Difference between InfoPath 2007 and InfoPath 2010

Learn what a few of the key differences are between InfoPath 2007 and InfoPath 2010 and whether and when it makes sense to upgrade from InfoPath 2007 to InfoPath 2010.


If you are already used to designing form templates in InfoPath 2007, picking up InfoPath 2010 will turn out to be fairly easy, except for getting used to working with the Office ribbon and especially finding the locations of commands that have been moved to a different location.

For example the Save As Source Files functionality, which used to reside under the File menu in InfoPath 2007, can now be accessed in InfoPath 2010 by clicking on Export Source Files under Publish under the File tab.

For a complete list of the mappings between the InfoPath 2007 menu commands and InfoPath 2010 menu commands, you can download the InfoPath 2010: Menu to ribbon reference workbook from Office Online.

I am not going to recite each and every new feature in InfoPath 2010 here. You can read the following two articles if you want to know more about the new features in InfoPath 2010:

  1. What’s New in InfoPath 2010 (InfoPath Team Blog)
  2. Changes in InfoPath 2010 (TechNet)

However, I am going to point out a few key differences, which I think you should be aware of.

A few key differences between InfoPath 2007 and InfoPath 2010

First off, if you are a developer, you may want to know that there isn’t currently support in Visual Studio 2010 (or any other version of Visual Studio) to create InfoPath 2010 form templates. To write code for InfoPath 2010, you need to use the cut-down version of Visual Studio, which is Visual Studio Tools for Applications.

This also means that with the move to InfoPath 2010, the nice Attach to debugger feature you had in Visual Studio is gone. This was a key feature I used to use for debugging InfoPath forms in SharePoint. Furthermore, scripting has been removed from InfoPath 2010. So if these features are important to you, you may want to stick with InfoPath 2007 until Microsoft releases a project template for InfoPath 2010 in Visual Studio 2010.

Secondly, the entire rule creation process has been considerably simplified in InfoPath 2010 compared to InfoPath 2007, and some of the thinking that is involved in setting up some commonly used rules such as for validating dates are readily available from the Add Rule menu item in InfoPath 2010. There is also a clearer distinction now between the types of rules you can add in InfoPath.

If you work with SharePoint, you will love InfoPath 2010. InfoPath 2010 integrates more tightly with SharePoint 2010 than InfoPath 2007 did with SharePoint 2007. In addition to the new feature of being able to create SharePoint List forms both from within InfoPath 2010 as well as from a list within SharePoint 2010, there are two new actions for working with SharePoint called Send data to Web Part and Change REST URL.

The first action works in conjunction with the InfoPath 2010 form web part in SharePoint 2010, while the latter works in conjunction with SharePoint 2010 REST Services. Both actions allow a myriad of extra InfoPath SharePoint interaction functionality to be built without writing a single line of code.

And where productivity increase is concerned, once you have previously published a form template and want to republish it, you just have to click on a button called Quick Publish to have your form template republished. This is just one of the many ways InfoPath 2010 increases your productivity over working with InfoPath 2007.

All in all, the new interface will definitely take getting used to if you are already an InfoPath user. However, if you are completely new to InfoPath and InfoPath 2010 is the first version of InfoPath you are using, many tasks that used to be somewhat painful in InfoPath 2007 for non-technical people will be a breeze to perform in InfoPath 2010.

To upgrade or not to upgrade from InfoPath 2007 to InfoPath 2010?

If you want my opinion as to whether you should upgrade from InfoPath 2007 to InfoPath 2010 or not, here it is…

If you are still on SharePoint 2007 and will stay on it for a while, I would suggest sticking with InfoPath 2007, because the new InfoPath SharePoint features are only available for InfoPath 2010 with SharePoint 2010. In addition, if you also write code for InfoPath form templates and are currently using Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 with InfoPath 2007, you may want to stay on InfoPath 2007 for a while, or until you upgrade your SharePoint environment.

If you have already upgraded to SharePoint 2010 or are planning to, it makes sense to upgrade to InfoPath 2010 too to take advantage of all of the new InfoPath SharePoint integration features.

If you do not use SharePoint at all, I would still recommend upgrading from InfoPath 2007 to InfoPath 2010, because the user interface of InfoPath 2010 is so much nicer and a pleasure to work with, and you’ll enjoy the many productivity increase features of it.

Overall, while I am a developer who prefers to work with Visual Studio instead of Visual Studio Tools for Applications, I like InfoPath 2010 so much that I would upgrade. And in the end, working with InfoPath is a hobby (yes, crazy hobby, huh?) I took up, because I was able to do so much with it without writing code but still challenge my brains enough to get satisfaction from my work.

So there you have it; my two cents… Hope it’s worth gold to you. And by the way, if you aren’t already subscribed to my InfoPath blog and want to jump onto the InfoPath 2010 bandwagon, click on the link below to subscribe, because I will be writing more about InfoPath 2010 in the near future.


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Copyright: This article may not be used on web sites (whether personal or otherwise), copied, disseminated, altered, printed, published, broadcasted, or reproduced in any way without an expressed written consent. The techniques demonstrated in this article may be used within any Microsoft InfoPath project. This article is provided without any warranties. Copyright for this article is non-transferrable and remains with the author.