Windward Studios Reviews

Windward Studios

The Global Leader in Document Automation Solutions

4.82/5 (38 reviews)

Pros
  • Great product, great support and I see that product is changing all the time to evolve to better and better version.Denis I.Read the full review
  • Its a great piece of kit with amazing support. Integration into Microsoft programmes softens the learning curve required, along with the array of supporting videos and webinars.Rob D.Read the full review
  • I like the ease of implementation to most applications on the market. It is very intuitive to use within well established Microsoft office Desktop applications like Word, Excel and Power Point.Denis I.Read the full review
Cons
100%
recommended this to a friend or a colleague
JC Laurence

Happy with Windward

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-01-10
Review Source: Capterra

NCC has been using Windward products as the reporting component of our land information system for over a decade now. It has always worked well for us, and we're planning to continue using it following a major system upgrade this coming year. Customer service and tech support has been great over the years, so we're pretty happy. Their developers have been responsive to requests from us regarding certain features, which is really nice.

Pros
Integration into Microsoft Word is great. Very easy connection to our corporate SQL Server databases, and report authoring is very intuitive. Our developers have no issues working with the engine component either.

Cons
We've had no real issues with the software suite since we acquired it.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for the nice words and we love having you as a customer. And you've had some great suggestions for us for features over the years.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Clint Spurgeon

Meets all our needs

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-09-24
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
The Windward report designer has many features allowing our business analysts to create the report/document templates need for our business. Also, the Windward RESTful engine is very easy to implement and integrate with other systems. Windwards support is excellent as well.

Cons
Needs better support for JSON data sources.

Response from Windward Studios


Hi Clint;

Thank you for the very nice review.

On your request for additional support for JSON datasources, please email me (david@windward.net) to give me specifics. Or you can make suggestions at http://ideas.windwardstudios.com/ We're always working on improving the product.

thanks - dave

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Gary Flauder

Combine hundreds of MS Word reports, tens of thousands of lines of code, a report in seconds!

Reviewed 2015-06-10
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Customer support

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HALEH MEHRABADI

Windward Studios

Used weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-02-14
Review Source: Capterra

I use this tool (Auto tag) weekly to design reports and have different outputs such as *.docx, *.xlxs, ...

Pros
This is a powerful tool to design and generate a word, excel, pdf, ... reports and connecting to different data sources such as JSON, XML, SQL,...

Cons
Totally I haven't found any negative point with this tool which has stopped me working as I can generate different reports based on my data

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Rob Davidson

A great piece of kit

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2016-08-22
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros
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.

Cons
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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Denis Ivanov

The best Publishing tool

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-04-23
Review Source: Capterra

Great experience working with Winward. Very responsive team, They really care about your experience. Most of the time I am dealing with very complex situations and they never brushed me off. Great product, great support and I see that product is changing all the time to evolve to better and better version.

Pros
I like the ease of implementation to most applications on the market. It is very intuitive to use within well established Microsoft office Desktop applications like Word, Excel and Power Point. Most of the time Admin Users don't even need programming background to get started.

Cons
Like any other products bugs come up once in a while but Winward Customer Care team along with developers are doing superb job handling each situation with exemplary attitude.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you very much for the wonderful review

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Christopher Rathnam

Awesome Service for Report Generation

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-01-24
Review Source: Capterra

The experience has been excellent! Support is superb!

Pros
This service is easy to use. I have worked with windward for nearly 2 years now and each version gets better. They update nearly every 2 weeks and the integration with Word and Excel makes it easy to create reports with some advanced Microsoft Word features such as Charts.

Cons
They documentation was not great although in recent months documentation has taken a full overhaul and is getting better each day.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Bert van den Hoeven

Very useful tool to create business documents

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-12-19
Review Source: Capterra

Creation of complex business documents, from various database datasets.

Pros
Full features of Word with rich set of rendering features, especially on variable sized, multidimensional arrays.

Cons
Initially the online documentation was somewhat difficult to navigate

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Xen Sitjar

Awesome Product

Used daily for less than 6 months
Reviewed 2019-01-03
Review Source: Capterra

Implementing Windward to manage our invoicing and customer communications is a breath of fresh air! Unlike XSL templates, anybody can easily create and update templates using the Report Designer. It is a piece of cake – it didn’t require me technical knowledge or even a formal training… just applied simple logic and it was like something I’ve been doing for years! As a portfolio lead and business analyst, I’ve seen quite a lot of applications/tools that end up making the business adjust to satisfy how the application works. But not Windward, it is an application that adjusts to work for the business!

Pros
I like that even a non-technical person can use the product. And that the licensing model is perpetual!

Cons
Having the Report Designer integrated with MS Office is a PRO. However, it is also a CON because of MS Office's limited design capabilities.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for your incredibly nice words. And I agree, using Office as the design tool has both large advantages and some disadvantages.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Ruben Debrito

Great tools to manage documents

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2019-11-06
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
I've been using windward studios for over 7 months now. i was having problem on how to edit my documents and customize it, however with winward studios i've been able to do my job in a very effective way. it also helps me create templates easily.

Cons
N/a i didn't find anything in particular that i did not like, beside a bit more tools on templates creation, like pictures, backgrounds, and formats

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Anonymous

Enabling Technology making document generation easy

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-01-25
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
1. The ease and speed of the design of our document and report templates. Directly from our Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), we have our analysts designing the templates. 2. Linking to numerous data sources and enabling of ODATA querying. 3. Wrappped as a webservice can be used by any 3rd party system in your organisation to become your universal document and report generation system. 4. Bring reporting capabilities to legacy and new systems.

Cons
Documentation could be updated for even more improved guidance in more complex templating and integration projects

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for the nice review. And we are working to improve the documentation even more - there's (always) a lot more we can do with it.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Robert Swanger

Windward document generation

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2019-01-23
Review Source: Capterra

The purchase of the software was straight forward. Software and licenses were easy to install. Windward software is as advertised. Support is great. Windward recommended a professional services vendor that delivered as well as the Windward product. I strongly recommend Windward as a document generation solution.

Pros
Windward design studio has put the ability to develop new documents in the hands of operations, and frees engineering resources. The engine delivers output as promised. We have not seen the engine struggle to produce everything sent that way. The support is great. We encountered our barcode was custom and needed Windward support. They responded quickly, worked through the issue and after a few attempts solved the issue, quickly.

Cons
Support was responsive but encountered a barcode issue that required multiple attempts to solve. It is a reality of software, but is the only con I could provide.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Suresh Perumal

A powerful tool for automating the doc generation.

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-02-19
Review Source: Capterra

We use the Java engine to generate docs (PDF & Word) through a web application, and it's quick and straightforward to implement. Overall it's a great tool to create automated reports for web applications.

Pros
Good customer support Continuous improvement on the features

Cons
You need to tweak the template a lot to get a pixel-perfect output for both Word and PDF.

Response from Windward Studios


Hi Suresh;

Thank you for your very nice review. I understand your desire to get pixel-perfect output easier. Unfortunately on that we're all at the mercy of Adobe Acrobat & Microsoft Word.

thanks - dave

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Ed Barlow

AutoTag templates -

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-03-11
Review Source: Capterra

Superior service. Originally, the engine server failed to generate document output for our AutoTag templates. Windward analyzed and found that an exception was being thrown: "please see 'v16 RD exception received.txt'." They resolved the issue quickly with a patch and later added the fix to an updated formal version of the engine. The support team member helping me was very helpful and courteous. I have found the tag tree very helpful since it allows me to copy and paste code from other tags. I can then make some quick modifications to that code to suit the tag I am currently working on.

Pros
The tag tree is very helpful for making quick modifications to the coding. The wizard is very handy in creating code for the tags.

Cons
More complex coding is sometimes easier to modify manually, then view in the wizard.

Response from Windward Studios


Ed - thank you for the very nice review.

And I agree, our support team rocks. I'm very proud of them.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Will McKinley

Powerful and smart reporting system

Reviewed 2015-06-19
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Customer support

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Anonymous

Template design made easy

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-01-08
Review Source: Capterra

Windward studios is an interesting product if you want to flexible yet sound template making without the help of IT. The support team reacts very quickly although they can not always accommodate.

Pros
Windward offers the possibility to let skilled users create and maintain templates for their organization without the help of IT, unless new data input is needed.

Cons
We had some issues with license pricing being far less attractive in an otherwise beneficial technical setup, without change in number of users.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for the very nice review. On your comment about the pricing, we have now switched to subscription pricing which both delivers a lower price point and allows you to easily adjust your pricing month to month to match your needs. Please let me know if this does not address this issue for you.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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Anonymous

Review for Windward Java Engine

Used weekly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-01-31
Review Source: Capterra

We need to create commercial quality operation reports. Windward is a perfect fit. It reduced our report development time a lot. The support is very good.

Pros
1. Never crash 2. Easy to use and set up 3. Able to support complex reporting logics 4. Fairly fast 5. Good support

Cons
1. Need to use Word/Excel to build the report, no web based report builder for Java Engine. It can be a good thing, as most of our reports are in PDF, Word or Excel format. 2. It doesn't have built-in JSON format, we have report data that are in JSON format.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for your very nice review. On the JSON issue we do support JSON datasources (added about 3 years ago). Please upgrade to version 15 or later to see this functionality.

Again, thank you for the very nice review.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Rob Davidson

Winward Autotag - a great piece of kit.

Reviewed 2016-05-23
Review Source: Software Advice

Pros
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.

Cons
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.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Ben Lambert

Powerful reporting to improve your products or services in a snap

Used weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2016-06-20
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros
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.

Cons
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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Erik Hunter

Powerful product which is constantly evolving and growing.

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2017-11-04
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
Powerful tooling, with easy to use wizards to help you select and preview your data. Hides the complexity of data selection and document generation.

Rating breakdown

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Ease of use
Features
Customer support

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Tomáš Kroček

Templates

Used occasionally for 2+ years
Reviewed 2019-01-25
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
The easy of use and marking engine for templates.

Cons
The missing libraries for processing of pictures from cameras.

Response from Windward Studios


Thank you for the very nice review.

Can you please tell us more specifically about what you mean by "processing of pictures from cameras?" We do have fill bitmap support so I assume this is something in addition to that?

Please post your suggestion about this (and anything else) at http://ideas.windward.net.

thanks - dave

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Brent Rossow

Great product, beautiful output, fabulous support

Reviewed 2016-02-10
Review Source: Capterra

Windward AutoTag is one of several tools that we use to produce data-driven proposal output for a wide range of customers. While other tools may be more powerful in their near-limitless extensibility through incredibly complex JavaScript, AutoTag is the only solution that produces meaningfully useable native Office output. While other tools build documents that from a technical standpoint can be opened in Word or Excel but are difficult bordering on impossible for users to modify because they're built as a series of nested tables (Word) or spreadsheets pretending to be page layouts, AutoTag lets us build templates that output documents that truly behave like native Office documents. If you add or remove text in Word, the content reflows like a real Word document (because it IS a real Word document). If you change values in Excel, totals and discounts (for example) recalculate automatically. It isn't the solution to every reporting need, but it's a valuable addition to our toolbox and stands alone when native Office output is required.

Rating breakdown

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Customer support

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Gerald Green

Perfect Tool for creating templates and documents

Reviewed 2016-05-25
Review Source: Software Advice

Pros
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

Cons
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.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Anonymous

Windward is a great product to use

Used occasionally for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2017-11-05
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
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.

Cons
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.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Adam Mork

Beautiful Documents made Easy

Used monthly for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-11-19
Review Source: Capterra

We love the simplicity of making templates in Word, and if we need to make changes its as simple as opening, editing, and re-saving the template. The hardest part is the configuration but it only has to happen once and it was easy to find help. We produce a lot of dynamic content that has strict brand guidelines, other tools did not respect the layout, colors, and image quality. This is the first tool we found that can meet all our needs.

Pros
I think the designer is the strongest part of Windward. Template creation is easy and I can re-use my styles and branding from other Microsoft Word documents. Its nice that I don't have to relearn a new tool and when Ive gotten stuck the customer support is very responsive.

Cons
It takes a little bit of technical skill to get the database configured.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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