We're thrilled to have found this product! We recently finished a large PHP project and used Windward Reports (Autotag and Javelin Rest Services) as the reporting engine. Much of those reports employed some very large and complex scenarios. "Many" logical branches (If, Case, Loops). What the reporting package didn't have, we were able to create and add in the form of our own C# custom functions to fill the gap to handle everything from JSON Arrays to specialized functions to manage complex English linguistics. The ability to create a live report (WYSIWYG) right within Word, use styles and native MS Graphs lets Windward reports really shine through! You'll love it!
While we built our reports upon one data source (MySQL), the package itself easily handles dozens of data types to import and work with. The speed at which we are seeing these reports generate is also worth noting. Extremely fast considering the number of iterations for the number of calculations. Autotag (the report designer add-in) also allows for variables to easily get passed into the reports and lets you create PODS to share variables and data you've used between users and designers.
The real magic though is their fantastic support team backed by some A1 developers. What we didn't understand, Windward always explained to us and if something didn't work in the product, support made sure we had a work around or the product itself was able to perform at the required level.
If you're looking for a reporting solution that backs onto Microsoft Office, can be built in as a service to run independently or from a user workstation (Autotag), I highly recommend you check out Windward Reports before investing time in other products!
Of course, every rose has a few thorns and Autotag is without exception. We did find a few things!
1. Expect a learning curve. Debugging a report or figuring out why a report might not run can be challenging as your reports grow in complexity.
2. Graphs do not always appear as they should when output into PDF and other formats. However, Windward is addressing this now developing a new PDF engine to output with.
3. If you use a lot of complex formatting and styles, expect some challenges and minor nuances.
I have been using Windward for nearly 2 years now and it has been the root cause of us being able to achieve what we set out to do. Needing to eradicate a number of repetitive Excel based reports, Autotag allowed us to build robust templates and improve our reporting ability and have greater control over our data.
I love the fact that it sits in Microsoft products so easily. I feel this helps reduce a lot of the burden of learning a new piece of software as you are halfway there through your knowledge of programmes such as Word and Excel.
Like most reporting software there are a few nuances that need to be understood to be able to work around them, but ultimately there are only a few of these and they generally aren't of a critical nature.
I've worked with a number of different report tools. Nothing I've seen comes close to Windward. I'm only bummed I didn't find them 2 years ago.
I make complex report outputs that need to pack in a lot of data, and communicate complex results graphically. My biggest issues with other systems are overflow, brittleness, and overall template hell. With Windward, I'm no longer getting pages with large empty patches. Editing in Word, I get to leverage a ton of power that's built into Word. Not every permutation you can think of in Word works properly, but so much of it does, that you can pretty much do any graphic layout. Word makes styling tables and whatnot a breeze. And you can leverage things like font/paragraph styles, which is really great. It's super easy, intutive, and flexible.
Bottom line for me - in 5 days, I was able to generate a beautifully branded template with full-bleeds, nested tables and loops, and fairly complex conditionals. This new template was a substantial improvement on my previous report templates using other systems. And I did it in a fraction of the time.
That's the product, but the customer support also deserves some serious kudos. Whenever I've had any issue, they have been super on top of it. Their response has been immediate and they're actively developing to meet my stated needs. When the issue has been tough, they've offered work-arounds until their team gets the issue fixed.
I'd highly recommend Windward.
The product is great. Much easier to grasp than other reporting tools as it embeds itself with Microsoft programs such as Excel and Word. The support network provided by the vendor is second to none. They have regular training videos and webinars to keep you updated and ensure your maximising the product as much as possible.
The outputs can differ between formats. This can be a little frustrating but, it can be resolved easily with a little manipulation of the template.
We replaced a self built reporting system in our SaaS product with the Windward solution, when we were struggling to find another solution which could do the same. The engine integrated with our data sources in a snap, and AutoTag allowed us to replicate the reports quickly. We now have a hybrid system, which sometimes has to use our older reporting engine (for very specialised reports) but uses the Windward engine as much as possible.
Integration was quick and painless, and the ease of building new templates with Autotag has really taken the pain out of rolling out new reports for customers.
Nothing really, the costs can look high, but talk to Windward to see what other options there are. And it really is worth the money.
Powerful tooling, with easy to use wizards to help you select and preview your data. Hides the complexity of data selection and document generation.
If someone can use Word, they can use AutoTag. It is very easy to build a templates and use them right away. The vendor has a fantastic support team. They answer simple questions for beginners and they strive to understand your particular business problems and needs for your more complex
There aren't detailed error messages coming out of the RESTful engine. When a report isn't generated for any reason, the same generic error message is returned.
It is the best reporting tool I have ever seen. One of the best tools they have is the document generation tool that allow to generate you report out of any data source you have and in any format you want.
In addition to there autotag template design which is really awesome.
They need better marketing experience to show more what they really have, They have many features and tools they need to show more about it.
In addition from time to time they need to make changes to there website so The user when accessing it he can tell that they are doing more new stuff.
Windward AutoTag is easy to use, especially the tag wizard to quickly tag content in your documents from various data sources, XML, SQL, etc... The vendor is great and always on their toes when it comes to replying back with open tickets or updated releases.
Vendor, no issues. Product, some inconsistencies in PDF vs Word output, just need to do some extra formatting on the templates to get them to look similar when outputted.
Quick to use but powerful and customizable. Easy to integrate with a nice API.
Really great people behind the scenes who are willing to help and knowledgable about how to best utilize the software.
We are not a large client to Windward, but they always make us feel that way. Every time we have a question or suggestion, we get an impressively timely response. Even things that other vendors might charge us for, if Windward feels it would improve the product, they roll it into the next release. Their service greatly exceeds that of vendors we pay seven figures a year.
From a product respective, it is exactly what they advertise. A Microsoft Office design environment for enterprise data. And the server engine makes Crystal Reports look like a dinosaur from a speed perspective.
The major downside I've seen has been in the server pricing which only has a "per core" option. This has caused us to have to engineer our datacenter / redundancy design differently than if we did not have this constraint.
CodeObjects is a cloud based SaaS solution for insurance process management that goes beyond the core of policy, billing, and claims to include all the ancillary functions. One of the ancillary services that we provide is document generation and we use Windward for this. Before windward we were using an Adobe based document rendering engine. Switching to windward helped us with the following:
- Reduced the time it takes to create document templates by about 80%
- Reduced the time it takes to configure complex form generation rules by more than 80%
- On an average our customers were able to learn the windward tool by about 70% faster compared to the Adobe product.
Overall it provided a great advantage to us in this competitive Landscape.
Been using the Autotag software for nearly a year and a half now. Of which we use it extensively for fixed reporting. It isn't necessarily an easy to learn reporting system as it is pretty much bound by the restrictions in Microsoft Office. Furthermore there are a number of niggles which you need to learn to work-around to use it.
However once you have done you will be using a reliable, fast and powerful piece of software for all your fixed reporting needs. Not to mention the great support which Windward offers!
We've been using Windward Reports for well over 5 years now as the main reports tool within our Personality product. As the development piece (AutoTag) is a plug-in for Microsoft Office tools it makes formatting simpler if you know how to do so in Word/Excel already.
We've created some incredibly complicated reports with this tool and our technical people find it easy to use but we don't find it as an end user reporting tool.
Highly recommend it for companies looking for a new tool to create their company reports in.
I'll start with the only con, it isn't cheap - but then cost is relative - we compared with other similarly scalable products and then, well, it looked much more favourable!
If you need to generate multi-page PDF documents in fractions of a second based on simply tagged word documents and some data to fill in the blanks then these are the people to talk to. Windward Reports does much more - but even for this it is worth the cost.
Support is great, the team is very friendly too.
PSiDEO has been successfully collaborating with Windward Solutions for many years as well as using Windward's products in its own solution with satisfaction for the same period. Additionally to performing products, Windward has also supported PSiDEO's activities by being open and flexible with its business models and negotiation schemes to ensure both companies business operations and needs are met in a collaborative and efficient way.
We use Windward to in a business process that generates correspondence by merging data in various forms with Word templates. We have hundreds of templates and generate thousands of documents. It is all automated. It works great when you need to do this as part of a greater business process. I would highly recommend this product.
In the set up we had a few questions on some very detailed modifications and the customer service was amazing!!!! It was very easy and turn around time on customer request was the best we have experienced.
The AutoTag add-in our analytics team uses for reporting has significantly improved our analysis productivity and helped us to view metrics which aid management in making better data-driven decisions.