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DocGen and Other Tools: Keep Your Remote Staff Productive During COVID-19 Pandemic


Remote working became a necessity overnight instead of being a growing trend because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and companies are now allowing their employees to work remotely from home. They are increasingly investing in automation tools like docgen among others for enhanced productivity.

Studies show that remote working has incredible benefits both to the employee and the company. While maintaining better communication with the management, employees are more productive, happy, and satisfied working remotely.

On the other hand, companies minimize costs and save considerably since they don’t require to rent an office space, pay for fuel, transport, and other utility costs.

Some managers are however skeptical about this idea (although they’re left with no choice due to the virus effect), they think the employees might lose focus if they work away from the office and this might lead to inefficiency and less productivity.

Here are a few guidelines to ensure the efficiency of your employees working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic situation:

Cultivate and Develop Trust

Having faith in your staff is the most important aspect of ensuring they perform their work even when you’re not physically present to monitor their work and progress. Maintaining open and free communication is important to this approach. Use software such as Slack and Basecamp to enhance effective communication. They can be used to send updates and track their progress daily.

Pay Attention to the Results

Each employee has their strong and weak points. Be considerate and ensure you encourage them to do their best while they work at their home. Always analyze the results and discuss it with them so they can well understand where they should put more effort to increase their performance.

Let the team know you appreciate their efforts, be clear on your expectations, engage the team in online meetings in the chatrooms and video conferencing.

Offer Incentives and Motivation

Always provide incentives and reward good performance while your employees work-from-home. When employees feel appreciated, they will put more effort into their work and this will increase their productivity. Be open with them, talk and encourage them to take a break from work to re-energize and refresh. Listen to what they have to say. Consider their opinions to improve the work efficiency of your employees while working remotely.

Above all, keep a check on their health condition on a daily or weekly basis as Covid-19 is spreading rapidly — ensure your remote staff stays safe while being productive.

Invest in Tools Like DocGen

Time tracking software will come in handy in managing the time spent in performing allocated tasks. The team will focus more on the job and will be accountable for the allocated time. There are a lot of cloud collaboration tools that help in managing remote employee teams like Microsoft office 365, QuickBooks and others which will ensure work is done and submitted in real-time and tracking is easy.

Also, documents are a core part of any business whether they are in the form of NDAs, contracts, agreements, invoices, financial statements among others. You can get the best document generation software like Windward that lets even an individual working remotely create documents without any assistance using readily-available templates.

Why make the switch to a new DocGen documentation system now?

Unlike your current document generation system, Windward comes with user-friendly features that even an individual employee working remotely can avail to create documents without the need for any external help from developers or other team members. With the help of no-code templates (that one can design on their own) and incredibly familiar interface your remote employee can create and edit documents right on Microsoft Office Suite. Docgen Salesforce or automating documents in any other application will be quick and easy. The best thing about it — you can use Windward side-by-side your existing system to create new templates and gradually make the transition.

Now let your remote staff create any document, anytime, anywhere using Windward!

Learn more about it here.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Try Windward with your 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.

Genesis Abel

Written by:_
Genesis Abel
Windward © 2021 All Rights Reserved.


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