14: Introduction to Forms Ser vice s in .NET

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14: Introduction to Forms Ser vice s
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Figure 1422: Converting an InfoPath data connection to use a server-defined data connection file
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le, a DCL must already exist on the SharePoint server If you have a design role on a site collection, you can create a DCL yourself by navigating to the SharePoint site in the browser Under the Site Actions menu, select Create and click Data connection Library Using a library that isn t purposed for data connections is disallowed, and if you attempt to use such a library, InfoPath shows an error The Relative to site collection option is the default and recommended selection for the Connection link type setting Let s explore the link type option and what it means
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No Need to Add the File Extension to Data Connection Files
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You do not need to add udcx when entering a URL for a data connection le The Convert Data Connection dialog will do it for you automatically when you click OK
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The connection link type tells InfoPath, as well as Forms Services for browser-enabled form templates, how to retrieve the data connection le The connection le can exist in two types of locations: a DCL or the centrally managed connection library The relative link is recommended because it requires the least administrative intervention (We ll look at the bene ts and
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Data Conne ctions
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hurdles of the Centrally managed connection library option in 17) Using a relative link means that the DCL is not strongly associated with its site collection So it doesn t matter to what site collection your form template is deployed, as long as a DCL and connection le exist with the same names within that site collection You can compare a relative DCL link to a Web site link, for example A relative link such as /defaulthtm may work on multiple Web sites (eg, wwwmoiconsultingcom/defaulthtm) The relative Web site link (/defaulthtm) represents the DCL, and each Web site (wwwmoiconsultingcom) can be compared to a SharePoint site collection This model allows exibility in template deployment across site collections without the need to constantly update the form template s data connection le location Using a relative link for data connection les is useful when the connection speci cs (eg, for permissions) change across site collections Say, for example, that a Web service is used as a data connection in your form template, but the authentication differs depending on which site collection it s used from But if a form template is used across multiple site collections and essentially duplicates its DCL because the connections are the same, you ll want to consider using the connection store instead A connection store is accessible across site collections and prevents the duplication of DCLs We ll hold the topic of the connection store for 17
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XML document data connections created with Access the data from the speci ed location will always fail in Forms Services because of security reasons There is no setting to change this behavior Only use XML document connections that have the Include the data as a resource in the form template option selected or use an alternate connection, such as a Web service
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Security and Data Connection Libraries When we started discussing data connections in this chapter, the focus was on security The server s trust model for InfoPath data connections is, for the good reasons we provided, different than the one for InfoPath For the most part, a server s security is only as good as its administrator s adherence to
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14: Introduction to Forms Ser vice s
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common sense and recommendations For example, it should be considered a high privilege to upload items to a DCL If you do allow a wide range of users to upload, at least require content approval by an administrator (which is a default SharePoint setting) While we mentioned that using a DCL-based data connection allows a form to initiate cross-domain communication, this is not completely true By default, a form cannot connect to a server in a different domain, even with a UDC-de ned connection (eg, accessing http://DataServer from http://FormsServer is not allowed) Cross-domain connections via the DCL are explicitly disallowed via a Forms Services administrative setting While this setting can be con gured easily, you may want to consider the repercussions of making such a change Instead of using the DCL, you can have a form template request full trust permissions A fully trusted form template has unrestricted access to cross-domain connections DCL-based or not Since both require administrative actions, we ll look at fully trusted templates as well as the cross-domain con guration setting in 17 Just as important as the topics of elevated privileges for cross-domain communication is the ability to throttle data connection activity If an attack were made against our server, it would likely involve data connections 17 covers various available security measures a SharePoint farm administrator can take ahead of time For example, we ll see how to preemptively mitigate damage by malicious data connections
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