Document Generation―Category, Segment, or Intersection?
What happens at the intersection of three gigantic software categories? Magic of course!
And perhaps a little confusion.
We love to categorize things―from consumer goods and industries to animals and rocks. Software is no different. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of software. Categorization is useful, but it can oversimplify a problem/solution to a point of confusion or even misinformation.
Take these three major software categories:
Database, Reporting, and Publishing
Each has an important business function, and each is accompanied by an entourage of software offerings with similar core capabilities.
But what do you call software that can connect free-form design templates to a variety of data sources, to create unique reports, that can be output on demand or by the thousands? It’s called Document Generation.
The concept of Document Generation is easy to understand through a few examples:
- Monthly bank and financial statements
- Insurance policy cards
- HR benefits summaries
- Periodic school report cards
- Local environmental reports
- Contracts and Invoices
You get the idea. They’re all documents that contain unique content obtained from various data sources. A great number of businesses have a need for Document Generation functionality but believe they’re stuck with the secondary functionality of software that was built for other purposes or forced to build their own solutions.
Windward’s Document Generation software stands at this intersection with a purpose-built solution that draws from the best of each category.
Businesses and developers know that database solutions don’t inherently have document design capabilities, and they know that the mail-merge functionality that exists in some publishing solutions is inadequate for creating even simple reports. Some have tried reporting and BI solutions that are very good at displaying interactive data, but found that layout and design limitations make them unacceptable for formatted document output.
Business users want to be able to design and edit data-powered document templates that are consistent with their brand and usability standards. And developers want to be able to offload the design and formatting tasks, but they know that it’s time-consuming and costly to build even the most basic features into their applications.
Document Generation software is a unique solution to a specific need that can’t be effectively addressed with general Reporting, Publishing or Database software.
NOTE: IT Central Station (a leading hub for enterprise tech product reviews) recently created a new software category for Document Generation, and Windward is easily leading the small pack of contenders in the space.
It’s important to understand the capabilities and nuances of these categories―to know what each is good at, and when to look elsewhere for the best solution.
Windward’s Document Generation solution provides unmatched design control in a familiar environment and scalable document output engines that can be embedded in most applications with just a few lines of code.