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How Much Time Will Windward Save Your Business?


There are quite a few things that could distract staff from focusing on the real tasks they are hired to perform: coffee breaks, personal calls, and bathroom visits, just to name a few. Businesses and organizations take note of this and come up with measures to ensure employees’ distractions are kept to a minimum.

However, something that may go unnoticed is the time-consuming steps for document generation.

Consider this: You may have a great marketer on your team, but he may be spending a significant amount of his/her work hours searching for proposal templates, creating and getting them approved, invoicing clients, and searching for accurate data to include in reports...phew!

Proposal generation needn’t be this hard after all!

Research puts the amount of time that goes into paperwork in an office at over 50% of the work hours. That is a massive amount of time. That time can be cut down significantly by introducing Windward to your business for all document generation purposes.

Let us look at how Windward can ensure massive time savings with document automation:

No Need to Start from Scratch

With Windward (the best document generation software), users do not need to start from scratch to generate a document. An updated and approved template would be available for the different documents you may need to generate. There is also a link to data sources so a document can be filled with the needed data. This is a task that if performed manually may take as long as an hour or more, but with Windward, a couple of minutes is all that it takes!

Easy to Use Software

While other software may claim to be able to save time, there is time wasted getting used to using the software. Windward, on the other hand, integrates with applications you are already familiar with like Word so you can design templates and edit documents as you have always done. More on this below.

New Employees Need Little to No Training

Many businesses spend a lot of time teaching new employees how to use existing software. Windward is made user-friendly to an extent that any employee with knowledge on how to use a computer and MS Office will find it super easy to use and will not need any lengthy training. They also do not need to learn organizational style and guidelines since the documents will be automatically generated on command.

Ability to Serve More Customers

Many businesses are unable to serve as many clients as they would like because generating documents for each client may take as long as 10 minutes or more. With Windward, however, simple command for a particular document will have it generated in seconds and it can then be printed or emailed to the client, this means more clients can be attended to in a short period.

Avoid Bureaucracy Yet Adhere to Standards

In a bid to maintain branding standards, many businesses introduce bureaucratic procedures to be followed when preparing even the simplest of documents, this usually results in a long back and forth process that eats up actual work hours. With Windward, templates ensure that every document meets set standards even without having to go through editors, proof-readers, and getting a final signature. All this is done beforehand.

In Conclusion

The actual figures for the amount of time saved may vary according to organizations, but a rough estimate would put the number of hours saved in a day to four, which means 20 hours a week and nearly 1000 hours a year. You can claim back as many as 40 days that are wasted on manual tasks by engaging Windward for easy document generation.

Read more about Windward works here.

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


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