It doesn’t matter in which industry you work – there’s one thing in common for all: piles of documents. Be it the Legal industry, Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance, Government, Real Estate, Manufacturing, or Non-Profit organizations; documentation is a part of the business. So, investing in a robust document automation tool to power-up the documentation process has become crucial.
If you are researching the alternatives to automate your document generation, you might see Windward and HotDocs as close competitors. But when you dive deep into their offerings and capabilities, you will view a sea of differences. So, ensure you have known them to make a better decision.
Here’s a rundown on Windward and HotDoc’s offerings, capabilities, and functionalities to help you ease your document automation tool search.
Windward vs. HotDocs: Which is A Better DocAuto Solution?
1. Creating Templates
Creating templates is easier, simpler, and quicker with both Windward and HotDocs. While HotDocs follows a select-and-quick method to help you add data fields, Windward takes a drag-and-drop approach.
However, the point at which both differ is when you run a template. On the one hand, Windward auto-populates the data from the connected datasources, whereas, on the other, HotDocs require you to fill in the data one after the other. Yes, though HotDocs offers you the option to enter the data manually, fetch them from previously filled documents, and retrieve directly from the connected source, it cannot process all the data variables simultaneously. You need to click the variable name and then the answer box for every data field. This seemed to be quite intimidating and time-consuming.
2. Conditional Text
When it comes to generating a complex document, you require placing conditional text elements at certain points. This includes if, if-else, else, if, switch, and more. The former undoubtedly stands out if you sit and compare the conditional formatting options Windward and HotDocs offer. However, if you work with basic documents only, the latter can be beneficial for you. But settle for it only when you are sure that you won’t require building complex conditional documents anytime in the future.
Most of us are familiar working with MS Word. Luckily, Windward and HotDocs come with the capability to integrate with MS Word; thus, eliminating the hassles of learning a new tool. But if you need Excel and PowerPoint too, Windward is the best shot to give as HotDocs doesn’t support them. If you only need Word now, think carefully if you want Excel and PowerPoint someday.
4. Code Behind
One of the prime advantages of Windward is that it is a ‘no-code behind’ platform. Meaning, whatever you do on Windward doesn’t require you to write code. Everything is a simple drag-and-drop functionality. But that’s not the case with HotDocs. You need to write code for mapping fields. Again, it has a very basic and complex Query Wizard as compared to Windward. So, you will definitely seek the assistance of your developers while building any templates with HotDocs.
Windward vs. HotDocs At A Glance
|Document Locking||It comes with an advanced document locking feature.||You have no control over who can access or modify your documents.|
|Validation, Error & Warning Handling||Warning and errors get marked so that you can work on them and resolve them easily.||It does not highlight any error you encounter while running your document.|
|Word Form Fields||You can have all that you want on your document template.||Even if it works in MS Word, it doesn’t support checkboxes, drop-down lists, or any other form fields.|
|Output Formats|| DOCX|
And anything you can think of including printer
|Tag Tree||There’s a well-structured tag tree to ease the designing process.||The designer has no way to showcase the structure of tags on the document.|
|Pros & Cons|
While HotDocs is a great document automation tool for your basic documentation needs, it has a certain limitation when it comes to creating complex ones. Again, its support only for MS Word might hinder you in the long run when you need to work in Excel and PowerPoint. Windward, on the other hand, has got the most advanced feature-set for your every document generation need.
Originally published June 18, 2020 , Updated : August 26, 2020