6: Retrieving Data from External Source s in .NET framework

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6: Retrieving Data from External Source s
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external XML le directly to the main data source, you could use rules for simple copying or write custom form code to orchestrate a complex copy scheme Copying data from a secondary data source to the main data source is generic functionality any adapter can potentially leverage Let s jump into an example that shows off the abilities of the XML le adapter First, we ll design a very simple form template that you ll ll out to create the external data source Starting with a new blank form, simply insert a Bulleted List control and save the template Fill out the form based on the template you just saved by adding the list items shown in Figure 64 Save this form to your desktop as Samplexml (This le is available with the samples for this chapter on the book s Web site A sample called BulletedListItems also was used to create this XML le)
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Figure 64: Data to fill into a form and save to Samplexml, to be read later by using an XML file adapter
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Now let s design another new blank form template, but this time the template will be used to read the data we saved in the previous example Instead of inserting controls, go to the Data Connections item on the Tools menu Click the Add button on the Data Connections dialog and then select the Receive data with an XML document option for the source of your data When prompted for the le location, as shown in Figure 65, point to the Samplexml le you previously saved on the desktop The Resource Files button is used to select an XML le that is already included in the form template The next dialog (Figure 66), despite looking simple, has a pivotal effect on this connection s settings The rst option, Include the data as a resource le in the form template or template part, will pull in the XML data when you click the Next button and save it in a le that s kept with the form template The le would then be accessible through the Resource Files dialog (available
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Figure 65: Entering the file location to use when creating a secondary connection to XML data
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Figure 66: XML file connection settings to opt in or out of including the data as a file in your template
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6: Retrieving Data from External Source s
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from the button in Figure 65 as well as the Tools menu in design mode) Since we want our XML data to be live, that is, if the data is updated we want our form to re ect the updates, we instead choose the option Access the data from the speci ed location The checkbox to Store a copy of the data for of ine use should not be checked This is for the cached query feature, which we will discuss in 7 when we cover the topic of of ine query support
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Including XML Data in the Form Template Resource Files
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When including XML data as a resource le in the form template, InfoPath will try to keep the original le name For example, if you pointed to \\MyComputer\MyShare\MyDataxml and chose the Include the data as a resource le in the form template option, a le called MyDataxml would be added automatically to the form template resource les If the XML data comes from a Web site with characters such as slashes and question marks that cannot be used in a le name, InfoPath will attempt to use a base le name For example, http:// MyServer/MyDataaspx Type=1 would yield a le with resource name MyDataaspx
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The nal page of the wizard, shown in Figure 67, has two settings that we can change before we nish The rst is the data connection name The connection name is what you ll use to reference this XML le data connection versus other connections you might have (Remember that a form template can have multiple connections) Some places where you might see this name when designing a form are in the Data Source task pane, rules, and the Data Connections dialog if you re modifying the connection settings You ll use the data connection name quite often when you re writing form code with data connections and data sources; however, we ll reserve conversation of this topic for s 15 and 16 when we talk about writing custom form code When users ll out the form, this name is revealed only if there is an error accessing the data In other words, the name you choose for the data connection is useful only for form design and debugging activities The checkbox Automatically retrieve data when form is opened enables this XML data adapter to get the data when the user opens the form (either new
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