What is Document GenerationWhy You Need Great Document GenerationDocument Generation Goes Astray"Back in the Fold"Next Step
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Document Generation Done Right

How to do Document Generation the Right Way

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"If document design were to take place in a more flexible tool, companies would shrink the employee software learning curve and reduce the costliest piece of the docgen process."

What Exactly is Document Generation?

Picture any of the documents a bank or other financial institution sends out, such as monthly statements, loan documents, account portfolios and more.

While each individual document has customer-specific information, as a whole they contain significant amounts of information in common. The company has created a single template into which they import different sets of data and then automatically generate the output. This form of production, which can result in thousands of nearly identical but ultimately unique copies, is what we call document generation.

Document generation, also known as docgen, is the most thorough and efficient way to automate document production.

Why You Need Great Document Generation

Great document generation saves time and money by allowing your customers or end users to efficiently create and update document templates without taxing developers.

Save time and money when you use document generation to produce common form letters and statements.

A few of the benefits:

  • Saves time. The processes of importing, designing, modifying and generating documents are fast individually and as a whole.
  • Frees up resources. Developers are expensive. When you free your developers from the mundane tasks inherent in a sub-par document generation system, you free up valuable resources.
  • Leads to happier customers. Your customers deserve documentation that is easy-to-read and well-organized.

Why Document Generation Goes Astray

For many docgen software programs, the document designer is the developer, not the business user. The docgen process goes something like this:

The developer lays out the original template with code and tags. He/she sends it to the business user. When the business user needs a revision, he/she sends the request to the developer. The developer stops what they are doing (valuable coding work) and adjusts the template. They send it back to the business user for review. Case closed? Not if the template needs further tweaks and has to go back to the developer.

And therein lies the crux of the problem: the seemingly endless back and forth between programmer and and end user in order to achieve the desired output. It’s a cumbersome cycle that needlessly wastes time and energy, and you more often end up running short on time and settling for an inferior output.

You can apply the same logic to documents generated from software products. If the end user cannot revise the document without the need for a developer or an update patch from the software company, you end up with frustrated customers and an overwhelmed support staff.

Why Document Generation Goes Astray

For many docgen software programs, the document designer is the developer, not the business user. The docgen process goes something like this:

The developer lays out the original template with code and tags. He/she sends it to the business user. When the business user needs a revision, he/she sends the request to the developer. The developer stops what they are doing (valuable coding work) and adjusts the template. They send it back to the business user for review. Case closed? Not if the template needs further tweaks and has to go back to the developer.

And therein lies the crux of the problem: the seemingly endless back and forth between programmer and and end user in order to achieve the desired output. It’s a cumbersome cycle that needlessly wastes time and energy, and you more often end up running short on time and settling for an inferior output.

You can apply the same logic to documents generated from software products. If the end user cannot revise the document without the need for a developer or an update patch from the software company, you end up with frustrated customers and an overwhelmed support staff.

How to Bring DocGen “Back to the Fold”

We at Windward have talked with thousands of companies, and they tell us that the most critical component of a docgen system is the template design interface. If document design took place in a flexible, familiar and easy-to-use tool, documents would look exactly as intended. The result: companies would shrink the employee software learning curve and reduce the costliest piece of the docgen process.

Microsoft Word is an intuitive docgen interface.

You can find document generation of that type in Microsoft® Word. We think Word as an interface frees docgen to be the best it can, and here’s why.

Word Offers Flexible Formatting

Word is a straightforward program that business users already know, so you can design and edit templates without large-scale IT involvement.

At its core, Word is an intuitive interface. The ribbon displays logical groups of commands and features, and drop-down galleries quickly get you to the tools you need. The output is highly customizable, and you can lay out elements so they appear exactly where you want in the document.

Users Experience a Small Learning Curve

Document generation integrated into Microsoft Word requires virtually no learning curve to get started—which significantly increases the speed at which projects get completed. And because any business user can quickly become a master of document generation, developers are no longer needed to build documents.

Word Has Widespread System Compatibility

Some existing Word-based docgen programs work with a wide range of databases and other data sources and can be integrated into systems based on Java, .NET and other programming languages. You don’t have to spend time putting data into other formats or invest in new equipment or developer training.

Your Customers Save Money

When you take developers out of the equation, your customers or business users are now the document designers. They are able to create documents quickly and efficiently, thereby slashing the overall cost of document design.

Your Next Step

Do you find yourself caught in a cycle of seemingly endless iterations when designing documents, and could you benefit from a Word-based docgen tool? That’s why we created the Windward solution.

At Windward, we believe that document generation should be simple and that free-form template design is a must. You deserve attractive, informative and impressive documents.

Windward provides a unique experience using Microsoft Office to format and edit report templates. Behind the scenes, Windward’s sophisticated engine pulls data from multiple sources and merges that data into your reports, creating a fast and hassle-free experience that can make generating reports fun.

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

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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.