Lori’s Infopath tip: You can auto-populate another user’s profile info

For much of the past few weeks, I thought it wasn’t possible to auto-populate fields in Infopath using the Contact Selector ActiveX control, beyond the three standard fields it comes with (DisplayName, AccountId, and AccountType). I needed to populate my InfoPath form with WorkEmail and Department attributes, but it seemed that the only reliable way to do it was via code.

That is, until I got it to work using Lori Gowin’s post (see here: http://seethepoint.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!CDB633EE9271C6FA!163.entry?sa=608624574)

Lori’s new blog URL: http://www.pointgowin.com/SeeThePoint/default.aspx

I’m re-posting Lori’s steps here for posterity (just in case her blog mysteriously disappears…). I’ve also added an initial step to set up a connection to UserProfileService which is needed for the controls to work properly.

Adding a Contact Selector control to auto-populate another user’s profile details in InfoPath

Step 1: Add a connection to the UserProfileService.

1. Click on Tools > Data Connections > Create a new connection. Select “Receive data”, click Next.
2. Select “Web Service” and click “Next”.
3. Enter UserProfileService URL (enter your server name here):


click Next

4. Select “GetUserProfileByName” method and click Next.
5. At the next screen, leave default values intact and click Next.
6. At the next screen, leave default values intact and click Next.
7. Enter a name for this data connection, for example “GetOTHERuserProfileByName”.
Make sure to UNCHECK “Automatically retrieve data when form is opened” checkbox. Click Finish.

Step 2: Add the Contact Selector control to InfoPath – this only has to be done once within InfoPath, then it will be available for future forms.

1. From the Controls task pane, click on “Add or Remove Custom Controls…” then click Add.
2. Select “ActiveX Control” then click Next.
3. Locate “Contact Selector” in the list, select it, then click Next.
4. Ensure “Don’t install a .cab file” is selected, click Next.
5. Set the Binding Property to “Value”, click Next.
6. In the drop-down menu for field or group type, select “Field or Group (any data type)” then click Finish.
7. Click Close, click OK.

Step 3: Add a data connection – this must be done for each new form created.

There is some preliminary work here, first you have to create an XML file and save it. Open notepad and paste: <Context siteUrl="http://”/&gt;. Save the file as Context.xml. This same file can be used each time you create a new data connection of this type.

1. In InfoPath click Tools>Data Connections, then click the Add button.
2. Select “Create a ne connection to:” and “Receive data”, click Next.
3. Select “XML Document” and click Next.
4. Browse to the Context.xml file you created in notepad, click Next.
5. “Include the data as a resource file in the form template or template part” should be selected, click Next.
6. Leave the connection named “Context” and automatically retrieve the data when the form is opened, click Finish.

Step 4: Add the control to the form.

1. Drag and drop the control to the desired location on the form.
2. Go to the Data Source task panel.
3. Modify the data source so that the group that is created by the new control is exactly like the data source pictured. The “Person” group is a repeating group, the field names are case sensitive.

The control on the form that can be used to lookup users in Active Directory. Which is pretty nice if the DisplayName and Account ID are all the information that is needed. Here’s how to get more:

Step 5: Add your rules.

1. While in the Data Source task pane, create a field in the main data source (but not in your Contact Selector group) and name it something meaningful. I use HiddenAccountName to keep it distinct from the field in the Contact Selector group.
2. Click the drop-down menu on your data field in the data source, click “Properties”, then click the function button to set the default data.
3. Click “Insert Field or Group…”
4. Select the AccountId field from your contact selector group, then click OK on each window until the Field or Group Properties is showing(2 times).

5. Click the Rules and Merge tab, click Add.
6. Don’t set any conditions, this rule always applies, click Add Action.
7. Select “Set a field’s value” from the drop down.
8. Click the data source button next to the “Field” field.
9. Select the data source you wish to use for the lookup in the drop-down menu. *Be sure you don’t re-use the connection for the current user data if you have one in this form.
10. Expand the query fields and sub-groups, then select “Account Name”, click OK.

11. Click the function button next to the “Value” field, then click Insert Field or Group.
12. Select the current field you created in step 1 above, click OK until all windows are closed (3 times).
13. In the data source pane, use the drop-down menu to select the data source that you will use to look up another user’s profile information.
14. Expand the query fields and all sub groups until the field AccountName is visible. Click the drop-down menu on the AccountName field, then click properties.
15. Click on the Rules and Merge tab, then click Add.
16. Do not set any conditions, this rule will always apply. Click Add Action.
17. Select “Query using a data connection” from the drop-down menu.
18. Select the data connection you wish to use for the lookup from the drop-down menu (it should be the same as the data source listed in the task pane), then click OK.
19. Click Add Action.
20. Select “Set a field’s value” from the drop-down.
21. Click on the data source button next to the “Field” field.
22. Ensure you change the data source to “Main” and select the field you wish to auto-populate, then click OK.
23. Select the function button next to the “Value” field, then click Insert Field or Group.
24. Expand the data fields group and all sub-groups, select “Value”, click Filter Data, then click Add.
25. Where the “Value” field is defaulted, click the drop-down and select “Select a field or group…”
26. Select the “Name” field under “Property Values”, click OK.
27. In the third field, click the drop-down and select “Type Text”.
28. Type the property from the user profile that you wish to enter in the field, then click OK until you are back to the “Rule” window (5 times).
Repeat steps 19 through 28 for all fields that you wish to have auto-populate with the other user’s data. It is important that “Query using a data connection” remain the first action. If it is not the first action, highlight that action and move it up until it is the first.
29. Click OK on all windows until you are back to your form.

Now you have a contact selector that allows a user to look up another user in AD and have their profile properties auto-populate fields on the form.


5 Responses to “Lori’s Infopath tip: You can auto-populate another user’s profile info”

  1. 1 GEM February 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    This is a great post ! Thanks

    However, I have tried to use it within a repeating table, it may caused an error .. Do you know why?

    1. The table is containing 2 columns: a contact selector and a text field (stored the email)
    2. I can get the “WorkEmail” based on the information of contact selector

    e.g. GEM GEM@abc.com

    3. But, when I insert one more item, the email field in the first row will be replaced by the email field in second row

    e.g. GEM Peter@abc.com
    Peter Peter@abc.com

    Please help.. Thank you very much

  2. 2 Pooja September 13, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for the post it has saved me heapful of work to be done from my end. I was wondering if you could help me in my situation. I have developed an Infopath2010 form on my Dev server and have included the logic you explained in the above article for retrieving the User details based on selection in PeoplePicker.
    Now when I need to move the whole of my Infopath form to aa new server (that is used as Production server), which is disconnected from this Developement server. I have packaged the form in a feature and moved it over as it contains a code-behind. How do I move Content.XML along with it? other connections are easy to move using UDCX files.
    Please help urgently.


    • 3 andrei338 September 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Have you tried storing the Content.XML file in a document library somewhere on the production server and change your form to reference the file at its new location?

      • 4 Pooja December 7, 2011 at 4:53 am

        Thanks Andre, for the help I did as you said and it worked like a charm. Unfortunately I have got into one of other problems.
        I am using a People Picker to do the same steps as you have done with Contact Selector here. I have obviously skipped the steps of Adding Contact Selector to Infopath as it is already a part of Infopath 2010.

        Now moving towards my problem. When I put some name in the People picker and press search button (inbuilt with People picker) I get an 5566 error. and on the ULS viewer I see the following error:

        “The following query failed: GetOtherUserProfileByName (User: domain\username, Form Name: XYZ, IP: , Connection Target: FormLocation\SaveLocation Type: DataAdapterException, Exception Message: Internal error. Internal error.)”

        To check if the userprofile service is not functioning I created a test form with People picker and it seemed to run smoothly. And Ideas as to why it must be failing? I am using Windows Authentication.

  3. 5 Jason Weller October 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    My xml file will not import, states the files is not a valid XML document.

    Do you have a working “Context.xml” file to share?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

RSS Information Week Headlines

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS SharePoint Team Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS InfoPath Team Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Joel Oleson Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Susan Hanley’s KM Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blog Stats

  • 372,518 hits

%d bloggers like this: