About a month or so ago, K2 launched the beta phase of their new technology called K2 Forms. The whole premise around K2 Forms is to provide an integrated seamless experience for K2 designers, developers, and users. Using Forms means that you can drop all other forms technologies such as InfoPath etc. Forms is not only a user interface technology, it also comes with its own completely integrated designer, which is built in Silverlight but is very fast, simple, and easy to use. Forms requires Blackpearl, it won’t work with Blackpoint, which means it they can hosted anywhere: SharePoint, custom website, etc.
Since Forms is in the beta phase, there are bugs and little odd funnies that show up every now and then, but then this is the beta phase and what it is all about. To K2’s credit, they are releasing new builds weekly and fixing lots of bugs and listening to the partners who are beta testing for them.
So after playing with the technology for a bit, I have even built a POC for telecoms company using Pearl and Forms, I have some thoughts about it.
I think it is a very good option for those wanting to build seamless business processes in Pearl, the forms are fast and with the modular approach that K2 have taken, means you can create views for a Smart Object (list, create/edit), and combine them with other views on pages. This means you only need to create a specific view once and use in multiple pages. When using Forms, you must remember that the views are based on Smart Objects so you will need to create an SMO for any data source you wish to consume in the Form.
So far I have been pretty impressed, I loved the feel and how intuitive the designers wizards are. I think K2 are on to something here, so lets hope they keep it going in the direction they started with.
The only complaint I have about K2 forms is the whole “Only for BlackPearl” part, I think that they can easily take the Pearl parts out, and make it work only with the Point components as any designer and developer who has worked with Point will tell you, InfoPath and SharePoint forms integration can be tricky at times and can introduce some really stupid issues.
Below are some pictures of K2 Forms, please note that they are from the K2 website, I don’t have my VM with the beta on available at the moment.
K2 Forms Designer
Demo Form with Worklow Integration
K2 Form running in SharePoint 2010
The opinions in this post are my own and don’t in any part, make up the opinion of my employer or co-workers. This opinion is also formed on my interactions which may or may not have been the correct way to go about it.