Windward Studios Room for Improvement

Juriaan Kloek
IT implementation consultant at BearingPoint Caribbean
Regarding AutoTag, we do notice that when you want to refactor a little bit of your template design or when you want to implement changes, sometimes you need a lot of clicks to get the change done. For instance, if only one identifier's name is changed and you need to change that identifier throughout your documents, it would be helpful to be able to do a find-and-replace, find all the identifiers with the old name and replace them with the new name. We haven't found a way to do that with a find-replace tool. Throughout the Windward user interface, you need a lot of clicks to get that done. That can be a somewhat tedious task. If you want to do somewhat more technical tasks, the front end can be a little bit slow or inefficient because you need to perform a lot of clicks to get the technical change done. Also, there's always a little bit of a struggle for our customers to get the licensing done. That is because we develop on a platform that would prefer a Java Engine. The platform will communicate better with a Java Engine. The platform also does install with many instances, and the problem is that for every instance you have to pay for a license which will then increase the cost enormously. Instead of using the integrated Java Engine we are now using th RESTful engine, which is kind of like a standalone Windward instance that we can call as a service. It generates documents for any of the instances that we want. So instead of having ten Java instances, we only need one RESTful instance for the same functionality, and for one-tenth of the cost. So even though the preferred technical implementation is Java, we are using RESTful, simply because the licensing costs are a lot less. I find it a bit of a shame that the business model doesn't allow us to use the preferred technical implementation. View full review »
Solutionef0b
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
One thing that frustrated us a little bit is that we have to use the Office PDF generation, because the native PDF generation is always slightly different compared to the one in Office. The formatting is just a little bit off here and there. Sometimes a page-break will not appear. There are always some little differences between the native PDF and the Office PDF. This means that we need to have Office installed on the server to be able to generate these documents via API. That's been a bit of a frustrating limitation for us. They do continue to improve that, but because we want to maintain documents exactly as we see them in Word, we have to use the Office PDF generation, instead of the native PDF generation. And that takes a little bit longer to generate as well, whereas if it was the native generation, it would take less than half-a-second. The Office PDF generation takes a bit longer, it can take up to two to three seconds to generate a single document. So there is a bit of a performance hit there. This is the one negative aspect that we fought through. It didn't stop us from using the solution. But it is something that we hope, over time, will improve. If they could get the native PDF generation to be one-to-one with the Office generation, that would make it an exceptionally good product for us. View full review »
Valarie King-Bailey
CEO at OTG
One of the things that we want is the ability to tag documents more easily. The reason it took us so long to get the system up and running is that the APIs could be improved a bit. It could be a little bit more interoperable with software, without having to do a lot of the heavy lifting that we had do to get it in. Once you get it, it's fine. But it did take a little bit of time, and that's due to the fact that the APIs weren't really there and we didn't have a lot of documentation. There was a lot of going back and forth. They could improve that. View full review »
Technica6546
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
A few years back, we suggested they make it work for JSON because we were using XML format. They've already done that JSON formatting. From our perspective, it's meeting our requirements so we had not asked for any improvements in recent times. I don't see any major change which could benefit us. One thing I could say, as is always the case, is that they could make the document creation performance faster. I'm not saying it's slow but it takes time to create the PDFs. If they could make it faster, that would be one area for improvement. It's not a negative at this point, but the world is moving to ultra-fast performance, so that area is something they can look at. I'd like to see improvement from microsecond to nanosecond performance because that's the kind of demand in the market, to be faster and faster. View full review »
Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
Their PDF needs improvement. We've run into some issues when we tried to generate a Word document. If we try to generate the same document in PDF, sometimes it doesn't look exactly the same. We have gone back to Windward support a couple of times on a few issues, e.g., we had some issues with reports that had barcodes on them. The barcode wasn't displaying properly. It was displaying as a skewed image as opposed to an actual barcode. Therefore, we worked with Windward support, having some daily calls with them. Then, within the next release, they were able to resolve the issue. They even gave us a pre-release, so we could implement it into our code before the actual official release on the website. It would be nice to have some sort of workflow capability within the product. Anytime you generate a document, nine out of ten times, there is something which precedes that document, whether it's entering parameters in, e.g., if I'm requesting the status report for a project. The first thing that I usually want from a status perspective is which project is the status report for and which week is it for, as those are some of the things that I have to supply before I can generate a document. From a work flow perspective, it would be nice to say "This project belongs to this person, and this person is okay with me pulling information out of this document for whatever need I have." From a workflow perspective, I would like a wizard interface that goes step-by-step, like a questionnaire, where there are a bunch of things that you have to answer, "Yes or no," before it knows what to do or how to produce the document. Right now, we write our own custom UI for this. View full review »
Jim Aiken
SVP, Product Development and Quality Assurance at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
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. View full review »
Mike Bellrose
Co-Owner at a tech company
There are some - and they've made some positive changes to this already - but there is always room for improvement in the speed, especially with the complex, multi-line Excel spreadsheets. They made some improvements in the last version that are quantum-fold faster than when I first started. But there is always room for improvement there. You always want reports faster and faster. Everybody wants instantaneous reports, doesn't want have to wait. Anything that can be done to speed that up would be an enhancement, for me. The other thing that I have requested that would be nice, there are some Excel formatting things that you lose when you implement a template: some default Excel validation scripts, macros. You could create them in Excel if you were just using Excel, but in creating a template that generates a report, some of those validation things are lost. You just don't have the ability to create them before they are spit out. That would be a nice enhancement to see. View full review »
Informat9488
Information Technology Manager at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
It's pretty early stages. We haven't got any constructive feedback yet. View full review »
CliServ3298
Head of Client Evolution And Services at AxeFinance
About six months ago, we raised the possibility of improving the way they manage HTML 5. Sometimes, when you insert a lot of data in the data source, you get an error because it is not managing HTML 5 features well. I believe they have addressed this in later versions of their product. View full review »
Neil Carroll
Product Management & Owner at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
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. View full review »
it_user195528
COO/VP Operations & Software Exec at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
We've been working with Windward and the executives over there over a number of years and they've been quite flexible and helpful with all of our challenges. If I were to think of one thing - and this is really an opportunity, not something that's a deficiency - a lot of clients that want to use this don't have the technical background for the SQL portion of gathering the data. If Windward were to make a more user-friendly SQL extract front-end, that would help a lot of clients to leverage the application a lot more. View full review »
Paul Fendley
Web Specialist
I do not have enough experience with it to give an accurate answer. It works great compared to what he had, and the support we have received has been fantastic. One thing I haven't found a way around so far: Is there any way to avoid AutoTag loading in Word/Excel each time? I need to use it from time to time - quite rarely. AutoTag affects performance of Word/Excel. I do not want to install/uninstall AutoTag each time I need it. View full review »
Sabina Suster
Business Technology Analyst
Maybe just one thing: We would like to shrink these reports into one page, because there is a lot of free space on one page, but we cannot shrink it into the one page to be shorter. This is one thing we would like to change. View full review »
Haleh Mehrabadi
.Net Developer - Data Analyst
The tool does not support macOS documents. AutoTag generates only Microsoft Office docs. If you try to generate a report on the macOS, you will get error. You can open a saved report on macOS but you can’t generate it directly on macOS. I cannot suggest more improvements at this stage as I am a new user. View full review »
COO33ca
COO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
It needs better support for upgrades and more control over layout of elements. Upgrades tend to break existing output. Elements do not position where expected due to insertion of blank lines and page breaks. It takes time to fix these through trial and error. View full review »
ITManage9d7b
IT Manager Applications with 1,001-5,000 employees
They should add a document distribution solution on top of the document generation capability. It should allow us to send the generated document to a certain recipient (e.g. customer contact’s email address) based on a business-rules management system. That system would allow the end-user to manage a relationship between a document template and its recipient (email, fax, document repository, etc.). View full review »
CTOAndEve181
CTO and EVP
AutoTag needs to be web-based, so our customers can create reports from our web. View full review »
reviewer1025424
User
I would like to see examples included within the Wiki information to show how each function option could be used. View full review »
Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
* It needs the ability to drill down in a single report (i.e., interactive) into data. * The next release could benefit from a cloud-based environment. View full review »

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