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What are Microsoft Forms?

Posted on January 8, 2020

If you happen to click on an App Launcher within your Office 365 suite, you will notice an app called Forms. In this article, I want to introduce you to this beautiful application and advise you on several use cases for it.

What are Microsoft Forms?

Microsoft Forms is a web-based application within an Office 365 suite that allows users to build quick intake forms and surveys via a very intuitive builder.


What’s so cool about Microsoft Forms?

  • It is web-based Whatisforms2a
  • It is straightforward to use and build (no need to be a SharePoint guru!) Whatisforms3
  • Results can easily be exported to Excel for further analysis Microsoft Forms
  • It integrates with SharePoint and Microsoft Flow
  • It can be shared externally!

Microsoft Forms vs. SharePoint Lists

In the past, if you wanted to build a Form, you had to create a custom list in SharePoint or use a Survey web part.


Example of a Custom List in SharePoint Online


Example of a Survey Web Part in SharePoint (please don’t use it anymore!)

Survey Web part is a classic web part that is pretty outdated and has limited functionality, and SharePoint Custom List requires that the user has some understanding of SharePoint and how it works. The most important limitation of using custom lists for intake forms and surveys is that they cannot be (easily) shared externally. In contrast, Forms can easily be shared outside of an organization, so you can use it to gather input from clients and vendors, for example.


Integration with SharePoint

Just like many other Office 365 apps, Forms plays well with SharePoint. There is a Microsoft Forms web part in SharePoint Online that allows you to embed the intake forms or embed the results.

Microsoft Forms

Integration with Power Automate (formerly Flow)

Forms also integrate with Power Automate. That means that you can take the input from the form and carry it through the business process, populate its data into SharePoint lists and push to other applications and databases.


Use Cases for Forms

Oh boy, the sky is the limit. Here is what I have seen my clients use Forms for:

  • Mileage Reimbursement Form
  • Vacation Request Form
  • Basic Surveys
  • Job Applicant forms for Human Resources
  • New Employee Onboarding forms
  • Purchase Order forms
  • SharePoint site requests
  • All sorts of checklists
  • Company polls
  • Suggestion Forms

About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

Need help?