010 Standard…so no Forms Services. We are moving to 2016 Standard. My question is what happens when we go to the Cloud? If we move sites to SP Online do we need to publish the Forms to Forms Services in our SP Online environment? I’m assuming InfoPath forms on line would not be able to use the InfoPath app on my machine.

    Just trying to understand the basic concept there.


    • Hi Brian,
      First of all, there is no such thing as 2016 Standard.
      Are you moving some sites to SP 2016 and some to SharePoint Online with Office 365? When you move the forms to SharePoint Online in Office 365, they will all need to have a few things happen. Each form will need to be opened in InfoPath Designer 2013, and saved as the new format. All data connections in each form will need to be updated, and each form will need to be published to SharePoint forms services. The old 2010 forms won’t work with 2013, 2016, or SP Online anymore. I think you’ll like having browser-based forms much better than having to open them all in the client software. 😀

    • Thank you Laura. This is great info and yes as InfoPath slowly dies I finally get browser-based forms. 😀
      So, SharePoint 2016 does not come in Standard and Enterprise flavors any longer? I guess I need to review that with my Platform Architect.

      Thanks again.

    • That’s correct, 2016 is only Enterprise. There is an amazing product I’ve been using a whole bunch. InfoWise Ultimate Forms. I can get you a discount if you guys go that direction. This may be a good time to re-do all of your forms in another platform instead of spending all of that time updating them to 2013, since it’s all going away, and it’s a very antiquated technology.

  • Hey Laura. I’m working in SharePoint/InfoPath 2013. What I’m trying to accomplish is very similar to what you show, except my information is in a repeating table. For example, a high school wants to enter individuals for a supplemental pay request. I have a table that shows Football Coach equals $3,000 if 100%. Assistant Coach is say $2,000 at 100% etc. But on my form the school needs to be able to add a row for each person and I want to do the calculation so they don’t have to do the math. So they would enter John Doe, Football coach 100% and the pay would be $3000. Then they will add a row and add Jane Doe Tennis coach at 50% and they pay will be $1000 etc. Do you have any videos showing the repeating table calculations using lookups or will it work the same way as shown in this video. I have not tried it yet.

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