December 9, 2011

Recommendations for maintaining Infopath performance

I'm creating an InfoPath form that is a bit large and starting to lag so I decided to look up better practices for developing InfoPath forms to maintain performance. Here is what I found online:
- Keep views from being too large or complex. Split large views into several smaller ones with buttons to switch between them.
- Avoid lots of tables (data or layout) in any single view.
- Use Master/Detail to reduce the number of controls in one page, whenever possible.
- Try to use filter to filter the table rows (instead of conditional
formatting).
- Avoid large repeating data structures that can grow to many pages.
-Avoid complex nesting of optional and repeatable sections. These are quite complicated to layout and also can quickly cause a single view to become very large.
- Avoid using Percentage width for your controls if your view contains lots of nested controls. We have seen over 50% improvements by using Fixed Width. You can apply specify a fixed width in the control's properties dialog.
- Be aware of exactly what your business logic does. For example, onAfterChange can fire multiple times for a single edit.
- Rather than querying for all the data then having InfoPath just show a small amount, refine your query and only bring the data you plan on displaying into InfoPath.
- Only get the data you need to load the form. Don't pre-populate data sources that aren't necessary on load.
- Merge static xml data sources into one if you have multiple xml data connections.
- Use Expression Box to display calculated value if you don't need to store the value. If you have business logic to trigger all the calculation, only trigger necessary calculation. Triggering large amount of calculations is costly.
- When using digital signatures, only digitally sign the information you need to. Signing takes a screenshot of the data signed and encodes it in the form. The larger the screenshot, the larger the xml will become with the encoded image.
- Avoid attaching large files to the form. These files are encoded in the xml and can cause issues if they become too large. Provide links over embedding large files if possible.
- Avoid embedding images in a form. For the same reasons as above.

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