InfoPath Forms Stay: New SharePoint 2016 Forms Delayed

Microsoft’s plans to transition from InfoPath forms to new generation forms technology for SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Online have been delayed.

In January of 2014, Microsoft indicated that it planned to phase out InfoPath, the Microsoft solution for creating updatable forms for use on the Web or in an Intranet. InfoPath 2013 client and InfoPath Forms Services for SharePoint Server are being deprecated if favor of newer technologies.

One of those new technologies, “Forms on SharePoint Lists,” has been moved to “Cancelled” status on the Office 365 Roadmap Page. Microsoft hinted at the change in a note to a Jan. 31, 2014 blog post. The note relates that while Microsoft still plans to remove InfoPath from its SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online products, customers can still expect their forms to work in Microsoft’s next-generation SharePoint products and services:

“InfoPath Forms Services will be included in the next on-premises release of SharePoint Server 2016, as well as being fully supported in Office 365 until further notice. Customers will be able to confidently migrate to SharePoint Server 2016 knowing that their InfoPath forms will continue to work in their on-premises environments, as well as in Office 365. The InfoPath 2013 application remains the last version to be released and will work with SharePoint Server 2016.”

InfoPath Forms – Past, Present, and Future

InfoPath 2013, the main Office tool for building forms in the next SharePoint version, will be around for another eight years. Microsoft is committed to supporting the InfoPath 2013 client and InfoPath Forms Services for SharePoint Server 2013 until April 2023, per its product lifecycle support policy.

Microsoft also provides “InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365,” which the company plans to continue to support “until further notice.” Microsoft’s Online Services product lifecycle support policy, though, just specifies giving a one-year advance notice for any “disruptive” changes to its online services.

InfoPath isn’t a universally accepted Microsoft solution and the fact that forms can be created using “free form plug-ins from the Web,” rather than licensing InfoPath may have contributed to the fact that it was not as widely adopted by corporate America as projected.

A quick search on the SharePoint Apps Store will reveal a plethora of third-party form generation products.

        https://store.office.com/search.aspx?productgroup=SharePoint&qu=forms

InfoPath Forms FAQ

1.  Will Microsoft be shipping another version of InfoPath?

 No, there will not be another version of the InfoPath desktop client or InfoPath Forms Services. Microsoft is focusing on new intelligent, integrated forms experiences across Office technologies.

2.  How long will InfoPath be supported?

  • The InfoPath 2013 client will be supported through April 2023.
  • InfoPath Forms Services for SharePoint Server 2013 will be supported until April 2023.
  • InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 will be supported until further notice.

3.  What should I use to build and complete forms?

You should continue to use InfoPath technology for now.

 The FAQ portion of the blog post has been adapted from a Microsoft Office blog post. Read the entire article here: https://blogs.office.com/2014/01/31/update-on-infopath-and-sharepoint-forms/.