The need of InfoPath Alternative: Microsoft InfoPath Has been a Market Leader in its domain for quite long but with its upcoming Retirement, there arises a need to find a better solution.
PowerApps is the best InfoPath alternative or we can say, according to Microsoft, “A successor to InfoPath forms”.
Microsoft InfoPath is a simple yet powerful tool to create, design, distribute and fill electronic forms with structured data. The basic utility of them is to act as centralized forms for entering data with many customizable controls such as text boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes etc. along with a hierarchical view of files and folders.
The InfoPath Alternative Story: Why PowerApps
The story of the evolution of InfoPath forms dates back to 2003 when XML was gaining immense popularity in various organizations but it was complicated as well.
The Birth of InfoPath Forms
XML had become an important part of organizational workflows but its complexity was emerging as a major hindrance. Microsoft came up with a solution by introducing InfoPath Forms as a part of SharePoint 2003 that intended to minimize the XML complexity and allow the people with no XML knowledge to be able enough to do the data entry tasks. As a result, it was wholeheartedly accepted as a major element of SharePoint workflows and other business processes.
InfoPath Forms: End Of Life
Everything has a shelf-life and so do InfoPath forms. Though extremely useful, its restricted flexibility made it a redundant technology and Microsoft had to think for an InfoPath replacement to meet the new user demands.
In Microsoft Ignite 2014, Microsoft officially declaration about the retirement of InfoPath Forms. Microsoft announced that InfoPath will be discontinued by 2026. There is no InfoPath 2016 but InfoPath 2013 itself can continue to be used for the higher SharePoint versions until 2026. Users can continue to use InfoPath for XML documents, ECM and offline scenarios.
Ever since then, Microsoft has been trying to sway away the SharePoint users from InfoPath, but in vain, due to the absence of any reliable alternative to InfoPath forms. With its end of life approaching and its non-compatibility with the SharePoint Online version, continuing the use of InfoPath Forms surges the maintenance costs to notch higher. As the InfoPath services are going to die soon, many of its functionalities have already stopped working. It’s time for us to start modernization. Thus, it is advisable to start looking for an InfoPath alternative as soon as possible
PowerApps: InfoPath Alternative Proclaimed By Microsoft
PowerApps turns out to be the most appropriate alternative to the InfoPath forms. It provides the same flexibility, capability and development aspects as InfoPath forms.
In Microsoft Ignite 2016 (Microsoft’s Premier Tech event), they officially proclaimed PowerApps as the successor to the InfoPath forms. If you are considering moving and automating your manual business processes, the rich business logic and workflow capabilities provided by the Apps built using Power Apps can prove to be your perfect aid. Further, apps built using Power Apps have a responsive design and may run seamlessly in the browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet). Power Apps “democratizes” the custom business app building experience by enabling users to create feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code. PowerApps also let the pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors and integrate with external data.
Power Apps is Microsoft’s solution to provide a rapid application development environment to build custom apps. It allows us to quickly build business apps with its simple drag and drop designer and to rapidly develop forms that are responsive from day one and are mobile-ready without any coding. It can be attributed as an all-in-one suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that can be used to quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform or in various online and on-premises data sources like Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office 365, 2020 Saketa, A Technovert Company, All rights reserved Microsoft Dynamics 365, SQL Server and so on. PowerApps can connect to multiple data resources, add multiple controls, media and forms to create an app that will work on web and mobile
Best Approach: Migrate From InfoPath Forms to PowerApps
Organizations still relying on InfoPath to store important data may not realize that opening these forms in the future will be problematic due to their soon approaching end of life. Deprecation of InfoPath forms and closure of client support after 2026, will make moving to its replacement, a more powerful platform ‘PowerApps’, a must. But doing it manually is a complex task. Thus, organizations must accept the inevitable and act accordingly by replacing InfoPath forms to Power Apps including all attachments and metadata.
As SharePoint modern sites don’t support InfoPath forms. So, we cannot migrate it directly. Instead, we need to follow 3 steps:
- Migrate Data
- Replace InfoPath Libraries into List Data
- Create Power Apps
Saketa InfoPath to PowerApps Migration
The SharePoint Online migration API does not support InfoPath forms migration as is, this makes the migration process manual, mundane and error-prone. If you want to automate this tedious process, Saketa Infopath Migration Services help you in converting the form data into list items. Saketa is also quite committed to understanding this challenge and strives to reduce a lot of time required in these steps, thus giving you a quick InfoPath Migration Experience.
We automate the conversion of InfoPath forms data in Forms Library to SharePoint list items and further carry on the conversion of InfoPath forms to PowerApps forms. You can also opt for our Power App services where we address the PowerApp operations.