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7 Practical Advantages of Automating Document Generation in Salesforce

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Document creation in Salesforce can be simplified by introducing automation. No matter what kind of document you are dealing with (for example, an invitation to a third-party or a contract with a lot of sections and clauses) automating the document generation process will save you considerable time and resources.

Let’s take a look at a few advantages of automating the document generation process in Salesforce.

Reduced Need for Human Resource Involvement

When you do it manually, every stage of the document generation process requires the involvement of a human being, which means organizations allocate human resources to take part in creating a document. With automation, however, most of the processes are handled by the software so the employee is free to attend to more crucial business tasks that actually need human involvement. This will also reduce the expense that comes with having labor-intensive processes.

Improved Confidentiality

By reducing the number of people who handle documents, you can ensure stricter confidentiality. Many organizations have documents that may be considered confidential. It could be price quotes, customer personal information, and contracts. Such data will remain only in the possession of those that are authorized to handle the Salesforce and the document automation software will be responsible for retrieving the data so that the right people will be able to look at them and the business can guarantee confidentiality.

Adherence to Branding Guidelines

For a big company with several people generating documents manually, it can be hard to ensure that everyone sticks to the branding guidelines of the organization. However, with the right document generation tool, that would not be a problem. Fields like company logo, address, and text formatting will be pre-set so that even if a thousand people printed letters for the company, they would all come out using the same format. The company will have an approved template that everyone can use, giving more control over the documents the company shares with clients and any stakeholder.

Ensure Accurate and Updated Data While Using Salesforce

Automation will ensure the data used in the documents is retrieved directly from Salesforce and this will restrict other sources of data that has not been verified and approved. The organization will see fewer cases of staff using inaccurate data or conflicting data. Document generation software also reduces errors in entering data. With humans, it is possible that their state of mind can cause them to enter the wrong data while the software, on the other hand, is consistent and accurate.

Repetitive Tasks are Not a Problem Anymore

There are a lot of tasks that need to be performed over and over again, like a tedious copy/paste project. When you entrust a document generation tool to do that, it is never a problem. Document automation is a process that can be repeated as many times as possible and the software will never get bored or tired. This means even more documents can be generated in a short time and that enables the workflow to go faster and smoother.

Prevent Wastage

The manual process usually creates wastage since a number of documents need to be generated in order to come up with the final document. For example, you may need to come up with a number of drafts before you generate the final contract for a business, but with the document generation software, all the other documents are unnecessary since a standard template is used and the information in the document is already stored in Salesforce.

Easier for New Employees to Learn Document Generation

With automation, there is not a lot for a new employee to remember. More than half of the document requirement is in the template and the data is stored in Salesforce. In a matter of hours, they should be able to generate documents that are to the standard of the organization.

Often, organizations are given a demo of Windward to add to their Salesforce platform and they are mesmerized by its ability to cut down the time it takes to create a document from 30 minutes or even an hour to under a minute by automating the process. In a nutshell, automation in Salesforce will bring about enhanced efficiency in the organization.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

Tag Tree

Provides a display of all the tags in the template, structures as they are placed in the template. Provides an easy way to see the structure, go to any tag, and see the properties of a tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

Generate Code

Designer (fka AutoTag) Generate Code tool allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables in your .NET or Java project. The process is quick, shortens delivery time and helps alleviate any bumps in the road.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in the template are carried over to XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will be pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, ot the properties in the parent.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

When Windward is merging the data into a template, it process the template handling each tag in order, and the tags can pull from different datasources. This allows the select in a tag to use data from other datasources in the select.

Genesis Abel

For over 10 years, Windward has lead the industry with our world-class document generation platform that creates visually stunning, data-powered documents designed exactly the way users want and are created in a fraction of the time and cost compared to existing solutions. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward Studios is the premier solution for developers and business users adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

© 2019 Windward Studios Inc.

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