Windward Studios Valuable Features

Juriaan Kloek
IT implementation consultant at BearingPoint Caribbean
The most valuable feature is that it provides good, dynamic document-generation performance and the documents are being generated reliably. These are very important features to us. In the report-designing area, we are using quite a bit of functionality to adapt all the documents. We're using Import Tags and Out Tags, we're using For-Each loops, we're using headers, footers, custom font types, watermarks & barcodes. We're using a whole bunch of functionality and it all works reliably. For the designer we use AutoTag which is a Microsoft Word plugin. In general, it's easy to use, it doesn't have a very steep learning curve. It's not difficult, for people who know Microsoft Office well, to start using the AutoTag tool. The plugin has an easy look and feel. It feels just like you're in a Microsoft Office environment with some extra functionality. It's well done. The quality is good, there are no layout glitches, no design glitches in the front end of AutoTag designer. View full review »
Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
One of the features that we have found most important is that the report builder is in Word, so it was very easy to get into it. The learning curve wasn't too steep. We could also use some of our existing Word templates. We could just leverage them, whereas competing products use a proprietary report builder where you have to rebuild everything from scratch. The other major feature is having a RESTful API that we can call to create these documents. View full review »
Mike Horrocks
Vice President of Product Management at Baker Hill
It's pretty easy to utilize from an end-user point of view. They're able to make adjustments and it doesn't require massive services-engagement or anything like that to make adjustments and to invoke those across the entire enterprise. In terms of layout and design, our clients can be easily trained on it. Within just a matter of hours, our training department can make it so that it's something that our users can actually be quite successful in invoking and utilizing. In that sense, it's spot on. It's simple, it's pretty intuitive, and it's robust enough that it does the more difficult documents that our clients build within the system. Another thing our clients absolutely love is the ability to design templates within the Microsoft Office suite, because of how simple it is. They're building off of something that's familiar. When they can build off of that feature, on top of something that's very familiar, that's a plus for them. It all goes back to the ease of the customer experience. When we can train and get people up and running as fast as we can, that really speaks to the simplicity in the design of the solution. My voice here is our clients' voices. I just don't hear clients ever complain about it where they say they wish they had something different. They're all pretty pleased with the layout. The most valuable features vary from client to client. For a lot of our clients, it's the fact that they're able to tag that data easily and then have that invoked and pulled into the document. Some of our clients are looking at the nested filtering which is coming out. That's going to be a huge benefit for them because they're going to be able to nest and loop while they're also looking at filtering out certain data elements. Those are some areas that are going to be really enticing for our clients. A lot of our clients don't take the fullest advantage of it but what they love is the fact that, as they build out those documents, they're consistent each and every time. Windward's solution is just so solid that from an end-user point of view. It's really valuable in that regard. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about Docmosis vs. Windward Studios and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
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Valarie King-Bailey
* Windward's ability to capture and manage document information that comes from databases * Ease of use * The fact that it is a ubiquitous product, that it interfaces with any type of solution * The layout and design capabilities are fantastic; that's really the focus. * The quality of the layouts and designs is second to none. Windward's ability to help us generate templates, for which we can actually tag documents, is the key feature that we use. We absolutely use the ability to design templates within the Microsoft Office Suite. We looked for a while for a solution to do what Windward does, and Windward really is the only company that does this kind of work. View full review »
Technical Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
It integrates easily. In addition, it's easy to create templates and reports using Microsoft Word, so we don't have to learn something new to create a template. That makes it very user-friendly. Anybody who uses a computer uses Microsoft Word, and they have integrated the product with Microsoft Word. People can easily start working on it without too much training. Some training is needed, but not a great amount. When we offload template creation responsibility to our clients, they learn it quickly. In a day's session, they start writing their templates. It does require some basic abilities with "If-Else" statements and when you create a table you have to create some "While" loops to repeat different data items in the different lines in the table. Some technical knowledge is needed, at least in the context of our product, because we create a lot of complex tables and a lot of conditional statements, so when it comes to looping and logical constructs, some programming knowledge is needed. But a business analyst with minimum technical or programming knowledge can write the templates in our world. That's proof in itself that it's not that technical and it's user-friendly but some information about logical constructs, to make decisions within the template, is required. If you leave that apart, everything else is like creating a table in Microsoft Word. So it's like creating a table, creating a graph and using the constructs which are available by default within Microsoft Word. On a scale of one to five, where five is very complex to create template, I would rate it at medium difficulty, like three out of five. One of the things they added in the last two or three years is PODs, Portable Object Doclets. One of our clients said they wanted to use PODs. They're a good way to make some constructs modular and keep things in one place. We are using PODs and we find it very useful. We don't use each and every feature, but what we usually use are repetition loops, table creation, dynamic graph creation based on data, importing of pictures, and multiple reports within one report using the "If-Else" construct, based on some conditions. They have hundreds of features and we are not using all of them. But we find what we use to be very easy to use, and very effective. Finally, it's very feature-rich. You can create tables, you can create graphs, you can import pictures, and those features are also easy to use. View full review »
Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
You can use Microsoft Office as your designer interface. This is the best feature that I've come across. There is very little programming. You can have nontechnical people create reports. It makes it more accessible to almost anyone who knows how to use Microsoft Office. If you know how to use Office, then you know how to maintain, format, and edit a report. This has helped our free up our developers for other tasks. We don't have to rely on IT anymore to make modifications to reports. We can have business users go in there and make the modifications themselves. If they need to change a certain paragraph, highlight, bold, or move something onto a different page, all that can be done by the business user just knowing how to use Word. They don't have to have any sort of programming or technical expertise. Its speed is where we receive key performance. The performance is fantastic. I have customers and clients who are pumping out 7000 to 10,000 documents per week, and it's doing it flawlessly. I don't think I've had a single issue with a report not being generated as a result of the Windward Engine. Windward's interface is quite user-friendly. I have helped more than a dozen of my clients get up to speed on how to use the Windward Designer. In all cases, two to three days is all you need to have somebody be proficient enough to start creating templates. There is very little training required, and the more technical you are, the quicker you'll pick it up. Even nontechnical individuals have had no issues getting up to speed on the product, it's use, and to be able to start creating templates. The layout and design are extremely, well laid out. They have a lot of tutorials which are available within the designer interface. So, if at any point you have any questions, you can simple search the tutorials. They provide sample templates for you, even generating code on the fly. If you need to integrate it into an existing application, you can do it in more than one language. whether it's VB, C#, Python, or Ruby. The amount of flexibility that it provides is fantastic. Portable Object Doclets (PODs), from a usability perspective, are great. If I have a header that is needed in multiple documents, I could just create a POD for that header portion of it, then drag and drop that POD in any template that I want. I don't have to worry about recreating it in multiple places. It's simply create it once and reuse it multiple times. I don't have to worry about creating database connections, as all of that is embedded inside the POD, which makes it extremely flexible. The drag and drop capabilities are extremely easy to use. View full review »
Owner at CNC Consultants
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. View full review »
Jim Aiken
SVP, Product Development at High Line Software Corporation, a Neogov Company
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. View full review »
Mike Bellrose
Co-Owner at a tech company
The two features that I like the best are the ability to generate Word and Excel documents, and the ability to create my templates directly inside those software sets. It's absolutely critical for me as a user to have design and layout control, because all of my reports are very, very customized. I have to have control over the ability to generate and to control what they look like. View full review »
Information Technology Manager at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
When it came down to the crunch, all the products we evaluated generate reports and were pretty easy to use. The support from Windward was one of the primary considerations. Even though we're based in Australia we did get good support for them, even considering the difference in time zones, and cost was another significant factor as well, it was competitively priced. I think it's a bit more intuitive to use on the AutoTag feature, so that's a positive, but from the end-user perspective it generates a report exactly as we want it, so in a timeframe that's the same as before. I don't know if that's a good, or a bad, is it middle of the road. It meets our expectations. View full review »
Systems Support Specialist at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
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. View full review »
Head of Client Evolution And Services at AxeFinance
The most valuable feature is the Rich Text or TinyMCE in fields. For example, you have a text field but it is not a regular text field, it is a link. Inside this link, you can copy/paste everything: images, text, and tables together. After saving this field, you can pull it into the document. This is valuable because our customers are processing credit applications. When they are dealing with the credit application for a corporate customer - for a loan to build a factory, for example - they need to follow up on the construction progress. This very important for the relationship manager, whenever he is doing client visits, to take pictures of the project and to document the credit application well. It is valuable for him to put everything in the credit application: a picture of the building, a copy of the building plan, financial analysis, how much the construction costs, etc. View full review »
Neil Carroll
Product Management & Owner at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
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. View full review »
COO/VP Operations & Software Exec at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
The ability for it to be integrated into our software solution and the AutoTag tool that allows us to quite quickly create and update the templates themselves. Also, the ability for users to have design and layout control is very important because, as we all know, things change and regulations change, so they need to be able to modify things as the business changes. View full review »
Paul Fendley
Web Specialist
AutoTag, because it integrates with MS Word and makes it easy for our users to create template documents and reports. We have multiple banks using our system, and they all have different formatting needs. AutoTag allows our users to design the templates based on differing needs of the banks. So the ability Windward provides for users to have design and layout control is important. View full review »
Sabina Suster
Business Technology Analyst
I think it is a very flexible tool, that is one reason it is valuable for us. But the graphics and pictures in the reports are the most important. The ability for users to have design and layout control is also very important for us. This is why we chose Windward. View full review »
Haleh Mehrabadi
.Net Developer - Data Analyst
Creating dynamic table of contents (TOC) based on dynamic data in different reports. We have different reports generated by users. After generating the report, the user will modify it and add some pages to it. Thus, we need to be able to update the table of contents. In all other reporting tools, the table of contents is generated based on bookmarks of everything the user wants in the TOC. That means page numbers in the TOC generate at runtime and, if you modify the report, you can’t update the TOC. But AutoTag, follows same tags as Microsoft Word, and you can update the TOC any time after generating your report. Designing different reports with a variety of features, such as a graph, TOC, using different conditions (like if, then, else, and loops), and layout controls, are essential in report designing. View full review »
COO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Managing templates through MS Word, as non technical users can manage output. Also, it is very important from a sales point of view for users to have design and layout control, as our clients don’t want to be locked into relying on technical staff to do changes. View full review »
PDF and Word reports are so easy to create. It is very important for users to have design and layout control. We create a lot of custom reports for our customers, so flexible and ease of use are critical. View full review »
IT Manager Applications with 1,001-5,000 employees
The integration with MS Office is an advantage, creating a better user experience. In addition, the ability for users to have design and layout control is very important because it allows them control over the design and layout of their reports, without the help of IT. View full review »
It is very user-friendly, and the wizard and equation options. There is a feature to create "PODs" for data points that you will be using over and over again. You create a POD and save it to your network drive. Then all you have to do is pull it into your next document template when needed. This saves so much time when templates need to be created quickly. View full review »
Hit Mistry
Vice President at PSC Group, LLC
It has the ability to easily integrate into existing apps with little coding. If you know how to use MS Office, you can create a report. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about Docmosis vs. Windward Studios and other solutions. Updated: January 2020.
397,983 professionals have used our research since 2012.