One of your most common activities creating templates will be writing the queries to select the data. You do this to select blocks of data such as all stocks you hold for a portfolio statement. You do this for conditional logic in the template such as adding insurance requirements for an offer letter if they reside in California. You do this when placing their name in their loan papers.
You will do this hundreds of times in complex templates.Thousands of times across all the templates. You want this to be quick &easy. This functionality, more than everything else put together, determines how much time you will spend designing templates, and how pleasant it is.
With Windward this is all performed in the template. You can enter the query by hand if you prefer. This is done in Windward’s tag editor. The editor also displays the datasource metadata where you can click to add columns/nodes to your hand written query. And it will also show you the result of your query so you see what data you will be entering in the template for that query.
But where Windward really shines is our query wizards. We have distinct wizards for SQL, XPath (XML), JPath (JSON), OData, & Salesforce. Each wizard helps you write very complex queries by selecting what you want from the metadata tree by clicking it. Not just what data to return, but the filters to apply to return just the desired data, the sorting order, and more.
By walking the user through crafting their query, we make it easy for a business user to write their own queries. Easily, quickly, and with no need for a developer. With the appropriate subset of the metadata as a dropdown to select from at each part of the select, it makes it easy for the user to navigate their data’s structure. And by displaying a live set of the results of the query, the user always knows what data they are going to get.
And in the case of the SQL wizard, it automatically writes the joins for the select.
The advantages of this approach is that the user can pull any data they need with no changes to an underlying program. In addition, this makes it easy for a business user to write any query they need, no matter how complex.
The one disadvantage of this approach is that the user has the entire metadata of their application. If that is too large or complex, then you will need to have a developer use our schema system to present just the relevant metadata. Fortunately, this can be done once and that schema can then be used by all users.