Data Source Field and Group Propertie s in VS .NET

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Data Source Field and Group Propertie s
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Element and Attribute Fields in XML
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An element in an InfoPath form s XML data is represented by an opening and closing tag and may contain data, such as <my: eld1>hello
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</my: eld1> An attribute can also hold data but must reside on an
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element, such as <my: eld1 myattribute="hello">hello again
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</my: eld1>
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Data Source Field and Group Properties
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Name Property Double-clicking on an item in the Data Source task pane yields a dialog to modify the node s properties The rst property, which we discussed earlier in the chapter, is the eld or group name This name is also conveniently accessible from the bound control s properties dialog despite it being a property of the data source (this is discussed further in 4) The eld or group name is simply a way to reference data that is held behind the eld itself If you ve ever written source code to program a computer, the name is synonymous with a variable name A variable can be referenced, its data assigned to, and so on; so too can a data source eld As you might know, changing a node name is very easy to do: Just type in a new, unique name But exercise caution before changing a eld or group name if your form template has been published If you change a node name and republish the form to the same location, there s a possibility that forms created from the previously published version will either no longer open or open but with data loss Let s take a closer look at why this happens
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Changing Field or Group Names Can Break Existing Forms
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If saved forms already exist based on your form template, changing eld or group names in the data source may cause data loss when upgrading the form to the new template data source
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3: Working with Data
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Table 33: XML Data and Schema That Match Before Changing a Field or Group Name XML Form Data Form Template Schema
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A B C
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A B C
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For a form to be successfully opened, the XML data in the form must agree to the rules and requirements of the form template schema For example, a schema could de ne elds A, B, and C, as shown in Table 33 Therefore, all forms created from this template using this schema will have elds A, B, and C Whenever a form is saved and reopened, you could reasonably expect all three elds would exist in that form s XML What if, between the time someone saves and reopens the form, you open the form template in design mode and change the data source by renaming leaf node B to D Table 34 shows this change in the form template schema Depending on your template s setting for handling Version Upgrade (which is automatic by default), the form will either open with the data missing from eld B (the default case) or not open at all with an error message about validation errors ( eld B was found, but expected eld D) The version upgrade feature setting is found in the Form Options dialog s Versioning category
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Table 34: Mismatched XML Data and Schema After a Name Change XML Form Data Form Template Schema
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A B C
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A D C
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At the time you might introduce a potentially breaking change when designing a published form template, InfoPath will prompt you Figure 33 shows the warning dialog If you absolutely must change a published
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Data Source Field and Group Propertie s
Figure 33: Warning dialog when changing the name of a data source field or group for a published form
template s data source, ensure the change is forward compatible Table 35 lists data source operations and how they may affect published form templates with version upgrade set to automatic (the default setting) If the upgrade mode was set to Do nothing, data loss cases in Table 34 would instead be breaking changes A breaking change with version upgrade set to Do nothing will cause previously created forms to fail to open We recommend that you do not change the setting for this reason alone The information in Table 35 also assumes that all data source changes are done using InfoPath and not via hand-editing or an external tool to edit the schema directly (Speci cally, the nodes in question are never required and, when repeating, have no upper bound)
Table 35: How Data Source Operations on a Published Form Template May Affect Saved Forms Data Source Operation Data Loss
Delete node Insert node Change node name Change nonrepeating to repeating Change repeating to nonrepeating
Yes, if the form has the node Never Yes, if the form has the node Never Yes, if the form has more than one instance of the node