InfoPath: The Road Ahead
You’ve heard the news; Microsoft has pulled the plug on InfoPath. As soon as this was formally announced, IT organizations everywhere started scrambling to find a replacement. At the SharePoint conference it was the talk of the town. I listened to conversations while standing in lines and walking the halls and they generally went like this, “we need to visit all the vendors who have an InfoPath replacement and decide on one before we go home.”
Here’s my take on the demise of InfoPath, it may be dying, but it’s not dead yet! Why bury a perfectly good tool while it’s still breathing? I know, it’s fun to buy new software and play with all of the shiny new features. I’m just as guilty of loving my new toys. However, I would argue that many of you should hold off on buying an InfoPath replacement.
- InfoPath will be supported through 2023. Why spend your precious budget dollars on an InfoPath replacement now when you still have InfoPath at your disposal? Instead, spend your budget dollars elsewhere until it’s necessary to spend it on an InfoPath replacement.
- In Microsoft’s own words, “If you’re an InfoPath customer, we want to reassure you that we’re working on migration guidance in parallel as we’re building our next generation of forms technology.” Personally, I want to wait and see what Microsoft is going to come up with as a replacement before I rush out and spend my budget on a third-party tool.
- Speaking of third-party tools, I think we’re going to see several new options hit the market. When I’m ready to replace InfoPath I’d rather have more options from which to choose. More importantly, I want those third-party tools to have all the bugs and kinks ironed out by other users before I sign up.
So for my money, I’m going to keep using InfoPath 2013 alongside my SharePoint 2013 environment and I’m going to spend my current budget dollars on the other tools I have on my wish list. As more third party tools are released and as Microsoft releases more information I’ll re-evaluate my position.