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Document Management: 5 Ways Your Business is Like the Death Star and How to Fix it Now

Download the PDFDeath Star in the sky

“This station is now the ultimate power in the universe…” Many businesses may have a similar feeling when everything seems to be going just right. Of course, you are not an evil corporation hunting down a handful of Jedi rebels, but you are in a war of sorts that sometimes puts you in a similar position as the Empire trying to prevent intruders from getting away with important data.

If you relax thinking everything is perfect, you risk a similar fate as the death star. Your business might be destroyed by a single attack on your weakest point that you ignored because everything else seems to be doing just right. So, let's learn from the failings of Governor Tarkin and Darth Vader so that your business can plug up any holes in its document management.

You Depend Heavily on Physical Security

Your business recognizes the threat posed by individuals gaining access to document storage areas so you have in place cabinets, strong rooms, or even big scary security guards stopping anyone from gaining access to the records area. Maybe you do not use actual files, but you still have trust that keeping the records server under lock and key will safeguard your important documents.

That’s what the empire thought. They had the plans for the Death Star secured by stormtroopers within a secure area. They probably never thought brute force could be used to gain access to the storage area and that is how they ended up in a chase after the rebels who managed to gain access to the plans.

Your business needs to consider what would happen if someone accessed a secured area, what safety measure is in place?

Your Systems are not Audited

What happens when someone accesses a document or computer within your system? Is there any report generated showing who gained access and from where? Can anyone within the office access the network and do whatever they want?

That is how the Death Star operated. R2D2 was able to plug into the system and access information without any audit report. At the time when Obi-Wan Kenobi and his accomplices got trapped in the Star, on more than one occasion, the droid was able to plug into the system and manipulate different functions of the Death Star.

You need to have an audit system in place to detect who has logged in and what files they can access. Or at least, whenever restricted documents or processes are accessed, a notification should be sent to alert IT security.

Your Threat Detection is Obsolete

When was the last time you updated your antivirus or malware software? Is your threat detection system able to detect the most recent malware? Are you aware of AI being used to still data? Do you ignore notifications emailed to you by your IT support? If you simply installed an anti-virus years ago and forgot about it, your business is so much like the Death Star.

"hold your fire, there are no life forms aboard" those words were an indication of a threat detection system failing to do its work. If only they had fired at the escape pod, the important plans for the Death Star would never have ended up in the hands of the rebels. The 2 droids in the pod were key in the downfall of the battleship, but because the security was trained to only lookout for “life forms” they failed to neutralize a threat.

To protect your data from external threats, your business needs to have up-to-date threat detection and elimination procedures. Run regular updates, get rid of obsolete software, and ensure everyone on your team is vigilant about preventing any attacks or theft of data.

There is No Authentication Process

Do users need some kind of authentication to access files within your system? Is anyone logged into the network able to get any document they want? Or maybe you have a password system but it is easy to guess and is shared by so many people? If there is no way to restrict access to important information using authentication methods, you are no different from the Empire and its death star.

The rebels had very little trouble accessing the plans for the battleship or even accessing any system in the Death Star. Once they were inside the ship, R2D2 could gain access to a lot of information. Even when the plans were stolen, they didn’t have to hack into anything, they were just there like information on a flash disk without a password.

You must have 2-factor authentication for your important documents. Even if you have a password, there should be another authentication step either using biometrics of an authorized person or a PIN that needs to be entered. Passwords should also be at least 12 characters with symbols and numbers included.

You Don’t Think You Need Risk Assessment

Are you convinced that you have the best security system and so you do not need to carry out any risk assessment? In that case, your business is exactly like the Death Star.

A diligent risk assessment would have exposed the gaping hole in the battleship that can cause its destruction. Because everyone thought a handful of rebels were no match for the death ray that could destroy an entire planet, all it took were a couple of well-aimed shots into the ship’s weak spot and the entire star exploded into smithereens.  

Always assess risks and never underestimate criminals that are determined to gain access to important information.

If you notice any similarities between you and the Death Star, it is high time you worked on those issues, and May the 4th be with you.

If you’re looking for the best document management solutions then try Windward Hub free for 14 days. It integrates with a wide range of apps including but not limited to cloud storage, email service providers, forms, and more to make your document management secure and easy.

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.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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"

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Rename a Datasource

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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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).

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Tags are Color Coded

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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Advanced Image Properties

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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Version 13 New Data Sources

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

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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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.

Written by:_
Genesis Abel

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