The Complete, Customizable Document Automation Toolchain
— Own Hosted Servers, Cloud, API, Desktop, SDK —
XpressDox has more power and flexibility than you will ever need for any document automation application.
Templates can be deployed in almost any environment, including Microsoft Word, your favourite browser, over the Internet, from your website and even as an API to generate documents from within your own in-house application.
When it comes to flexibility of deployment, no other system comes close.
XpressDox Lite is the best place to start building your first templates. It has the basic functions you need to create simple yet effective templates:
XpressDox Lite is free and doesn't expire so you can explore its usefulness at your leisure. Here are some of the things XpressDox Lite can help you with:
For those larger enterprises who prefer to host the XpressDox Server on their own servers (on-premise or hosted) XpressDox offers an unlimited-users licensing option on rental or outright purchase. Users run templates using the XpressDox Desktop version for Word, or any modern web-browser. Completed documents may be in Word and/or PDF format. Template authoring is done in Microsoft® Word for Windows.
Users access the same template regardless of whether they are using Microsoft® Word or a browser, which makes editing and updating of templates much simpler. Access to the system is managed by Windows Authentication, which means that you won’t need to configure any user access rights, since XpressDox simply conforms to your existing security policies. This saves time and makes installation and administration simpler.
The XpressDox on-premise server is ideal where your document templates will access external data sources, for example an in-house CRM or accounting database. XpressDox server includes native data source compatibility, including SQL Server, ODBC–compliant databases, MySQL, Microsoft Office data sources such as Access, Excel, and Outlook, XML, text files and applications such as Salesforce.com.
XpressDox on-premise server is licensed per server, with additional test or development servers available at an 80% discount. Because XpressDox is fast, large organizations can often get by with only a single server, although some firms choose to have more than one server for redundancy or geographic reasons.
For large organizations, where cost of software deployment is an issue, it makes sense to deploy templates via the web. Users run templates using any modern web-browser, and completed documents may be in Word and/or PDF format. Template authoring is done in Microsoft® Word for Windows.
Since templates are hosted in the Cloud, new templates are instantly available to all users regardless of location (branch office, home, or on the road), and version enhancements are available to all users instantly.
XpressDox Cloud also executes your routing instructions, so that completed documents will be automatically emailed to internal or external recipients specified in each template. It doesn’t stop there. Your customers and clients can even enter routing information themselves.
Access to the Cloud is via a login and password, with point to point encryption over https, ensuring that your templates are completely private. Administrators can add and disable users, configure settings, and even change the theme or add a logo to the user interface. Users run templates from a folder structure which is similar in layout to Windows Explorer.
XpressDox Desktop is an add-in to Microsoft® Office Word 2007 or newer. Templates and data are stored using Word XML to ensure compatibility with other systems. Completed documents may be generated in Word or PDF format for more portability.
XpressDox Desktop versions include Author, which is for template designers. XpressDox Author may also be used to run templates. For those users who do not need to design templates, there is the XpressDox Runner version. Lastly, XpressDox Supervisor is used by larger enterprises for configuring user access rights, data-sources, and file name and save locations for completed documents.
Extensive help is provided for template authors. To create a template, experienced authors can simply type commands and functions directly into a Word document. These commands and functions include those for every document automation task you may need.
Inexperienced template authors may find it easier to access the power of XpressDox through the Command Editor, which presents the syntax, as well as samples and wizards, for each command or function. Pressing F1 in the Command Editor accesses the extensive help on the web site.
When a template is run, an Interview is generated automatically. XpressDox allows template authors to make interviews as easy as possible for users to complete, with features like user help, captions, tabs, headings and footings, validation rules, and conditional display.
XpressDox Desktop includes native data source compatibility, including SQL Server, ODBC–compliant databases, MySQL, Microsoft Office data sources such as Access, Excel, and Outlook, XML, text files and applications such as Salesforce.com. In addition, when running templates you can choose to capture new data, re–use recently captured data, or use previously saved data.
XpressDox Desktop provides multi–language authoring including English (US and GB), and French. Template interviews may be created in any Western language.
Access XpressDox Document Automation functionality directly from your .NET, COM, Web, or Word applications, to produce more complete and powerful document–rich solutions.
Using the API a developer can write code that gathers data from any data base or other location, determine via program logic and interaction with users what templates are to be merged, and can call on the API to merge the data into one or more templates.
Two mechanisms are available to access XpressDox over the Internet. Using the hyperlink API, you would be able to upload selected templates onto the XpressDox server, into your own secure area. After that, you would add hyperlinks into you own web site which would enable a user to choose from the list of templates uploaded, and then run one or more of the templates. The interview which is then presented to them in the browser will be almost exactly the same as the desktop interview which XpressDox-in-Word presents to the Word user. After completing the interview, your web site can then contain a hyperlink which permits the user to download the merged document (if that is what you want) from the server to their local PC. In addition, the template author can specify an email address (or list of addresses) to which the merged document and the captured data set will be sent. This email address would typically be that of an internal staff member who would process the results in the appropriate way.
There is an implementation of the XpressDox Web Server which can be hosted on your company’s intranet. This would enable all users who are registered to use your intranet to run XpressDox templates via a web browser (for example, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari). The look-and-feel of the XpressDox Web Server version is very much like that experienced when a user selects to “run a template” using the XpressDox Word Add-in. In other words, the user is presented with in interface which mimics the desktop XpressDox Explorer from which they select the template(s) to be run. The user is then presented with an interview, which again mimics the interview presented by the Word Add-in version, including functionality such as “Use Previous Data” or “Use Other Data”, and access to data sources, etc. Once the merged document is created, it is stored in a location on the server which is configured using the normal XpressDox configuration mechanism. The same holds for the location of the captured data set. The user can then download the merged document from the server onto their local desktop, in either Word or PDF format, depending on how this is specified by the template author.
Develop custom interfaces but with all the features of XpressDox Desktop. This API grants the developer access to most of the functionality provided for the Word Add–in version of XpressDox, which is denied to the APIs as noted above. The XpressDox–In–Word API would be used specifically where there is a need to develop a custom user interface for the capture of data and/or the selection of templates, but where the developer would still like to have access to the features made available by the Word Add–in. Use of this API requires Microsoft® Office Word to be installed not only for rendering the merged documents, but for some of the other pre– and post–merging functions as well.
The XpressDox–In–Word API and documentation is installed along with the installation of the XpressDox Word Add–in. The documentation is provided in the Word document XpressDox In Word API Specification.doc which will have been installed into the My Documents\XpressDox folder the first time Word is loaded after XpressDox has been installed. The Specification document refers the developer to a Word template in the My Documents\XpressDox\Samples folder. This Word template contains some Word VBA macros which demonstrate the usage of some of the XpressDox-In-Word API functions as called from within a VBA macro.
Typically this API would be used to embed XpressDox document assembly capability into systems such as accounting, practice management, work flow and any other system where there is a need for creating non trivial documents. The templates used can be sourced from the Windows file system, or from any other source such as a document management system.
If there is no need to render the merged documents on the machine on which the API will operate, then it is not necessary to have Microsoft® Office Word installed on that system. Word is needed in order to author templates, which in turn requires XpressDox Desktop, and to render the resulting merged document for printing or reading. The function of merging the template and data that XpressDox performs does not require Word.
The XpressDox API is embedded in the .NET assemblies which are installed with the Word Add In instance of XpressDox, so no additional software is needed in order to use the API. But a sample Visual Studio solution (in C#) can be downloaded, along with formal documentation on the use of the API.
The second XpressDox API is for use by non .NET developers and it exposes an interface to XpressDox via COM. This interface is very similar to the XpressDox Engine API for .NET, the major difference being that templates are expected to reside somewhere on the Windows file system. This does not mean that they cannot actually be stored in a document management system or database, but that they will have to be moved onto the file system before the COM API will be able to access them.
Similarly to the XpressDox API for .NET, the COM API uses assemblies that are installed along with the Word Add-in instance of XpressDox. It also needs another assembly, which is downloaded and installed along with the XpressDox API in the download process referred to above. The COM API would be used in much the same circumstances as the XpressDox API for .NET.
Using either of the two APIs, the developer is responsible for the creation of an XML data set and also the selection of the template and the storing of the merged document created from them. It is necessary to note that much of the functionality available to the XpressDox Word Add-in is NOT available to the API user. This includes the dynamic data capture interview and all the features exposed via the Configuration user interface (e.g. Standard Folders for document and data storage, Data Sources, Standard Data Items, Configuration merging, etc.). All commands which can be coded into templates which refer to these features (i.e. all the Data Capture commands in the Command Editor, as well as Data Source commands and commands in the Advanced document and file handling section of the CE) will be ignored when the template merging is handled via either of the two XpressDox Engine APIs. However, the XpressDox SDK, which is a new addition (and can be downloaded from the same place as the API download) will make all of the above exclusions available to the developer – try it and see.
Designing document templates is not everyone's idea of fun! So if you are looking to outsource your template creation, speak to us about our template design services. In addition to our own design consultants, we can also refer you to one of our certified partners around the globe.
The sophistication of templates varies greatly, which makes it impossible to give a gut-feel on pricing. Aspects such as whether or not the template will be external-client-facing (used by guests) will affect pricing, as will the integration with your existing website.
Depending on your level of expertise in-house, you might choose to outsource the initial design of the templates, but to do minor maintenance yourselves. You might also decide to outsource your more complex templates, while designing simpler templates in house.
Once we have a better idea of your requirements, we will be happy to provide a firm price quotation for you, and we will be able to give you a more accurate idea as to timelines.
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“The easiest way to learn XpressDox is to use it.”
Using the form below you can perform various actions. Once you enter your name and a valid email address, the system will perform the requested action. You can download XpressDox Lite or a trial of XpressDox Desktop for Word, you can register for a trial Cloud Server account, and you can request more information or a demonstration on any of the XpressDox products
We are document automation experts, a passionate team with an enviable reputation for product innovation and customer service.
Our team of experienced people is a mix of visionaries, developers, sales and support consultants, and administrative professionals.
XpressDox was established in 2006, and is a privately owned subsidiary of the o2Smart Group of Companies headquartered in South Africa. The group dates back to 1979 when it first launched its business accounting software suite.
Meet the team that runs XpressDox for you.
We build document automation software to realise your vision and we save you time to make more profit.
XpressDox strives to make any business or organisation more efficient and effective through the automation of documents in any environment and on any device.