Plan for mobile device access to form templates (Office Forms Server)


Updated: May 21, 2009

Applies To: Office Forms Server 2007


Topic Last Modified: 2009-05-11

Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 provides access to browser-enabled forms from mobile devices such as handheld PDAs that support HTML, CHTML, or XHTML. Because each mobile device renders Web pages differently, the behavior of forms will vary depending on the device used.

Office Forms Server 2007 does not support Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) browsers.

Because of the lack of standardization across mobile devices, the user experience may be significantly different depending on what type of device is being used. Different mobile devices will automatically break up the user interface into different views, in a device-specific way. Possible examples may include:

  • Automatic pagination

  • Automatic switching between list and detail views for lists

  • Automatic switching to a separate edit view for each editable field

Furthermore, because mobile devices may or may not support script execution, and due to low memory and bandwidth capabilities for many of those devices, Office Forms Server 2007 cannot use a client-side architecture (CSA) for mobile devices as it does for standard Web browsers. Instead, Office Forms Server 2007 uses ASP.NET mobile controls. This means that a mobile device browser will not:

  • Provide client-side actions using script. All such actions will post back to the server.

  • Use out-of-band postback as is used by a standard Web browser. Instead, the mobile device browser will always perform a full-page postback.

Mobile device browsers will therefore need to post back much more frequently than a desktop browser accessing Office Forms Server 2007. You should carefully plan how to support your mobile infrastructure in order to maximize performance.

When an HTTP request is received by Office Forms Server 2007, the server detects whether the request is coming from a mobile device and redirects the request to the appropriate page. ASP.NET mobile controls also can detect the device making a connection and auto-change the protocol used for the connection. For more information about ASP.NET mobile controls, see Mobile Controls ( on the Microsoft Web site.

When planning for mobile device access, you need to consider the following:

  • How many mobile devices do you expect to be accessing your documents and form templates?

  • How will these devices be connected to the network (Wireless access points throughout the organization, across the Internet)?

  • Will there be a standard for the type of mobile device accessing the server? If so, it would be easier for form template designers to exercise control over the way mobile forms will be displayed.

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