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In InfoPath, every control on the form must be bound to an element in the XML document and defined by the underlying schema. This can be limiting when you want to provide some additional assistance to retrieve information and/or populate the form.

One option is to use managed code that displays System.Windows.Forms dialogs launched by a button on the form. This comes at a cost of making development and deployment more complicated.

Another option is to use a Custom Task Pane. A Custom Task Pane in InfoPath is simply an HTML file that is displayed in the Task Pane on the right side of the form. The HTML file can have form controls that are not bound to elements in the XML document. The HTML can also have inline script and the script can call back into the InfoPath object model, including all your functions in the Form code-behind script. So, you don't have to worry about making web service calls from HTML script; you can use InfoPath query adapters.

This page in the InfoPath SDK explains how to use the Custom Task Pane.

Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:53 PM Office | Back to top

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