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Windward Core OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Windward Core is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Document Generation Tools. It is most often compared to Docmosis: Windward Core vs Docmosis

What is Windward Core?

What is Windward Studios?

For over a decade, Windward has been a leader in the software development industry by creating the most innovative and advanced document automation and reporting software on the planet. 

Data-Driven Document Automation

Generate stunning documents that incorporate relevant data easily and seamlessly.

Visually Striking Designs

Our software provides innovative tools and features to build beautiful designs and stunning layouts, all within the familiar Microsoft Office Suite. Your imagination is the only limitation.

Agile Document Logic

We offer the best document automation software for the new millennium. With our conditional logic functionality, you can swiftly personalize the document content to gratify your end users. 

Huge Time Saver

Looking for faster template creation that enables you to keep pace with your business?  With our software, template creation takes minutes and you do not need any programming experience to get it done.

Exceptionally Intuitive Interface

Our program's design offers documents that can be edited, customized and designed using MS Office. Enjoy a stress-free document automation experience in programs you already know.

Efficient Savings

Significantly reduce the resources and time required for template development by using our streamlined template design and document automation tools. 

Windward Core is also known as Windward, Windward Studios.

Windward Core Buyer's Guide

Download the Windward Core Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Windward Core Customers

HAL, Inc., Axe Group, White Clark Group, Blueprint Software, Aspect Security, Nucleus Software, LeBlanc’s Food Stores, South Sound 911, Aegon, Barclays, Fidelity Investments, ArisGlobal LLC, USDA, RepLink, AON Hewitt

Windward Core Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Windward Core pricing:
  • "Windward is very expensive when the volume of documents being generated is low and it is cheap when the volume is high."
  • "We negotiated our prices many years ago, and while they go up a little bit here and there, they've been pretty steady."
  • "Pricing is a bit higher than normal desktop applications, but it's well worth it. The ROI is simple to understand and the monthly payment for an annual license is affordable and worth it."

Windward Core Reviews

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WimCuyvers
Owner at CNC Consultants
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
We are able to cost-effectively create and generate large, complex, parametric documents for our clients

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very flexible, so you can create anything you want. Think of the possibilities you have in Excel or in Word, because these are the two document generators that are used the most. I only use Word, but I can use nearly every feature in Word, including making charts and tables, and produce those features in Windward, parametrically."
  • "I'm still working in Office 2016, and we have had some issues, but Windward is very quick to react when there is a problem. We are also going to switch over to Office 365 and that will solve a few of the problems."

What is our primary use case?

I integrate Windward in software solutions and have done so for customers that work in the financial industry.

In general, I don't deal with the customer regarding commercial issues related to Windward. The idea is that Windward handles financial contact with the customer and they tell the customer that for training, for integration, or for questions about Windward for their particular application, there is a company available in Europe that can assist them with service training and onsite service. This is what I have been doing for the last five months for a customer in the Netherlands. My company acts as an independent after-sales consulting company. If the customer wants to have training on Windward or the customer wants to have somebody make templates, that's where I come in.

An example of one of my customers' use cases for Windward is that if you go to the bank and ask for a loan, they will ask you questions like your name, your birth date, your address, what kind of job you have, how long you worked there, how much money you make a year, etc. At some point, my customer — the bank — will want to print a document for you of five, 10, or 15 pages where everything is written, including all the terms of the loan, so you will have it all on paper. What we do with Windward is we create all these pages and, depending on the input parameters we get from the bank's software, we create a Word or a PDF document which the bank can give to you.

Any document that is, in principle, standardized, but each version needs to be a little bit different, can be created with Windward.

How has it helped my organization?

My current project, for a company in the Netherlands, is a large one. I expect it will take six months. The project includes producing an 80-page book for each of their customers, a book with 24 tables and 35 charts and all kinds of different options. But there are also some very simple pages in it. To create this book we are creating a .txt file with almost 12,000 lines.

The cost to the client is about €10,000 a month. They have said if they had to do this by themselves, it would cost them two or three months of training to get them to the level to be able to do what they need done. They have said that employing me, with my experience, to do the job for them, is a cheaper solution than if they were to do it by themselves. It may be that they don't have the right personnel available or they don't have the time, but they want to move on with their project.

There is no maintenance for the solution, except if the client wants to make a change. All the tables and all the charts that we have created for this big book change dynamically, depending on the data based in Excel. That makes Windward is a great solution.

And for such a short project, a project of six months, it doesn't make sense to move it to China or to India because you always have a language problem. These documents have to be generated in Dutch and other ones have to be generated in English or French.

Another benefit for my customers is the savings. My customer could, for example, be a company that sells electricity to one million people or 10 million people and its customers have to receive an invoice every month. No such company will employ typists to type the invoices with the customer's name and the amount due and how much electricity the customer has used. That is all done automatically with Windward. These documents are nearly the same for each of the 10 million customers, but the name, address, and amount owing are different. All the rest — the "Thank you very much" and other standard text — is the same. The more invoices the company has to print out, the more it saves. There is a certain moment where such a company, because of its size, has to do everything automatically.

What is most valuable?

It's difficult to say which of Windward's features are most valuable. It has several functions, and all of them work well.

Windward is software for automatic document generation. That means you can have a standard letter with a lot of parameters or information in it that can vary. Each time you need to produce this letter you can read the parameters in and, depending on their values, produce what you need. The result can include pictures, tables, charts, etc.

The solution is very flexible, so you can create anything you want. Think of the possibilities you have in Excel or in Word, because these are the two document generators that are used the most. I only use Word, but I can use nearly every feature in Word, including making charts and tables, and produce those features in Windward, parametrically.

One of the nice parts of Windward is that you can design your document in Word by yourself. Everybody can work with Microsoft Word or with Microsoft Excel. The integration that Windward has with these applications is the big advantage when compared with others. With other approaches, a document is designed but then you need a software programmer to create a template from it. But if you can work with Word very well, you can work with Windward, after a training period of one week or two weeks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have some 35 years' experience in software writing. I ended a big project two years ago and, just about one-and-a-half years ago, I started to work with Windward.

The back story is that I was working at a software company with about 50 or 60 people. That company tried for five or 10 years to create its own document generator, but they never succeeded in making it 100 percent okay for the customer. In the summer of 2018, I got in contact with Windward. The company I was working for saw what Windward could do for them and in October of 2018 they made me responsible for Windward. They told me to work with Windward to get it working and to create the templates for our customers. That's what I did for the next nine months; I learned how to work with Windward.

After nine months the job was done and the company said, "We don't need you anymore." But I had knowledge of Windward and I got in contact with them to see if we could do something together. What I saw was that providing consulting services for Windward could add value to their sales in Europe. Windward could say to customers and potential customers, "We have a company in Europe that can answer your questions." We are able to communicate in four languages: German, English, French and Dutch. That doesn't cover all of Europe but it does cover a lot.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm still working in Office 2016, and we have had some issues, but Windward is very quick to react when there is a problem. We are also going to switch over to Office 365 and that will solve a few of the problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't seen any potential limitations with Windward.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Windward is very simple. The advantage of Windward is that you don't have to be a programmer to work with it. With most other solutions you already have to be a programmer to work with them. The installation is very quick.

The most important part is that we create documentation about how things are built up. If a certain chart is being produced on three or four different pages, documenting it properly will enable us to service it more easily.

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

Windward is very expensive when the volume of documents being generated is low and it is cheap when the volume is high.

What other advice do I have?

Windward is very simple if the letters or documents you have to generate are very simple. If they're very complicated, Windward is also more complicated. I'm sure, for example, that the company in the Netherlands, the one I mentioned near the top, will need some after-sales support in a year to make small modifications here or there, because if you don't use Windward for five or six months, you won't know how to do these kinds of things.

The niche that I fill is that working with Windward requires programming, but it's not "real" programming. A real programmer would not want to put time into such simple things. It's like there are books for children and books for adults. A real programmer only wants to work with the books for adults. He doesn't want to work on a book for children. Windward is that "book for children." But on the other hand, if you cannot read and you don't know the letters, then the books for children are also difficult. That's where I come in.

Windward has been able to produce a solution to every question or need that any customer has asked it to do. We have never encountered a situation where it was not possible to do the kind of things we need to do with it.

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Jim Aiken
SVP, Product Development at High Line Software Corporation, a Neogov Company
Real User
Leaderboard
We use it to write all our package reports, and we allow clients to make their own custom reports with it

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the fact that it uses Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel as base templates, so when you generate, it's easy for clients to upgrade, and maintain, and generate out either a PDF or an actual Excel spreadsheet."
  • "The only thing I can think of, that we'd like it to do, would be the ability to "burst out" reports, meaning one section of a report could be sent out as an email to a manager of a department, say, without having to run multiple reports to do it. As it sits now, we have to do multiple reports to do it."
  • "It is software, so there are always times where things don't work. Most of the time issues happen when trying to move to a new version. There might be problems with reports that were created in an older version, so either we have to make a tweak to the templates or we report it to them and get them to make an adjustment to their software."

What is our primary use case?

We are a software company. We put out a payroll and personnel software package. We use it to write all our package reports, and we allow our clients to make their own custom reports with it, as well.

How has it helped my organization?

This is a tough question, because we are a software vendor, and we use it as an add-on to our software to write the reports for it. It's improved our software, but it hasn't really improved our company.

Of course, we use our own software to do our own HR and payroll, but we don't use Windward to do financial reports. We use whatever is in the financial software that we use.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it uses Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel as base templates, so when you generate, it's easy for clients to upgrade, and maintain, and generate out either a PDF or an actual Excel spreadsheet.

The ability for users to have design and layout control is very important. If clients or my developers can't lay out things into specific spots, we couldn't produce reports that look like forms. We have to produce things that look like check stubs or that look like W2s, or of different government reports requiring a specific form layout.

What needs improvement?

It is a very good product. It does everything we need it to do. The only thing I can think of, that we'd like it to do, would be the ability to "burst out" reports, meaning one section of a report could be sent out as an email to a manager of a department, say, without having to run multiple reports to do it. As it sits now, we have to do multiple reports to do it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Started using the product in 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is software, so there are always times where things don't work. Most of the time issues happen when trying to move to a new version. There might be problems with reports that were created in an older version, so either we have to make a tweak to the templates or we report it to them and get them to make an adjustment to their software.

For the most part, it's been quite stable for all the different releases we've been on.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't encountered scalability issues with their product directly. With the way we implemented it, we've had some issues, so we're looking at trying to change it to more their standard way of implementing it, which should work better. We've had problems with the way we implemented it, and tied it in to our software, using that custom data source I mentioned.

How are customer service and technical support?

They've been very good. They're very prompt and fast. We've been using it for quite a while now, so at times, I've even talked to the president or the CEO, whenever we've needed to get an extra boost, because we've needed something a little more quickly. But their support has been awesome.

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

We used to use Oracle Reports before this. We had gotten word that Oracle was phasing it out, plus it was something that you really had to be technical to use, and you had to have their tool to make any changes. It was a challenge at times, so we looked for a new solution.

Before that, we were on a tool called Speedware. I've been here for a long, long time through several generations of software. Technology changes. You have to move to new tools that keep up with the software that you're using.

How was the initial setup?

The way we've implemented it, for our clients, it's basically plug and play. They plug it in and they run the reports through our software, and away they go.

For somebody to make reports or modify reports, there's a plug-in called AutoTag, that goes into Microsoft Word and Excel. It's somewhat on the technical side, so somebody that doesn't understand database structures might not be able to use it very well. It helps to have a little training, but they offer a lot of free training sessions, which helps.

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

This is tough to say, because we have a contract with them, where we we sell it for use with our application only, in a package bundle. We're reselling it to our clients, so I can't really comment on what they might sell to somebody that was going to use it in-house. We negotiated our prices many years ago, and while they go up a little bit here and there, they've been pretty steady.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Because it was seven or eight years ago, I don't remember a lot of what we looked at. I do remember we looked at Crystal Reports, but we looked at somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen different options before paring it down and going with Windward. If you compare something like Windward to something like Crystal Reports, Windward is cheap. Crystal Reports is outrageously priced.

What other advice do I have?

We have developed somewhere around 600 - 700 base product reports that we ship, and then custom reports for our clients. They're all over the ballpark, for printing off W2s in the US, T4s in Canada, clients' check stubs, general ledger reports, time sheets; any types of payroll and personnel-type reports.

The main data source we use for most of our reports is a custom one. They have the ability to hook in your own data source, written in Java. We have a custom data source that runs through our apps, or our app serves up the data for the reports. We also do some that are XML format, some that go directly to the Oracle Database to query up the data.

What we were looking for was, a report has got to come out pretty fast, but it all depends on the amount of data, the amount of pages it is. You can't have a report take 10 minutes to produce one page of data. A 1,000-page report might take 10 minutes to formulate all the data and produce the report.

In this day and age, there are so many different tools out there. It really doesn't make sense to create your own package, when you can easily plug in a third-party. Our strength is not in producing software that's going to produce reports. Our strength is in creating a product that does human resources or payroll functionality. It made more sense to add on a third-party tool for doing the reports, and then we just create the reports, and not try to have to deal with the software level underneath.

I would advise others not to go the route we did, with the custom data source. It makes it a challenge, when you do have a problem, because you're trying to isolate where the problem is. Is it in our software? Is it in the handover of the data to their software, or is it in the report template? Using their base, standard type of deployment and usage is the better way to go.

It's great. It's a good product. For a relatively technical person, it's relatively easy to use. It works in Word and it works in Excel. There may be easier to use products out there, but typically, something that's easier to use isn't as powerful. There is always that trade-off.

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.
Learn what your peers think about Windward Core. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Christopher Heinz
Sr. Systems Analyst at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Strong layout and design capabilities; leverages every aspect available in Word-native formatting

Pros and Cons

  • "The ultimate feature is the product it produces. The ROI around that saves hours and hours. It's probably about a hundred days per year. The time savings and the ability to turn it around quickly pleases our customers."
  • "The error reports also need improvement. If you don't key it in right, it's a little hard to find the root cause. It gives you information as much as it can, but it doesn't really hone in and tell you explicitly what you should do to correct the problem."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is solely for document generation. We generate contracts for one of our customers and us. The contract gets generated from a database of terms and conditions that are stored in a MySQL database. They are hundreds of pages typically with many products organized per category and the product definitions are in there. A three-page template can generate hundred-page contract documents, which is very handy.

We're generating documents on a desktop computer but we're planning to move it to a server-side generation. We have 3 designer seats so that three people can make edits to the template.

How has it helped my organization?

In addition to generating the Word document from the database, we generate dashboards that we look at in Excel and Tableau. It enables us to have tighter knowledge of a working process by virtue of those dashboards, which formerly had to be edited by hand.

What is most valuable?

The ultimate feature is the product it produces. The ROI around that saves hours and hours. It's probably about a hundred days per year. The time savings and the ability to turn it around quickly pleases our customers. 

In terms of functionality, you don't have to know SQL language and syntax to get SQL logic applied to the document. Windward's Wizard interface is quite nice in that respect. You can select the fields you want, put them in the order you want, sort them by the common criteria, and it converts that into SQL language for you that you can edit directly in SQL or update via the Wizard. It's very handy.

The layout and design capabilities are very strong. It leverages every aspect available in Word-native formatting. On top of that, you can apply number and date styles in the Windward per field attributes, which is very handy. Essentially, it's 100% compatible with Word formatting and then it goes over and above to let you have the additional formatting.

The quality of the layouts and designs takes advantage of all that Word has and allows you to make your document look exactly the way you want it to look.

It has the ability to design templates within the Microsoft Office suite. It's the tool that fits the hand nicely because Word is commonly used for formatting text and Windward supports that. It's a powerful combination.

This frees up data entry people, what we call office administrators, for other tasks. It frees them up for other more value-added tasks.

Before Windward, we were adding conditional content to documents all manually - cut and paste twice, once into Word, once into Excel, which is very tedious and error-prone. Windward definitely does reduce manual error. It's now programmatic and before it was manual and subject to error.

What needs improvement?

The licensing key is a little bit twitchy. I'd like to see more HTML formatting support in templates. It has a basic stock of HTML formatting capability, but it doesn't have a rich vocabulary. I have to work around that sometimes. 

The help documentation and blog posts are extensive, but not always up to date.

The error reports also need improvement. If you don't key it in right, it's a little hard to find the root cause. It gives you information as much as it can, but it doesn't really hone in and tell you explicitly what you should do to correct the problem. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Windward for a year or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We barely use a fraction of the overall power of the product and we're going to be looking at ways to utilize the product in additional use cases now that we have this first sequence in hand. It's not a question of performance. It returns your product within seconds and it's very satisfactory.

Now there's a total of three people who work with Windward in my company. It's two office administrators and myself.

We use it every other week for contract generation. It used to take multiple days but now it takes just minutes. We have ample room for growth in terms of using the software more often and for more use cases.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is quite strong. They have an issue tracker and they follow up and get back to you with status updates and advise you if it's going to be a software update in the future, etc.

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

Before Windward, we were doing it all manually. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is as straightforward as it could be given the complexity of what it delivers. It took us nine months to set up but we weren't working on it 100% of the time. It was part-time.

Our strategy was first to do a proof of concept and demonstrations to warrant the investment in software. We had a trial license that helped me generate demos that were compelling and allowed us to approve the purchase order. Then we essentially demonstrated that we could emulate the manual method and therefore justify transitioning to the new method pretty rapidly. The next phase was to set up server-side processing.

What about the implementation team?

I did the integration myself with the help of Windward support, which was a very strong aspect of their offering. 

The support was great and then I needed additional hand-holding, so to speak. They assigned a subject matter expert to work with me. That was absolutely wonderful in working through the various issues that I encountered and didn't quite understand. That additional consulting offering was very valuable and was very helpful to us.

What was our ROI?

For these administrators to spend their time doing more value-added work is very clearly a key takeaway from our implementation.

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

Pricing is a bit higher than normal desktop applications, but it's well worth it. The ROI is simple to understand and the monthly payment for an annual license is affordable and worth it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Advantive. It had nowhere near the functionality and the support for the OpenOffice format that Windward had engineered over the years.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody considering this solution is to allocate enough time. Don't over-commit on deployment because just like data analytics, a big part of the challenge is to make sure your data schema is good and the data is cleansed and doesn't have issues inside the data itself. Start with some simple Windward templates, build your understanding of what the logic is required to deliver a certain result. There's some hard work involved to get exactly what you want, but the reward is fantastic.

I would rate Windward Core a ten out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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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reviewer1255479
Systems Support Specialist at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Improves efficiency, great technical support, and the tutorials help to smooth the learning curve

Pros and Cons

  • "Thanks to Windward, our documents need very few tweaks and are usually "customer-ready" right out of the box."
  • "I have to deal with VERY long lists of properties contained in our XMLs and it would be nice if Windward offered a way to alphabetize this property list."

What is our primary use case?

I create Windward templates for the Otis Elevator company. These templates are for complicated specifications and proposal documents that our sales reps use for selling elevators. The end result of these Windward templates are documents that perfectly fit the concept of "putting your right foot forward."

Our primary use is for the sales reps to build these documents, based upon XML files created in the background on our document server. Our secondary use is for the public to be able to generate elevator specifications from Otis.com.

How has it helped my organization?

We used another process for doing this, previous to Windward that was absolutely terrible and support was practically non-existent. The documents used by our sales force are critical and examined very closely by our customers. They need to foster confidence in our product and company. 

Previously, our reps had to spend a lot of time tweaking/fixing an imperfect document and fussing with nested tables. Thanks to Windward, our documents need very few tweaks and are usually "customer-ready" right out of the box. Most of the tweaks are only to make the documents unique to an office. 

What is most valuable?

One of the valuable features is Functions, which helps make it possible to generate grammatically correct sentences from XML data.

The quick preview is another useful feature. Our previous system required a sever upload before changes could be previewed.

With Windward, we are able to build tables where elevator floors are represented "right-side-up," with the first floor being at the bottom of the table and the highest floor, being at the top. This reverse sequence of rows is something our previous software company said was impossible. Because of this, our reps were forced to rearrange the word tables, themselves.

What needs improvement?

I do coding, so I often think that it would be nice to have subroutines, in separate templates, that could be shared among other templates. However, I understand the limitations of Word Field codes.

I have to deal with VERY long lists of properties contained in our XMLs and it would be nice if Windward offered a way to alphabetize this property list. I understand that we could alphabetize our XML and this would happen automatically, but I think this would be a useful tweak for many users. At least if they have to deal with a lot of data like we do.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Windward Studios for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I consider it to be very stable. I have had a few issues in other places because of the fact that we are using a 64-bit operating system, but still using a 32-bit version of Microsoft Office. The Windward team informed me that this is responsible for infrequent Word crashes that occur while building Windward templates. However, these crashes are only a minor nuisance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our elevator specs and proposals are very complicated documents; however, I have barely used the full spectrum of what Windward offers. I've got some ideas for using Windward to assist in generating some of my training PowerPoints. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Windward product support is very good and the response time is excellent! Normally, I'll get an email response, with a solution, within an hour or the end of the day at the latest. I like to send detailed emails explaining my problem and they return with very thorough answers, even suggesting alternative solutions.

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

We used another solution prior to this one, and it had almost no tech support. Font styles, sizes, and paragraph spacing would change, for no apparent reason. Sometimes, the field codes would appear, instead of the data that they were supposed to bring in.

How was the initial setup?

The utilization of Windward was very straightforward and I had a very good relationship with a few of the Windward support staff. Any complexity was purely a result from our end, as might be imagined when considering that I'm just the North American counterpart and all of this has to be coordinated with many servers across different countries.

What about the implementation team?

It was a little of both. In-house, the offshore team had to make sure that the location where the templates would be uploaded allowed proper connection to the latest XMLs and that the Windward templates could be discerned from the older, non-Windward, templates. 

The vendor team was the Windward support team, itself. This started out with a combination of teleconferences/NetMeetings and evolved into my asking questions, via email. Most of my questions were answered within an hour.

What was our ROI?

This would be hard to put a number on. Our Proposal and Specification documents, generated by Windward templates, are right on the front-line of sales, making them critical documents that will either give a good or bad impression of the Otis Elevator Company. Just about anything that makes this process run better is worth significant investment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I created a VBA version that would build Excel spreadsheets, formatted so that PDFs could be created that looked identical to what might have been created in our old software. However, many users needed to have Word-formatted versions of these documents. 

What other advice do I have?

This was purchased by those higher up the food chain than myself. However, the Windward process works very well and is very reliable. There is a learning curve, but it's not too bad, especially considering all that it does.

There are plenty of tutorials, but nothing teaches better than actually creating documents and getting feedback from the users. Nearly all of the problems I have encountered were solved quickly and were the result of me doing something wrong, rather than a problem with Windward.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Neil Carroll
Product Management & Owner at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
The design tool's sample output fidelity tests, and ability to work with JSON data and output PDF/HTML, are key for us

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

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.