Windward Software Summary
Windward software reporting tools enable developers and business users to create production reports and documents of any complexity with considerable ease. The reports can range from high volume invoicing (hundreds of thousands a day) through to a report run against a small local database file. Report formatting can be accomplished in the Microsoft Office programs, Word and Excel. Windward then provides the drag and drop tools to connect the Office based formatting with a wide variety of data sources. A structure known as a ‘pod’ makes the process simple for business users, encapsulating common sets of variables within a single structure (name, address, phone – as a single pod for example). Windward is used by some very large organisations for massive reporting runs on a daily basis, particularly in financial services. It is also used for the creation of attractive personalised marketing brochures, and benefits from the considerable design and formatting options within Microsoft Office software. Reports can also be embedded into production applications using just a few lines of code.
The function of Windward reporting tools is very clear – they allow the regular reporting and document production needs of organisations of all sizes to be handled efficiently and with ease. It is a unique solution to a common requirement.
The link between Excel and Word documents, and the various data sources is accomplished by AutoTag. It appears as a ribbon in both these programs, and is employed after the document has been formatted. The various objects in the formatted document are then linked to data sources via AutoTag. For example, the text ‘Name’ in a Word document may be linked to attribute ‘name’ in a database file. AutoTag presents a list of attributes from connected data sources, which can then be dragged to the relevant items in the Word document or Excel spreadsheet. The alternative to these Office templates is code based templates, which are often complex and expensive to create and maintain.
A wide variety of data sources is supported including SQL based data (MySQL, SQL Server, DB2, PostgreSQL and ODBC connections), file based data (XML files, Microsoft Access, Excel, SharePoint Lists), web data (Salesforce, JSON, REST, OData) and the obligatory big data (MongoDB, Cassandra and Teradata). A single Office based template can connect to as many of these data sources as required. Sophisticating charting capabilities are also offered, and can be embedded into an Office template to satisfy simple or complex needs.
The engine is a set of code libraries which support internal needs and those of OEMs and system integrators. The .NET, RESTful or Java report engines connect to the data sources already mentioned, and typically only 14 lines of code are needed to integrate a report into an application. Output can be generated in several formats including DOCX, RTF, PDF, HTML, XLSX and directly to printer. The engine is fast and produces multiple pages per second on modest hardware.
Windward Software was founded over a decade ago by David Thielen, who developed the Windward reporting tools to address real and pressing needs. The company is located in Boulder, Colorado USA, and has customers around the world.