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Is there any software out there that automates document assembly?

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?

14 Replies

Kim Ellery
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Kim Ellery Entrepreneur
Director of Product Marketing at Absolute
I'm also interested in this topic, specifically whether this type of software can generate powerpoint presentations. interested to see what the community comes back with.
Owen Rubel
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Owen Rubel Advisor
Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation
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.
Michael Clain
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Michael Clain Entrepreneur
Partner at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf
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.
Owen Rubel
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Owen Rubel Advisor
Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation
Yeah you have to code your automation pulling in the template and generating the final output; most of these work this way. It's general MVC... model-view-controller. They can only suply the libraries as they don't know what your model, your controller or your templates are.
Alex Kouznetsov
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Alex Kouznetsov Advisor
CTO at Startup-Genius
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
Jim Lundy
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Jim Lundy Entrepreneur
CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.
We use Conga Composer, which runs in Salesforce. Auto generated proposals in Word and PowerPoint.

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

jim
Troy Gardner
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Troy Gardner Advisor
Chief Technology Officer, Chief Brewing Officer at Cloud9 Brewing Systems
There are several PDF parsers and renderers. http://pdfkit.org/ which can basically put anything in a webview into PDF for print.
Jim Lundy
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Jim Lundy Entrepreneur
CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.
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
Owen Rubel
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Owen Rubel Advisor
Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation
@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.
Troy Gardner
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Troy Gardner Advisor
Chief Technology Officer, Chief Brewing Officer at Cloud9 Brewing Systems
@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.
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