Do you need a form for an XPage? No. Can it makes things easier/faster for you? Yes. Here’s how.
I create simple unformatted forms for my documents because I often have the fields for a document spread across multiple custom controls. When I want to place the fields from the form into separate custom controls, I make Designer do the work for me.
I add the form as a data source to the custom control, drag the fields in that I need, then remove the data source from the custom control. If I need to heavily manipulate fields in an existing custom control, I add the data source back in to do my work and then remove it when I am done.
Of course, the actual data source exists in the host XPage (or custom control).
- Do I need a form? No.
- Could I just type the bindings and other attributes into the source? Yes.
- Is there a problem if I do not remove the duplicate data source from the custom control? Yes. (Don’t forget to remove the duplicate data source.)
- Does it save time? Yes for me.
A lot of time at the beginning, a lot of time when I am editing the fields on the custom controls because the chances for error are greatly reduced and a lot of time when it totally eliminates Designer’s annoying habit of erasing an entire binding in the source after you type a single character.
- Do I use the form other things? Yes.
Most of the applications I write end up having 50+ fields on a document. I sometimes use the form as the documentation mechanism for those fields. It forces me to make sure I have all of the fields I am using in the application documented somewhere. Well, I try anyway.