InfoPath Forms Services 2010: glitch with repeating dynamic hyperlinks


Yesterday I noticed a strange issue, very hard to reproduce due to quite some nested sections, filtered repeating sections and other circumstances. So while I can’t reproduce the issue in a clean form (because it would take too much time to reproduce our working form situation) I’ll just write on the experienced behaviour and a workaround.

Environment

A SharePoint 2010 environment patched up to SP1 and December 2011 Cumulative Update, hosts an InfoPath 2010 web form in IPFS that displays data from a secondary data source.

The secondary data source (simplified) contains repeating items with a URL and (on a deeper node) addition information about the item.

<l> <i> <data> <ref>REF-1</ref> </data> <url>http://url1</url> </i> <i> <data> <ref>REF-2</ref> </data> <url>http://url2</url> </i> <i> <data> <ref>REF-3</ref> </data> <url>http://url3</url> </i> </l>

The InfoPath Form renders a filtered view on this data, but further testing ruled this out as the culprit. It is formatted to display a repeating section with a Hyperlink field. The hyperlink field has the address bound to the url element, the text is bound to the data/ref element.

Form Edit Mode

Experienced behaviour

When the form is opened using InfoPath Forms Services, it renders the right number of repeating sections, but all section hyperlinks point to the first element of the Secondary Data Source.

The picture below shows what should have been rendered, but instead it renders all links pointing to “REF-1” (both text and address).

IPFS form

Workaround

Somehow by adding the data element as a section in the repeating section fixes the issue. At first I moved the Hyperlink inside that section, but that wasn’t even required ! So you might as well leave the section empty.

Now since an empty section looks rather silly, I suggest you design the form with the Hyperlink field inside that section. This makes for a minor difference in XPath for the Address and Text bound properties but really that doesn’t matter.

Form Design Mode (2)

You can set the padding, margin and border options for the section so that it isn’t visible in runtime mode.

 

That concludes my blog on this glitch. If you experience this issue as well I hope the workaround solves it as well !

 


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