Joel Semeniuk writes about Microsoft’s InfoPath:
Right now, many organizations use Excel and Word to fill out all types of reports, from Status Reports, to POs, to Sales Reports, etc. All of this, of course, could be online using web forms. However, this doesnt work for many who only fill these forms out when on the plan or sitting on their deck drinking coffee in the morning. Whats more is that the underlying data for these Excel/Word based forms arent truly and immediately consumable ie they arent natively XML (and yes, I know you can write scripts to convert it into XML).
InfoPath is natively XML. It has optional sections, the ability to dynamically add rows and sections to your form, the ability to perform calculations, display graphs, communicate with back end databases or web services, implement business rules, and reside in a pure xml file stored in SharePoint or submitted to BizTalk.
I think we ought to look at the concept underlying InfoPath.