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May 16

Finding the best InfoPath replacement, SharePoint journey of an Australian government agency

ICT Service Desk Officer at South Australian Tourism Commission

This business case was described to us by the SATC government agency. They've used Plumsail Forms for SharePoint to replace Infopath forms in their move to the Microsoft 365 cloud and this is their story.

In this article:

In addition to the article, watch the interview with Luke Gackle from the SATC government agency on our YouTube channel:

 

South Australian Tourism Commission: who we are

The SATC is a state government agency; we're essentially a marketing agency for the state of South Australia. We run a number of major events and support the industry through product development, advice, funding opportunities, and ultimately marketing the state of South Australia as a destination of choice.

SATC

SATC promotes tourism to support local economy

 

The challenge of replacing InfoPath

Our agency has a number of internal business processes that occur through the use of electronic forms: previously we had an internal e-forms system built on Infopath which worked well at the time, but was becoming clunky and was no longer officially supported by Microsoft. This posed a business risk.

These forms were also hosted on an on-prem server so required staff to be in the office or on VPN to access them, the workflows were also difficult to diagnose, and there were limited options with integrations with other services.

We had a need to modernise these business processes and improve access, while ensuring that the platform that we were using was secure and supported and met government requirements for compliance.

So, here's what we needed to fix when replacing InfoPath:

  • Outdated Technology: InfoPath e-forms were clunky and unsupported, posing business risks.
  • Limited Access: On-premises hosting required staff to be in-office or on VPN.
  • Workflow Issues: Diagnosing workflow problems was challenging.
  • Integration Problems: The system couldn't integrate well with other services.
  • Need for Modernization: Business processes needed modernization to meet security and compliance standards.
Luke Gackle
The main challenge that we faced was that Microsoft InfoPath was an unsupported platform. So if it breaks or if there's a security vulnerability, it wouldn't get updated and we needed to move to a new platform.

So we've searched through a range of different solutions and Plumsail stood out as one of the best solutions out there.
Luke Gackle, ICT Service Desk Officer at South Australian Tourism Commission

 

From SharePoint On-Premises to Microsoft 365: moving to the cloud

Plumsail Forms has enabled us to move our electronic forms into the cloud with M365 and SharePoint Online while meeting all of our requirements for compliance.

With the discontinuation of support for Microsoft Infopath, we compared several off the shelf solutions and none of them compared to the functionality provided by Plumsail.

Plumsail integrates extremely well into the Microsoft stack, data is stored in SharePoint Online, you can then leverage Microsoft Power Automate to manage approvals, notifications or any other actions required.

We've found Plumsail Forms to be the perfect fit for our needs over other InfoPath replacement options like Power Apps:

  • Plumsail Forms streamlines cloud migration: Successfully shifted electronic forms to M365 and SharePoint Online, ensuring compliance.
  • Unmatched functionality: Despite evaluating various solutions, none matched Plumsail's capabilities.
  • Seamless integration into Microsoft stack: Data securely stored in SharePoint Online, while Power Automate optimizes workflow management.

Check out a side-by-side comparison of Power Apps and Plumsail Forms.

 

Implementing Plumsail Forms for SharePoint to replace Infopath

Using Plumsail Forms has made our digital workflows much more efficient.

Microsoft Teams approval workflow

We rebuilt all of our e-forms in Plumsail Forms. A new SharePoint List is created with the necessary fields for each form, and workflows are managed through Microsoft Power Automate. If approvals are required, we generate a Microsoft Teams Approval, and the approver receives a notification containing a link to the e-form that needs approval.

Notification request

Notification with a link to the form

Microsoft Power Automate integration options

Having the workflows managed through Microsoft Power Automate gives us a lot more integration options that we didn’t have before, for example, if ICT needs to action something on a form, the workflow can automatically create a ticket in JIRA for us with a link to the form, the possibilities are endless.

SharePoint form

Example of a form used for drivers

Complex forms with data tables and auto calculations

Our largest form would have to be our Overseas Travel Request form which as you can imagine has a lot of questions, data tables help us collect structured information, for example a list of travel destinations, travel safety warning level, and departure/arrival dates.

Data Table

Data Table with overseas travel locations

Calculated fields allow us to complete auto calculations for the user with regards to travel costs.

Automatic calculation

Auto calculation of Total Cost field

We have also been able to pre-fill certain information for staff based on their account, who their manager is, and things like job title and phone number through JavaScript saving time for our staff.

 

Overall experience: Plumsail Forms as a replacement for Microsoft Infopath

If you are looking for a replacement for Microsoft Infopath, we can’t recommend Plumsail Forms enough, the support team have been incredibly helpful, the platform is well documented, and the platform has the features and flexibility to suit most requirements.

Luke Gackle
I think the best thing about Plumsail Forms is that it's built really heavily into the Microsoft stack. Since we're already using these services, that are heavily used and supported by Microsoft, you're just adding a layer on top of that, like the front end form side.

And being able to have so much flexibility and customization around that is amazing!
Luke Gackle, ICT Service Desk Officer at South Australian Tourism Commission

Try Plumsail Forms for SharePoint as a replacement for Infopath

By taking advantage of Plumsail Forms for SharePoint, companies and agencies can replace their Infopath forms, streamline their internal processes by improving usability and readability of forms, ensuring correct data flow, improving tracking and more.

Steven Summone
This a pretty amazing product. It’s so simple to use and it creates ASP forms with greater ease than InfoPath forms. The price point is also fantastic for what you get considering most SharePoint enterprise products cost thousands of pounds/dollars.
Steven Summone, Enterprise Architect at DWP

If you'd like to try the product yourself, start with a 30-day free trial of Plumsail Forms for SharePoint Online by following the installation instructions in our documentation, which includes a full video walkthrough.

If you're using SharePoint 2019 or Subscription Edition, follow the SharePoint On-Premises installation guide.

g2.com
Replacing our current Infopath sharepoint forms with Plumsail forms. It is easy to build and looks nice. Our internall staff are happy with the new forms. Frustration with the old forms gone now.
g2.com review