InfoPath Roles And Views

One useful feature of InfoPath is its built in support for user Roles. While it is not an overly powerful (and it should not be used for security purposes as all data can be viewed and edited in xml format via notepad or a similar) it can be handy for automatically switching views based on AD users or groups.

To add a role simply go to Tools -> User Roles (alt + t + e) and click Add (alt + a). You can then specify which users, groups or user names from the form should belong to the new role.

One thing to note is that when you are designing an InfoPath form and click “Preview Form” it shows the form based on the default role. If you wish to preview the form under a different role you need to go to File -> Preview Form -> With User Role… (alt + f + r + r). The form will then be launched in preview mode under the select role.

There is also the option to set a role as either the default role or the initiator role (only one role can occupy either or both of these options). The default setting specifies that this role is the default role for all users, should they not meet the requirements of another role. The initiator setting is the role assigned to a user when they open the infopath form for the first time.

Another point of interest is that roles are assessed on a top-down approach, however you can not change the ordering of roles from within the InfoPath IDE. In order to change the ordering of roles, should you be required to, you must open the manifest.xsf and manually re-order the <xsf:role /> elements.