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How Windward’s Document Automation Will Make Creating Documents Your Favorite Thing!


If you have ever experienced the pressure of having to create a lot of documents for a client and ensuring that they are error free, then you may have asked yourself if there isn’t an easier way to get that done efficiently with less time consumed.

Windward’s document automation is the answer.

A lot of businesses today globally are embracing it. So what exactly is document automation and why should you introduce this in your organization?


Document automation is also referred to as document assembly, which is rather appropriate because it involves assembling different relevant templates to create a single document customized for a particular purpose.

Let’s say,for example, you would like to write up a legal document for the sale of a property. Using Windward’s document automation feature, you would not have to create the entire document, because the software would use previously written documents to create a template and then prompt you with some questions to fill up certain variables like the names of the buyer and seller, the location of the property and other similar variable information.

In essence,it is like giving instructions to an assistant to write out the document and then sit back and wait for it to be completed but in a shorter period.

This process will help you create customized complex documents within the shortest time possible and it is free of errors that you would usually have to correct if you had to create the document from scratch. Now isn’t that something that you should embrace?

Benefits of Document Automation

Stack of papers bound together with a thin rope


Time is a major resource we never seem to have enough of and so any time-saving procedure should be welcomed in an organization. If you are a lawyer, you can spend less time preparing documents and more time actually doing what lawyers really do. An organization also can speed up the time taken to deliver a contract to a client and that would make for a happy customer. Let’s also not forget that time is money, so if you save time, you save money by freeing up more productive hours.

Document Accuracy:

To err may be human, but in certain cases being human will cost you not just money, but your years of hard work and reputation. Mistakes made in certain documents can make a huge impact on future relationships with clients. With automation, these mistakes can be avoided because the template is already proofread to ensure its accuracy. You do not have to spend painstaking hours going over tens of pages to eliminate errors.


Your firm may be churning out a number of documents and it is important that the language, format, and so much more is maintained to a particular standard. With automation, this is no problem. Documents will always have the same language and content — this keeps everyone on the same page and makes it easier for clients to trust your documents.

Immortalization of Expertise:

If you have an expert real estate professional who may have drafted great legal documents, even if they leave the organization, their work will remain part of the organization in a template that everyone else can use for years to come.

All Round Efficiency:

All these benefits can be summed up into efficiency. If you consider the amount of time you are saving, the errors you are avoiding and the standards you will be able to create, document automation enables you to have a more efficient document creation system at a minimal cost.

Who Needs Document Automation?

Two people with a contract on the table in front of them

From the information provided above, you may get the impression that document automation is for, well, Big Companies.

Well, that is not the case — in fact — it is for all the next-gen businesses out there!

Big firms use it more commonly because of the work and network they have. However,automation can be used in any industry that has to create or write complex documents, which sometimes may seem repetitive.

If you are writing out contracts, introductory letters, amended policies, new policies,marketing content, and other similar information, then Windward’s document automation can make a huge difference!

For any enterprise that wishes to streamline workflow and get things moving faster without compromising quality, document automation is the way to go. It even makes it possible for a new team member to draft a standard document with very little input from a supervisor, since the Windward Document Generation software will provide the supervision needed.

In the end,it is a case of happy customers through better and quicker delivery of error-free documents.


If you've just discovered us, we're excited! Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

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

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any 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

The Generate Code tool in the designer 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. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

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

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

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, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

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

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

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