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Top DocGen & DocAuto Tools: A Summary

So, a little less than a year ago, we started writing about the industry leaders in DocGen and DocAuto Tools – Windward, Docmosis, Ecrion, HotDocs, Xpertdoc, Nintex, Conga, and Formstack. After days and months of research and hours of playing around the tools, we could draft a detailed review of each, which helped a number of software-seekers make the right choice.

These tools are agile, and they are able to respond quickly to your document generation and automation demands. While these tools don't tie you into their platform and integrate with the rest of your environment, automating your documents is a lot easier.

However, each of these tools is unique in itself. You dive into one and will come out with a different perspective. So, here we have, a rundown of the Document Generation & Automation Review Series to help you make an informed decision sometime soon.

Top Document Generation Tools For Your Business

1. Windward

Known as the global leader in providing document generation solutions, Windward revolutionizes your document generation. With its power-packed product suite, it makes document creation super-fast and easy.

Be it your portfolio statement, insurance policies, or even your marriage license, Windward can automate your reports, spreadsheets, presentations, and documents in hours. All you need to do is incorporate your business logic in the template, and you will have stunning documents that look the way you want right on your hand.

The unique functionality of Windward is that it’s a no-code/low-code document generation tool.  That is, everything you do in Windward is a simple drag-and-drop operation. Need fields? Drag them and drop them where you want! Require inserting variables? Again, drag-and-drop them! It generates code on its own. Thus, you need not be a tech expert to work with Windward.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Query Wizard: Writing queries is one of the most common activities that you deal with while creating a document template. You need to write a query about whether you need to pull data from different sources or add a conditional logic in the template. But luckily, that's not the case with Windward! It has distinct query wizards for different datasources. You only have to drag-and-drop the metadata or subset you require, and Windward will write queries automatically.
  • Tag Tree: Windward has a repository of 16 different tags. Besides, its Tag Tree gives a clear picture of the tag structure in your document. Clicking on any tag will take you to that part of the template in a snap. However complex your document template might get, Windward’s Tag Tree helps you navigate through the structure seamlessly. And, we must not forget mentioning that this is something where most of the Windward’s competitors lack behind.
  • Portable Object Doclets: With this specific feature-set, Windward enables you to reuse the once created document part whenever and wherever you need. Be it a single character, multiple pages, tables, charts, or bitmaps that you want to use over and over across various templates; you can create a POD and save it. Thus, it makes document creation wicked fast.

Pros

  • It works with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • It supports multiple datasources and also processes them simultaneously
  • Tags can start and end anywhere across the template

Cons

  • It integrates only with MS Office; this might come as a shortcoming for some users.

The Final Verdict

If you can think of your document generation in MS Office, you can create it using Windward. Whether it includes managing a stack of documents for pharmacovigilance activities or conducting research for the COVID-19 vaccine, Windward serves as a perfect document generation partner. That’s not all! Right from designing loan documents to building stock portfolios, Windward has room to serve every industry in need of document automation.

2. Docmosis

Docmosis is enabling faster document and reports creation for small and large businesses all around the world. It caters to document generation abilities to a plethora of industries including Insurance, HR, Finance, Health, Education, Government, Legal, Manufacturing, and Logistics.

Its powerful templates inherit the power of the editors; thus, giving you a stunning document. Along with its ability to be operational on different platforms, including Java, .Net, Ruby, PHP, Python, Javascript, etc., you can generate your documents in multiple formats – PDF, DOC, DOCX, ODT, RTF, HTML, and Text.

Though it boasts of being a "no-code behind" solution, you require inserting code for certain elements. But the thing for which it deserves appreciation is that “it requires no plug-ins to create templates.” Whether you have Docmosis running on MS Word or LibreOffice, you can create documents without any plug-ins.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Templating Features: Docmosis has got the most powerful templating features to help you create different types of documents. Right from letting you embed rules concerning your document layout or formatting in the templates to inserting watermarking, it offers multiple features. You might miss out on such a range of templating features with other document generation tools on the market.
  • Macros: There are many standard functions that you will require including in your queries. Docmosis comes with 50 in-built macros; hence, making your everyday document generation needs a breeze. However, it does not support custom functions; i.e., you need to work with only available resources.
  • Word Form Fields: At times, you have to put drop-down lists, checkboxes, and other form fields in your document. Only some of the DocGen tools support such functionality. Fortunately, Docmosis is one of them. It fully supports word form fields and also carries it over to PDF output.

Pros

  • It has an intuitive graphical interface that lets you create visually stunning documents
  • It renders barcodes as images; thus, exceeding the quality that other document generation systems offer
  • It lists warnings and errors on test generation

Cons

  • It comes with certain version controls and hence restricts users from editing templates, which might not be helpful for some teams.

The Final Verdict

Docmosis comes with some major benefits like letting you mix data from multiple data sources and in-built macros; thus, complementing your document generation process. But it doesn’t work with MS Excel or PowerPoint. So, you must go for it only if you are sure that you will never require generating documents other than MS Word.

However, if you are finding a document assembly engine that is powerful and cost-effective, Docmosis fits the bill!

3. Ecrion

If you want to streamline the production, assembly, and distribution of your critical business documents, Ecrion has your back. Right from simplifying workflow rules to elevating your complex document creation processes, Ecrion ensures consistency and quality.

It helps you manage all your document templates in one place with a centralized template and asset management platform. You can generate documents either in batch or on-demand. Besides, it offers a range of document delivery options to ensure that you send the document within the committed timelines while maintaining the business standards.

Ecrion helps you ease your data collection process by letting you create forms and fillable PDFs. You can personalize them and enhance the user experience. Moreover, one of the interesting features of Ecrion is that "it has the best-in-class visual tool that requires no IT involvement.” So, whether you or your team is technically sound or not, Ecrion empowers you to have the most intuitive documents.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Designing Templates: With Ecrion, you can add as many elements as you want in your template. It allows you to incorporate images, tables, charts, barcodes, forms, widgets, style sheets, dynamic content, grid, and anything you can think of. You can click on the item you want to insert, and Ecrion will fetch the value from the relevant data source automatically.
  • Data Diagram: This is something that Ecrion has unique to offer. Here, you can connect different data sources to several data connections, functions, and output objects. This pretty streamlines the process and helps you structure your output. This functionality of Ecrion is appreciable as none of the other tools have got this.
  • Analyst: Ecrion works as an analyst to draw valuable insights from your documents. Let’s say; you have a document with thousands of transactions from different customers. Now you want to sort these transactions by customers, date, or amount. Ecrion’s analyst does this for you in no time; thus, segregating the information you require.

Pros

  • It gives you different document views to preview your template – Design View, XML View, Print View, and Web View
  • You can import live templates and process tags
  • Right from generating the output directly to a printer, it has advanced output formats

Cons

  • It works only with Ecrion Editor. Hence, you need to learn a new tool to generate your documents.

The Final Verdict

Right from insurance providers to utilities, telecommunications, airlines, banks, and wealth management firms, Ecrion powers the document automation processes in each of these industries.

Ecrion has an easy-breezy Publisher to work with. It gives access to a plethora of design functionalities that others might miss. But it’s Data Modeler is tough to crack for a non-tech guy. So, if you are not that tech-savvy, consider other alternatives. However, if you are a tech geek, there’s no looking back! Ecrion can prove to be a good document generation solution for you.

4. HotDocs

With more than a million users in 60 countries, HotDocs is helping companies to reduce the time that document generation, assembly, and distribution takes off. It lets you create documents that adhere to your business rules from maximizing efficiency to minimizing risks against legal issues.

It won’t be wrong to say that “it’s the only document generation software that converts frequently used forms and documents into ready-to-use templates.” Hence, you can create error-free, customized templates in a fraction of the time. Furthermore, it lets you generate properly formatted documents by applying rules, following brand guidelines, and managing version control.

HotDocs ensure that you can have elegant interview forms and documents that can easily transform into dynamic templates that you can use repeatedly. Besides, it has a growing feature set that promises integrations and customizations.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Variable fields: Generating documents is easier with HotDocs. You can place variable fields to fetch data from the designated sources. However, HotDocs lets you auto-populates data either from previous documents or allow you to enter them manually. Though it's a bit time-consuming, filling answers is much fun.
  • Query Wizards: Similar to Windward, HotDocs also has Query Wizards. But it’s quite basic as compared to the former. If we look at the positive side, there’s always something better than nothing. So yeah, writing queries with HotDocs is not only a developer’s job!
  • Datasources: HotDocs poses the ability to fetch data from any of the datasources you connect – be it CRM, Access Database Excel, or any other kind. Furthermore, it supports multiple datasources and can process them at a time.

Pros

  • It helps you create letters with standard branding
  • You can fetch data from previous documents and increase document turnaround time
  • It supports 50 in-built macros

Cons

  • It works only with MS Word and has no control over who can access or modify your documents.

The Final Verdict

HotDocs is a good fit to fulfill your basic document creation needs, as it holds expertise in automating document generation for - lending, insurance claims, leases, HR onboarding and separation, sales agreements, patent applications, franchise agreements, and NDAs. It ensures operational efficiency and risk mitigation. But if you need to generate hundreds of documents a day, it might not be able to handle too much.

5. Xpertdoc

Xpertdoc automates and optimizes your document generation process while ensuring compliance with your business standards. Be it creating simple or complex document templates, capturing data, or generating documents through automated workflows, Xpertdoc has the best document generation solution for you.

It integrates seamlessly with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SugarCRM to create, manage, and deliver documents faster. Right from helping large enterprises transform their document generation system to building compelling invoices, quotes, and reports for small and medium-sized businesses, Xpertdoc caters to every niche.

While it comes with a variety of project consoles, "it can create and run smart flows,” which is different from other DocGen alternatives.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Designing Templates: With Xpertdoc, you can build templates right in your MS Word 365. Thus, you need not worry about getting used to a different tool for your document generation needs. However, it requires you to authenticate every task you perform, which might be frustrating at times.
  • Creating Flows: You can create simple as well as advanced flows with Xpertdoc. The former has some limitations, while for the latter, your creativity is the only limit. Running a flow gives you the desired results. You can then click on any of the generated output links and navigate to the document.
  • Imported Templates: This is a great benefit that you can avail of with Xpertdoc. It lets you import templates and process tags in the imported child template.

Pros

  • It is a ‘no-code’ behind document generation solution
  • You can start and end tags anywhere across the template
  • It supports custom functions to create personalized documents

Cons

  • It supports only MS Dynamics among multiple datasources .

The Final Verdict

From entry-level document generation to full-scale enterprise document flow automation, Xpertdoc is leveraged for a variety of uses by Insurance, Healthcare, Financial, Government, Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Non-profit organizations.

Xpertdoc comes with all the basic and advanced functionalities that you need to create any complex documents. Besides, it has got an impressive template builder that lets you build templates in MS Word. Though navigating through the platform seems unfamiliar, you will love it once you get used to it.

Top Document Automation Tools For Your Business

1. Nintex

Nintex is the market leader in digitizing document automation. It manages, optimizes, and automates your document workflows to enhance your efficiency. It also looks to it that the generated documents are compliant, consistent, and up-to-date.

From creating contracts to order forms and service documents, Nintex makes document generation a breeze. Moreover, it lets you send the documents via email or store them in the cloud for future use. One distinct characteristic of Nintex is that “it offers you the flexibility to deliver documents through a myriad of channels – Google Docs, Dropbox, Office 365, DocuSign, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.”

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Tagger: Nintex offers a list of variables that you may want to include in your document templates. All you need to do is select the designated variable, and Nintex will create a tag on the template. Thus, Tagger lets you create custom documents in Word, Excel, PDF, and PowerPoint (the highest number of applications that any of the DocGen or DocAuto tools listed here support).
  • Replication: This is a unique feature of Nintex that you might miss with other document automation tools. As the name suggests, replication allows you to replicate any rows or objects. Thus, retrieving data is faster and easier. However, you can work with this feature only when you have a child relationship and a replication tag.
  • Component Library: To help you reuse some parts of the once created document templates, Nintex gives you a Component Library, wherein you can save and manage all your components. You can edit them and use them as many times as needed for future document creation processes.

Pros

  • It supports Word Form Fields, Excel References, and Pivot Tables
  • You can process embedded Word, Excel, and PowerPoint objects
  • It lets you import templates for static documents

Cons

  • It is difficult to handle errors with Nintex as it lacks Warning and Error handling capability

The Final Verdict

Nintex empowers you to utilize the power of data no matter where it resides; thus, boosting your operational efficiency. Moreover, it enables you to build workflows for contracts, clinical trial documents, hardware and software requests, customer onboarding processes, policy underwriting, leave requests, purchase requests, and more without entering any codes.  

Nintex is, without a doubt, the best choice if you are working with Salesforce. But if you are looking for a DocAuto tool that works with your MS Office Suite, consider other options.

2. Conga

Conga helps you automate your routine paperwork; thus, increasing productivity, saving time, and freeing up resources. Furthermore, it helps you strengthen your contracts by maintaining compliance and mitigating risks.

The foremost advantage that you can leverage from Conga is "it allows you to gather signature electronically." Thus, you can delight your customers with on-the-go signing and make the approval process faster. You can even store and access all your signed documents in a single virtual place.

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Building Templates: Conga’s template builder enables you to copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop data fields in your template. Hence, it makes the process error-free. Moreover, it stores all the templates in one place; thus, saving time from searching documents here and there.
  • Query Builder: It helps you gather data in a matter of a few minutes. You can utilize the power of its SOQL SELECT statements to take your document creation to the next level. Though you might find it a complex thing, learning it will be worth investing your time and efforts.
  • Document Automation Wizard: Configuring any templates is easier with Conga's Document Automation Wizard. It guides you throughout the process and delivers a stunning template as per your need. Moreover, it lets you pass parameters on customizing the way Conga retrieves data.  

Pros

  • It provides a range of add-ons to accelerate your document automation – Conga Batch, Conga Trigger, Conga Mail Merge, and Conga QuickMerge
  • You can execute eSignatures with Conga
  • It offers multiple document delivery options – download, email, send for eSignature, save it on Salesforce/Google Drive/SpringCM, and post it to Chatter

Cons

  • Finding errors while running the template is frustrating.

The Final Verdict

Be it creating contracts, proposals, invoices, or receipts, Conga helps you generate them in minutes. Furthermore, it integrates with leading eSignature providers to close the loop on document execution quickly. You may fall short of this with other DocAuto tools. However, Conga is sometimes very tricky and technical for non-tech users. So, if you are someone looking for a simple document automation solution, Conga might not be for you.

3. Formstack

Formstack is an advanced online form builder that empowers you to create versatile forms without any technical know-how. It has got an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and hundreds of predefined templates for your document automation needs.

With Formstack, setting up workflows is efficient and effective. You can connect your forms with dozens of webhooks and native apps to power up your document generation process. Moreover, it works towards increasing your workplace productivity.

A noteworthy benefit of Formstack that must be mentioned is “its ability to give insights on your customers.”

Some Prominent Features You Might Count On

  • Merge Fields: It tells Formstack what to populate in your document. However, Formstack’s Merge Fields follow a specific format. So, you need to be cautious while putting your Merge Fields.
  • Conditional Formatting: Formstack supports if…else statements to apply logic in the template. All you need to do is select the field name and its value. Hit on the insert, and Formstack will incorporate a conditional statement in the template.
  • Pre-built Templates: This is what entices most users to leverage Formstack – its pre-built template library. Depending on your use cases, it has a set of templates that you can readily use.

Pros

  • You can start and end tags wherever you need across the template
  • It lets you pass parameters
  • You can utilize its auto-hyphenation to ensure the output is the same as you want

Cons

  • It lacks critical functionalities like Query Wizard, support for multiple datasources, imported templates, macros, etc.

The Final Verdict

Formstack makes document automation intuitive with its capabilities to add images, barcodes, charts, and signatures on documents. If you are a newbie to document automation, Formstack has endless possibilities for you. People are leveraging its form building capabilities to streamline processes across industries including healthcare, call center, university, bank, non-profit organizations, and more. But if you need to generate complex documents any time soon, you must consider its alternatives.

Summing Up

Document generation and automation software is the need of the hour for industries producing tons and tons of documents every day. To make the process easier, the above tools come in handy. While each of them simplifies your document generation needs, some might not fit in your business requirements. So, ensure that you narrow the top options and analyze them to pick the best DocGen/DocAuto tool.

Features

Windward

Code Behind
No code behind
Generate Code
Yes
Applications
Only supports Word, Excel & PowerPoint for Windows. It neither supports PDF nor any Web-based applications.
Conditional Formatting
Yes
Drag & Drop Doclets
Yes
Query Wizards
It easily fetches data from multiple sources.
Multiple Datasources
Yes
Supported Datasources

Salesforce

MS Dynamics

JSON

OData

SQL

XML

Tag Start & End Locations
Yes
Tags

out

import

bitmap

set

query

forEach

if

else

switch

link

bookmark

chart

Imported Templates
Advanced
Document Locking
Yes
Validation, Error & Warning Handling
Yes
Data Count
Yes
Pros & Cons
  • Pro: Easily integrates with your existing applications
  • Pro: Great for beginners and people with no computer tech experience
  • Con: Only works with MS Office
  • Con: Lacks feature like Digital Signature
Pricing
Visit Windward's pricing page for a detailed price list.

Features

Windward

Applications

Word

Excel

PowerPoint

Supported Datasources

Salesforce

MS Dynamics

JSON

OData

SQL

XML

Output Formats
Everything including direct output to printer
IF Statements
Advanced
Code Behind
No code behind
Drag & Drop Doclets
Advanced
Imported Templates
Advanced
Pros & Cons
  • Pro: Once the datasources are set, it is easy to use
  • Pro: Integrates with a range of business systems and applications
  • Pro: Supports 10+ languages
  • Pro: Prominent clients include Sunkist, Volvo, HSBC, Pfizer, and more
  • Con: Doesn't work with web applications
  • Con: You find it difficult to pick tags if you mixed them with a block of text

Features

Windward

Code Behind
No code behind
Drag & Drop Doclets
It supports drag and drop throughout the platform
Multiple Datasources
It easily fetches data from multiple sources
Validation, Error & Warning Handling
You can easily detect errors and warnings
Time Zone
There's no such functionality available
Document Status
There are no predefined modes, wherein you can put your documents. But you can preview them before finalizing
Conditional Statements
It supports 'if' and 'else' tags along with 12+ other tags
Output Formats
You can have the output in every format you desire
Pros & Cons
  • Pro: With easy datasource set-up, it makes document creation a breeze
  • Pro: It is great for beginners and people with no computer tech experience
  • Con: It integrates only with MS Office
  • Con: Sometimes, you may face a few minor glitches, but the team is quick to handle it

Features

Windward

Applications

Word

Excel

PowerPoint

Code Behind
No code behind
Process Embedded Office Objects
It has all types of embedded objects and also processes the same seamlessly
Supported Datasources

Salesforce

MS Dynamics

JSON

OData

SQL

XML

Tags

out

import

bitmap

set

query

forEach

if

else

switch

link

bookmark

chart

Features

Windward

Multiple Datasources
It can also process multiple datasources simultaneously
Macros
You can create custom macros as and when required in your template
Rendering Barcodes
Windward renders barcodes as fonts, which may not be as effective as images
Validation, Error & Warning Handling
It takes care of each aspect to ensure you get the document as desired
Output Formats
You can have the output in every format you desire
Drag & Drop Doclets
Supports pretty well
Pros & Cons
  • Pro: Easily imports tags from connected datasources
  • Pro: Easy to use within established Microsoft Office Desktop applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Con: You might encounter problems with reports
  • Con: APIs need improvement