Many businesses today struggle with documentation and reporting for their solutions as it is not necessarily the “core” part of their technology stack. Document automation and document assembly is often a key part of this process. The questions may then be time to market, followed by concerns in regards Total Cost of Ownership, risk reduction and a build or buy scenario. Time to market may be critical and a build decision can be expensive and time consuming, not only to build, but also develop and maintain. The easy choice is then to choose a combination of SharePoint and Word. And, this is great for many – but not all.
To improve a document or information centric process, one should have the ability to edit and create content by either adding new content, reviewing and approving the content, or reusing content by both copying and linking to master content, which ensures integrity across all of your documents. In addition, features such as document automation, document assembly and high quality publishing in a secure environment not reliant on files can be key for your decision on what type of solution to elect. Policy-based contract creation and workflow approval system designed to dynamically build both standard and custom configured contracts based upon pre-defined business rules with the ability to change key values, while the documents and reports are instantly updated is a challenge with a file based solution.
The shortcomings of a file-driven document
With a database driven document solution one can produce print quality documents, and programmatically ensure the variables are taken care of in all your live documents. The shortcomings of a file-driven document solution increases the complexity of managing your documents efficiently. Nor does a file-driven document solution effectively provide the foundation for compound content management and is more or less impossible to use for master content management. A file-driven solution also makes it difficult to optimize the use of the key information that derives from your solution.
With a Word document as back-end, you need to break content into several sections and thereby several files. Another agonizing challenge with files is versioning and formatting issues – and change management. This is easy with a database driven document management OEM / aPaaS solution. A database driven solution allows you to produce documents more efficiently and with higher quality. And, all of this can be done programmatically to enable document automation and document assembly with pre-approved sections that are tailored for the end user. Yes, database driven document solutions can be 100% template driven as with a document management solution such as SharePoint, but is also offers significantly added value to documents with variables, change management requirements, graphic requirements and more.
The backbone of document solutions
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