Windward Core Review

The design tool's sample output fidelity tests, and ability to work with JSON data and output PDF/HTML, are key for us

What is our primary use case?

Transforming our reports, that are natively in JSON format, to have a human-readable format associated with them.

How has it helped my organization?

It completely offloaded a needed component of our platform, providing tools that we would have had to develop internally. We didn't need to reinvent the wheel for a part our business that is ancillary.

What is most valuable?

The engine being able to sit inside of our firewall is the most important feature.

The design tool, with all of its features and sample output fidelity tests, and being able to work with JSON data and output PDF and HTML, were also both crucial. 

The ability for users to have design and layout control is also critically important. Without this ability, procuring report designs would represent a huge bottleneck. Report design tools also enable upsell opportunities for customized reports, with quick turnaround times.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to have a black-and-white, ideal setup for servers, to maximize capabilities. We went through a lot of scenarios to get something that is scalable. An ideal AWS-package server setup could have saved us a lot of time. But I understand this is very company specific.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability, outside of any stress testing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have encountered some scalability issues, but these seem to be due to unknown server and environment setups. We have done a lot of testing and trial and error to improve this, which has been going very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was and is phenomenal. We always get the answers we need from them and they are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure everything is working properly. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a solution that merely transformed HTML into PDF. We still had to transform the JSON data into HTML format. This process was slow, and design- and resource-intensive. Getting fidelity feedback on changes and updates was extremely slow.

Our company is built on producing data fast and with fluidity, but providing a means to display the data in a human readable format was a huge bottleneck for us. We needed something that could keep pace with our data development.

How was the initial setup?

I was responsible for championing it and convincing the CEO to make the switch to Windward. I decided to set up a prototype using Windward that mimicked our platform’s exact workflow, to show the viability of the product and process. The Windward prototype workflow was completed and demoed to the CEO in a single afternoon.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The ability for Windward to be licensed as a black-box and to be retained in our servers behind our firewall was an absolute must in our business model. Without this, licensing would not be possible.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other products specifically, because we had a deal-breaker checklist of what was required. Of all the products we went through, Windward was the only one to meet all the requirements.

What other advice do I have?

We recently have moved into production with our service and platform. So far I would give it a solid nine out of 10. It has met every aspect we needed it to meet, flawlessly.

We design and produce risk insight reports on consumers' financial accounts. We have developed an internal "modular" architecture of our data and reports where one master report template can output any number of permutations and combinations, based on dynamic, modular inputs.

We connect to JSON objects and currently output HTML and PDF.

We are multi-tenant based, so we need to be able to sustain high volume without sacrificing page rate. We are still in the process of optimizing this aspect, but our current benchmark tests should be enough for the short- and mid-term.

We choose to purchase a packaged solution because we needed to have design tools that require minimum skill level, for scalability and quicker turnaround times, for newly designed reports.

Look past Windward's marketing/sales process (those areas needs improvement). The product itself is amazing.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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