Remember that Monty Python movie The Holy Grail? There’s a scene where a guy is walking through a village with a cart of dead people yelling “bring out your dead.” A guy walks up with a not-quite-dead person and the dialog goes a little like this:
Person: Here’s one!
Not-Quite-Dead-Guy: I’m not dead!
Cart Guy: He says he’s not dead.
Person: Oh no, he’s well on his way.
Not-Quite-Dead-Guy: I’m getting better!
Person: You’ll be stone dead in the morning.
Person [to the Cart Guy]: Is there something you can do
Cart Guy: [whacks the not-quite-dead-guy on the head with a club, killing him]
This is an analogy I’ve been using with some customers when they get into an argument about using InfoPath on projects today. I’ve been the guy carrying the not-quite-dead InfoPath saying it isn’t something we want to bank our project on… that we want to look at other solutions. Well… looks like today is the day where the last line in that dialog just happened.
A little under a year ago I was poked again on Twitter by someone asking for my take on InfoPath. I wasn’t ever really shy about voicing my opinion on it, but I also wasn’t interested in being a focal point for the subject. After yet another question, I finally decided I wanted something I could point people to when they asked my opinion. So I wrote the post My Thoughts: InfoPath 2013 & the Future of InfoPath.
In that post I said two things that I want to highlight:
the future is unclear at best, realistically pessimistic and a dead-end at worst
I do not use InfoPath any more & I do not recommend people use InfoPath going forward
Looks like those weren’t too strong of a statement to make. Today Microsoft announced that InfoPath is being retired. That’s it… it’s dead. OK sure, they will support it for 10 years and you can continue to use it, but who in their right mind is going to use a product on new projects with that type of outlook?
In their blog post I mention above, they don’t mention what their plan is to replace InfoPath… only that there is a story going forward. For now we will have to wait until the SharePoint Conference in just over a month to find out what the story is.
If you are currently in need of a forms solution for your SharePoint projects today, the guidance I provided in my original post, My Thoughts: InfoPath 2013 & the Future of InfoPath, holds true except. If you are starting a new project, I would not recommend adding InfoPath to the mix. If you have an ongoing project or have one that has a heavy investment of InfoPath, you have to take stock of it and address it on a case-by-case basis.