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Quick Guide to Integrating Document Generation in Salesforce

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You can complement the benefits of Salesforce by introducing document generation that enables you to generate documents in a rich format. With document generation software, you can use templates to create HTML or PDF documents.

For a first-timer, it may be a bit confusing on how to achieve the best results by using a document generation tool. This guide will enlighten and prepare you to reap the benefits of document generation combined with Salesforce.

Introduction to Document Generation

As the name suggests, this software is used to create documents. What makes it unique is that it automates the process of creating documents. You can pull relevant data from different sources and insert into a template.  You can produce different documents through Salesforce, for example, a pricing quote, invoice, or a detailed sales report.

With this, you can create documents in half or even less than half of the time it would take you by collecting the data and then manually entering it into a document.  Furthermore, human error is eliminated from this process and the data is usually up to date.

Template Compatibility

An important consideration for the success of Salesforce integration is the template compatibility. The template needs to be accessible to everyone who is involved in the generation of documents. It is, therefore, necessary to have a template that can run on Windows as well as Mac computers and any other devices that may be used for document creation. Many organizations choose to have an online template in HTML that can be compatible with all devices.

Drag and Drop Editing

Remember that document generation is supposed to speed up the process of creating a document, so it is important that editing is super-fast and easy. Having the option to just drag and drop into the template will make it easier to edit your sales force document. You do not want to be stuck trying to alter the settings in Salesforce as a client waits impatiently on the other end.

Document Automation

Automation is just about for any industry that cuts out a lot of time spent performing repetitive actions. It is amazing how much can be achieved by implementing automation into most of the document generation process. Some of the activities that can be automated include:

On paper, some of these processes may seem complicated and intimidating, but when you get down to using the document generation tool, it will become second nature.

Choosing the Right Document Generator

Choosing the right document generation software needs to be a careful process based on the requirements of your organization. Some software does a better job than others, so you want to ensure you get a document generator that produces quality documents that suit your standard expectations.

For instance, Windward can handle complicated requirements of a Salesforce document. It can be used to compile a list of different products for performance comparison taking into account different variables. What may seem very complicated can be simplified using Windward.

Getting Started

Getting started with document generation is a simple process. You can download Windward for a trial and even contact support to walk you through.

You would need to start by creating a template. It is advised that you use the sample templates provided in the software, but go ahead and modify them to suit your particular need and represent your brand. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the template, then the rest of the process will be easy. The document generation tool can populate the template with relevant data from the different sources you have authorized it to access data.

You can use Windward to:

With a few clicks, you will have a document ready to print or share!

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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