In this blog, I wanted to outline a solution that we recently implemented at a client. They were looking for a way to quickly display project information on the home page of the site. They wanted Project Admins to be able to easily update the information and wanted it to be as easy as possible. We looked at having them add the information to the home page; however we didn't want to have to teach our Project Admins to update SharePoint pages. While this is an easy task there still really wasn't any compelling reason to have our admins need to update pages. We ended up going with the solution of creating a simple Project list and then customizing the form in InfoPath. We then used the InfoPath form web part to display the form on the home page of the site. In this blog post I will walk you through the steps we took to do this.
Create the Project List. In this list we added columns for basic project information that people could use as a reference throughout the life of the project. Some sample columns could include:
- Project Name
- Project Number
- Project Manager
- Estimated Completion Date
Since your list is based on your specific needs, feel free to be creative on what items are included. Below is a screenshot of my list settings page that shows the sample list that I will be using for the remainder of this example.
Next up, we will want to customize this list using InfoPath forms services.
When the form opens in InfoPath, we will want to create a new View. This will allow us to create a view that we can reference as a read only view for displaying the information.
Use the different layouts and styles to customize a display view of the form.
When you complete the form layout, select the Quick Publish option to publish the changes back to the SharePoint site.
With the form complete we will now add a list item that has our project information. This list will really only ever contain one item. We are just trying to make an easy way for users to access and update the project information without having to update the page.
Now we are ready to add the web part to the home page.
Once the web part has been added, use the Tool Pane to configure the web part to display the correct form.
Your page should look similar to the screenshot below.
The next step in this process is added a way for the form web part to know which list item to display by default. This is done by configuring a web part connection in the Form Web Part. We first start by adding the projects web part to the page and then we add a connection within the Form Web Part to get the form data from the Projects web part. An example of the connection is below.
Now our home page displays the list web part and the form web part.
The final step is to set the Projects Web Part to hidden so that it is not shown on the home page. There are two options for doing this:
1 - configure the web part in the tool pane to display as hidden (note: this isn't available on all sites, so if the option is greyed out, see b)
2- configure the web part in SharePoint Designer to display as hidden.
Open the page that the web part is on and select the web part and edit the properties.
Save your changes and close SharePoint Designer. When you navigate to the site in the browser you will now see the form on the home page with the information displayed and the projects list hidden. To update the information that is displayed you just need to update the list item.