Presentations

Is there any software out there that automates document assembly?

Michael Clain Partner at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf

October 1st, 2014

Document assembly programs like HotDocs and ContractExpress involve hours of mind-numbing labor inserting various codes that are recognized by the programs in documents. is anyone aware of any software that automates that process?

Jim Lundy CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.

October 3rd, 2014

We use Conga Composer, which runs in Salesforce. Auto generated proposals in Word and PowerPoint.

http://www.congamerge.com/products/composer

jim

Owen Rubel Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation

October 3rd, 2014

@Troy Not all PDF tools are alike. The opensource version of PDF lacks in alot of capabilities that the licensed version has. Libraries that work with the licensed version are amazingly better in functionality and security.

John Beckmann Product Management leader with experience developing and launching great products

October 10th, 2014

Whoever Vic is - stop sending spam!!

Mike Borozdin Sr. Director at DocuSign, ex-Microsoft

October 7th, 2014

Conga or Drawloop are good tools and have integrations into Salesforce.  

Owen Rubel Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation

October 2nd, 2014

PDFLib is a fantastic library that works with all languages to create PDF's. You can secure them with a password, embed javascript, flash, embed other documents.

Once you have built your templates, you can handle it programmatically.
 

It has an expensive license but is well worth it.

Troy Gardner Chief Technology Officer, Chief Brewing Officer at Cloud9 Brewing Systems

October 3rd, 2014

@Jim, @Owen yes no arguing there are better tools/workflow....right tool for the right job. Just pointing out one that recently hit my radar that wasn't mentioned and a viable option for some.

Michael Clain Partner at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf

October 2nd, 2014

Thanks, Owen. I just looked at the PDFLib library and didn't see any automation tools. In any event, the templates have to be in MSWord so they can be further manipulated by the drafting professional.

Jim Lundy CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.

October 3rd, 2014

There is a difference between PDF composers and tools that can do document assembly quickly and easily. Note, you can use Word and PowerPoint to do assembly, but it is hard and complicated. Jim

Anonymous

October 2nd, 2014

You are probably looking for Template processor or Document Generators.

Here are the links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_processor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_documentation_generators

Suzy Davis Specialist MS Office Template developer

October 7th, 2014

Hi, new to this group; I'm an MS Office developer/MS Word specialist.  I have a product called apps WorkSmart (see video here: www.appsforoffice.com/wp-html/products.html) which allows you to create a template in MS Word, which has all the content you might have in a proposal.  Usually when you send a proposal to a Finance company you might have a slightly different Exec Summary, Product Overview, Case Studies, etc, than the proposal you might send to a Manufacturing company, or a Health organisation.  You mark up your template content using Word's inbuilt bookmarking functionality, and add your matching business rules to an Excel workbook.  When a user runs the template with the apps WorkSmart addin installed, the user is led through a screen questionnaire that matches the business rules,  and they select, for example, what type of company (if you select Finance, it deletes the Manufacturing and Health Exec Summary and Product Overview), they can select which Case Studies they want left in, and which products etc.  This kind of proposal would usually take a half day to manually delete all the areas that you don't want - you can not only create the customer-centric proposal in about 60 seconds, but give your colleagues a flow chart to follow instead of lengthy instructions. I tend to develop according to feedback from customers and have a PowerPoint version on the drawing board.  PowerPoint is quite primitive as a development space though.   I've worked with HotDocs which can be tedious, but which does a lot more than apps WorkSmart.  Happy to chat about your ideas, or even if you would like my feedback on tools you are looking at; I can maybe give you some ideas about what to look for and avoid.