Here at Windward Reports we offer a suite of reporting packages composed of four core products you can use individually or collaboratively:
This is our account of what a full Windward Reports Java Engine install and usability experience entails:
Getting the Windward Reports Java engine up and running is a fairly simple and straightforward process. First you'll have to download the correct installer from the latest versions page. From there the package can be installed with reference to online documentation, although the vast majority of users won't need to use the guide at all.
The instructions guide you through installing the engine and the installation will add both WindwardReports.jar and the third-party libraries to your classpath. After this you'll only have to install AutoTag, which automatically detects which components are installed on your system and installs only what's necessary.
With the install complete you'll be able to design reports right away. Our design tool, AutoTag, is an add-in to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint so report creation is made that much easier by being integrated into an interface you already know. This means you can open Word and begin adding the desired elements to your template (headers, footers, text blocks, charts, graphs, images, tables of contents, etc.) using Word's built-in commands and AutoTag's slick ribbon interface. Since every business and technical user is already familiar with Word, AutoTag requires minimal training.
The charting package included with AutoTag really stands out. The charts are easy to create, have a wide range of layout and theme options, and are accompanied by solid examples in the sample templates and written documentation.
A lot of AutoTag users take advantage of our Excel integration just as much as our Word integration. Of particular note is the ability to use Excel's dynamic formulas and computational capabilities. In an invoice table, for instance, you can set one cell to sum the product subtotals (=SUM(E4)). When the report is generated, the cell will sum all the data in the product subtotals column (cells E4 through E10) instead of a single cell.
This is a summary of all the basic tags AutoTag uses and their primary functionality:
Out Tag: The most basic and most common tag, it takes just seconds to use the out tag to insert a piece of data into your template.
ForEach Tag: There is no complicated process for iteration over a set of records. This simple tag gives you the power to loop through your data and make an entry for each entry in the datasource.
If and Else Tags: To get the effect of conditional actions simply use tags that allow you to create select statements without hassle. No complicated sections or tricky fields required.
Chart Tag: The chart tag lets you create a series of selects to define the data you need to use in your charts and graphs. The tag interface's Select Data icon walks you through selects for the chart's rows and columns and formatting the chart is easily done within the tag itself.
Matrix, Column and Row Tags: The matrix tag lets you create a table with as many cells as needed and the rows or columns expand automatically depending on the data.
Import Tag: The Import Tag can import images, text, and PDF files directly to your report without requiring you to insert them manually.
Query and Set Tags: To save time you can use the query and set tags to create variables and use them elsewhere in the template. It saves time not only during report design but is also noticeable when running a report as the template will not need to repeatedly re-access the database.
Windward Reports offers nine different output formats: HTML, PDF, DOCX, XML (Word), RTF, XLSX, XLS, PPTX, and direct to a printer. Two other Windward products, AutoTag Max and Arrow for Microsoft SharePoint, allow you to schedule reports to be run as needed and can also automatically email those reports to any recipients you specify. In addition, Arrow for SharePoint gives you the ability to set permissions so authorized colleagues and others can view, share, and edit report templates all on their own.
This is where the Windward Reports team really shines. Our detailed documentation covers everything from installation to program use to system admin maintenance. There are also short "getting started" guides to help you get up and running in as little time as possible. If all else fails, the Windward Support team is here to meet your every need.
Overall, we think Windward Reports is the reporting package you've been looking for and will make your job infinitely easier. Our products install smooth, run fluently, and leave the competition in the dust. And don't forget, if you think we could do be doing something better tell us on our Ideas Page.