Publishing InfoPath web form using stsadm command line utility
In this article, we will see how to publish an InfoPath web form
using an stsadm command line utility. In the previous article
"Creating Web Enabled InfoPath Form", we saw how to publish the
form using SharePoint Central Administration site, that is,
using the web interface. In large organizations that have
multiple departments and servers running multiple applications
at a time, deploying forms manually may not be a good idea
because it will never be a one time deployment. In big
organzations, the applications are released in steps and there
is version control. Also, there are bug fixes and there is a
need for an easy deployment method that does not involve
developer interaction. Administrators can create batch files to
upload and deploy the forms. Stsadm.exe utility comes in handy
when there is a need for such tasks. This utility does a lot of
other things which we won't discuss here as they are not
relevant but some commands that are important will be discussed
Ok, the form is ready. We already deployed it using the
interface. Now we will deploy it using the command line tool.
The first command that we will look at is following:
stsadm.exe -o VerifyFormTemplate -filename
The operation that we use in this command is "VerifyFormTemplate".
It verifies that the template is free of errors. In case there
are errors, they will be displayed in the console window. The
parameter we used is "filename". This is the complete file path
on your disk. It is important that you run this command before
uploading the form on the server. There are some errors that
cannot be caught during the upload process. Your template won't
work even if the uploading is successful. The only way to make
sure that there are no errors in your form are to run this
You can also use the "Design Checker" in InfoPath to check for
You can also use "Logic Inspector" to find errors in your logic,
rules, etc but there is no guarantee that your form will be free
of errors even after running these tools. Yes, I agree this does
not make sense. There should be a way to test the form for
errors before handing it over to the Administrator but that's
the way InfoPath works. The only way to make sure that form
template is free of errors is to use the "VerifyFormTemplate"
operation with stsadm.exe command.
The second command is for uploading the template to the server:
stsadm.exe -o UploadFormTemplate -filename
We use "UploadFormTemplate" operation to upload the form. The
"filename" parameter contains the full path of the file on your
The third command is for activating the template on the server.
The operation that we use is "ActivateFormTemplate" and we pass
two parameters. The first one is "URL" which is the site
collection URL where you want to activate the template. The
second parameter is "filename" which is the full path of the
template on the disk.
stsadm.exe -o ActivateFormTemplate -url "http://server"
There is another way of activating the form on the site. You
have seen two methods already. The third one is through the
interface but not central administration this time. Just go to
the SharePoint root site. Go to :"Site Settings". Under
"Site Collection Administration" you will find a link "Site
collection features". Click it. Find your template in the list.
You will see "Activate" button in front of the template name.
Click it to activate the template. Similarly to deactivate it,
click the "Deactivate" button (Activate will turn into
Deactivate once the form is activated). The status is shown next
to the button.
Ok, now you have activated the form. There should be a way to
deactivate and remove the form from the server. The command to
deactivate the form on the server is as following:
stsadm.exe -o DeactivateFormTemplate -url
This command will deactivate the template. The parameters are
"URL" and the "Filename".
To remove the form from the server, use following command:
stsadm.exe -o RemoveFormTemplate -filename
This will remove the template from the server. The only
parameter is "filename".
You will get an error if the following service is not running on
|Windows SharePoint Services
Go to Control Panel and Service and start this service if it's
not already started. You can also use another stsadm command to
run the administrative service jobs in which the Windows
SharePoint Services Administration (SPAdmin) service has been
disabled. The command is:
This will execute the pending jobs on the server. Sometimes, you
will get the following error.
The solution-deployment-jobxx.wsp-0 job completed
successfully, but could not be properly cleaned up. This
job may execute again on this server. Operation
Ignore the error. The job has been run.
Create a batch file and add all the commands shown above to
automate the deployment process. If the form is already deployed
and you just want to upgrade the template, use the following
stsadm.exe -o UpgradeFormTemplate -filename
This will upgrade the template. If you made changes to the
promoted fields, for example, promoted new fields or demoted
some of the already promoted fields, you will have to reactivate
the template on the server for the changes to take effect.
That's it. Hope you like the article.