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Comparison of Ecrion & Windward Studios

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TL;DR

A Comparison of Ecrion & Windward

Note: We were unable to obtain a trial or any sort of hands-on experience with Ecrion’s software, so all the information reported here was found through our own investigation. (Ecrion, please reach out to us with a demo if any of the information here is in accurate).

If you’re working with document generation, be aware of the plentitude of options out there. The Windward Solution and Ecrion are two of the most popular choices. Windward’s product team has created this comparison to help you understand the merits of both.

Throughout its lifetime, Ecrion has done one thing consistently: customer communication management and customer engagement management with a severely lacking document generation software.

Getting started with Ecrion is a struggle. They offer no free trials or demos without speaking directly to a salesman, and their brochures offer no real insight. Ecrion does offer a couple of tutorial videos on YouTube, but this gives a very limited and tailored overview of the software. However, it is apparent that their designer is a standalone software, so you will have to recreate your templates from scratch. Even after you take the time to replicate work that had already been done, you will be missing a significant amount of Microsoft Word’s functionality.

Windward simplifies this process by providing the user with Windward Designer and a much more reliable support system. With the help of Windward Designer, table and chart creation is quick and to the point, taking advantage of Microsoft Office and building upon it. Syntax errors become a thing of the past with Windward Designer doing the heavy lifting. The table below provides an overview of Ecrion and Windward, and its selection of key features.

Tag Creation

Windward Designer is quick and easy. By simply going to the Windward Artist tab in the Microsoft Office Ribbon, the user can select from a plentitude of tag options and edit the tag properties through simple steps thanks to the Tag Editing Wizard. Once a tag has been created, Windward provides the option to save the tag within a POD, allowing for the tag and its properties to be reused in a simple and efficient manner. With these advanced reporting tools, creating a complex document is a breeze. Ecrion Studio has some of the same functionality, but lacks much of the rest. It has less tag options, less wizards for tag creation, and no documentation that I could find.

Coding Knowledge

If you are using a programming language other than C#, Java, or JavaScript you are out of luck with Ecrion. While the amount of programming needed to automate your document generation is similar between Ecrion and Windward, Windward’s RESTful engine allows you to use any programming language to integrate right into your codebase. Windward also offers extensive documentation for its Java and .NET engines to help speed up the learning curve.

Feature

Windward Studios

Ecrion

Conditional Logic
IF/ELSE/SWITCH/CASE
Backwards Compatibility
Templates are compatible with older versions and platforms (.NET or Java).  Tags are automatically upgraded on first run.
Customization
Free form design allows users to intuitively make layout and formatting changes in Office a tool they know.  Create modern looking reports that impress clients
Missing Microsoft Word functionality restricts the user's ability to customize to their fullest extent
Data Selection
Drag/Drop Intuitive SQL, XPath and OData wizards make selecting data as easy as creating an email filter
Wizards can help create simple things like charts and diagrams
Data Source Connectivity

All SSRS supported data sources plus...

  • File Based (XML, XLSX, Access)
  • Web Based (Salesforce, JSON, REST)
  • Big Data (MongoDB, Cassandra)
    Continued support of emerging  datasources
XML, JSON, or XSL-FO
Data Sources

All SQL supported data sources plus...

  • File Based (XML, XLSX, Access)
  • Web Based (Salesforce, JSON, REST)
Design Environments
  • Microsoft Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

Ecrion Studio

Interview Capability

Not Supported

Learning Curves

Easily design template in tools you know through the Microsoft Office Suite, create tags with drag and drop design/wizards.

Open Formats

Templates and Output created to specifications allowing editing in native applications.  Open Office and make layout changes at any time.

Output Formats

PDF, Printer, HTML, DOCX, WORDML, RTF, XLSX, XLS, PPTX, TXT, PostScript, EPS, SVG, PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, CSV

20+ output formats including PDF, HTML, Word, PowerPoint, TIFF and more
Reporting Components Reuse

Windward PODs

Server

Windward provides the user with live support (phone, email, & forum), tutorials, free webinars, comprehensive documentation, strong internet presence, and more.

Lacking a more thorough FAQ section. Little to no learning resources, support is lacking and takes a while to contact.
Server

Library can be deployed via .NETor Java (Office does not need to be installed)

Template Formats

DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, HTML

Custom .epr file type

Summary

Windward offers convenience and a host of ease-of-use features unavailable to Ecrion users. With Windward you can:

  • Free your templates from formatting restrictions.
    Use Office’s styles, charts, tables, shapes, and more to add life and clarity to your documents.
  • Report as you should: directly in the native Microsoft application.
    Windward produces your document to spec so you can continue working with your documents even after generation.
  • Select your data in a single step through intuitive wizards.
    Don’t struggle getting data into your reports, let Windward’s drag and drop wizards do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Combine tags, styles, and formatting all in reusable components.
    Windward’s PODs feature allows capture of data sources, tags, text, charts or any combination of each, even entire documents.

Reporting for high-volume output and a familiar user-friendly design environment

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Call us with questions at 1.303.499.2544

For over 10 years, Windward has lead the industry with our world-class document generation platform that creates visually stunning, data-powered documents designed exactly the way users want and are created in a fraction of the time and cost compared to existing solutions. Proudly located in Boulder, Colorado, Windward Studios is the premier solution for developers and business users adding reporting and document generation capabilities to their applications in over 70 countries around the world.

© 2019 Windward Studios Inc.