Every once in a while you bump into a new feature in the 2007 Microsoft Office System and you think "hey! this is really cool!". This happened to me last week when I was playing around with InfoPath 2007. To be able to share with you my little aha erlibnis (credit for this term goes to my former math teacher), let's assume you've got following InfoPath form: the U2U Course Order form. A very basic form with Customer, Email, Course and Date fields, and a repeating table with student name and email fields.
You probably know that if you publish an InfoPath form to a SharePoint document library (or content type), the Publishing Wizard will ask you which columns you would like to make available in the SharePoint document library. InfoPath will allow you to pick a field from your InfoPath form which will become a column in the document library, so the data of the filled out InfoPath form will be replicated in the document library automatically.
Let's select for example the Customer field, from the InfoPath fields list; the Column name will be filled out automatically. The new cool InfoPath/SharePoint 2007 feature is displayed at the bottom of the dialog window: "Allow users to edit data in this field by using a datasheet or properties page". If you select this checkbox, users will be able to edit the value of the Customer column in the SharePoint properties page (so without opening InfoPath), and that updated value will be stored in the InfoPath file! It's magic! :-) I repeated this step for Email and Course fields, and finished the Publishing Wizard. Then I filled out the InfoPath form in the InfoPath client application:
The filled out data is of course replicated in the columns of the SharePoint document library. Now let's click Edit Properties in the document's dropdown menu (aka ECB).
Because I selected that the Customer, Email and Course fields could be edited in the properties page, you can change them and the values in the filled out InfoPath form (the XML file) are updated too!