When researching alternatives to document automation strategies, potential customers might initially view Windward Studios and HotDocs as close competitors. However, upon closer inspection of their offerings, their capabilities are vastly different.
An ideal use case for a HotDocs prospect would be someone who is looking to merge answers from what they call an “interview” and deliver a completed PDF or Word document in an easy-to-read format. For example, documents like these are used repeatedly in the legal field, including agreements, deeds of trust, and contracts. HotDocs is good for users who only need to make small modifications to their template, and output them to their organizational interface.
HotDocs simplifies the process for building documents where minor details need to be changed from one customer to the next, but that is the extent of their solution. With output formats available only in PDF and DOCX, their shortcomings continue to stack up against what Windward’s document automation tools bring to the table.
With Windward, not only is the entire process automated, but the user has the ability to output to virtually any format they desire from a single template, including PDF, DOCX, XLSX, HTML, and directly to the printer, much more output formats than HotDocs. Once Windward’s solution has been installed on a workstation, you’re off to the races designing just about any document or report your mind can imagine, including charts and graphs that are fed directly from your datasource. Simply connect your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint template to any of Windward’s supported datasources (including SQL, JSON, XML, and OData, to name a few), and quickly start replacing your dynamic content with one of Windward’s ten tags. Windward’s solution can even pull data from multiple sources! This is where the fun begins, and users start seeing the benefits of Windward’s powerful and robust template design tool we call the Designer.
One of the most powerful aspects of the Designer is the ability to perform conditional formatting. The tool allows the user to show/hide elements based on test conditions set using either if/else scenarios or switch/case logic. Windward doesn’t stop here. When building the Designer, Windward’s development team focused on building the Designer with an easy-to-use interface, allowing the user to drag and drop design elements. The intuitive builders allow designers and developers to create and edit templates in a fraction of the time it takes with other tools. You don’t even have to be a developer to use Windward’s solution—anyone and everyone in your office can use it!
Users can now become more comfortable with their datasource as well as making it easier for them to access their own data and offload work from the IT department. Windward makes building an SQL, JSON, or XPATH query a breeze simply by dragging and dropping items.
Check out our more detailed comparison between Windward and HotDocs here.