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About Fluent

Fluent is a powerful document automation platform that revolutionizes how enterprises generate data-driven templates.

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Pros:

The built-in error messaging and cc to help desk is very handy (requires more advanced users to decipher). Compatibility with the MSFT XML mapping is very impressive.

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.

Fluent ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
4.5
Customer Service
4.9
Features
4.7
Value for Money
4.8

Likelihood to recommend

9.7/10

Fluent has an overall rating of 4.8 out 5 stars based on 41 user reviews on Capterra.

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Filter reviews (41)

JC
JC
National GIS Manager in Canada
Verified LinkedIn User
Nonprofit Organization Management, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Happy with Windward

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Insurance Software, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Windward: A Cool Breeze and Breath of Fresh Air

5.0 3 years ago

Comments: When I was first tasked to find a new DocGen provider I muted my mic on Teams and cursed. Then I hit the internet and kept seeing a name pop up in the best of list round-ups, Windward. In the search for the perfect DocGen solution, I learned that simply searching for dynamic document generation turned up a lot of results that made it hard to find what we were looing for. I found that if I looked specifically for dynamic document elements, my search was greatly narrowed down and Windward allows for the most dynamic document elements of any other provider I looked into. Their test documents revealed that they were considering nearly every test case I was hoping to prove out. So, immediately they reduced my investigation time, by being so upfront. They can control for tables, images, text, colors, graphs, whole pages of a document and all of the elements within the document with variables in the data I pass. We had a use case scenario they said they had never heard before and sat with us to work through the problem and then came back with alternate solution that was perfect. Windward not only has exceeded any expectations, but they've absolutely impressed me with their service and their feature-rich product. As a company, we wanted a solution that could take us to the next level. Windward has helped us create proposals for our clients that look like they were crafted by hand specifically for that client. Windward makes our company look great.

Pros:

Windward has more features than we ever could have expected. I'm truly amazed at their granular document control features, the pride they take in their product, and the level of service they provide. They worked with us through the two week trial as if we were paying customers. I found their price to be half that of their next closest competitor in features. And I love that we have unlimited document generation. I couldn't find that with any other competitor. The designer application as a Word plugin really speeds up the process of the template creation and allows me to get a template created by another team, like the marketing department, and then add the data within the same document.

Cons:

Biggest con is that they are not cloud based for Windward Core. However, they understand this and worked with us to make sure that the setup was clean and easy, and honestly the server requirements are so low they could be run on a laptop (or a tablet, but let's not get crazy). However, the trade off is the price and the unlimited document count. Also, though we had security concerns, at first, it became obvious that we didn't need to be concerned because you don't pass them any data. So, what was a hard sell for my team, became a huge positive, to me.

Gary
Owner in Canada
Used the Software for: Not provided
Reviewer Source

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

4.0 9 years ago

Comments: 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.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Enabling Technology making document generation easy

5.0 5 years ago

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

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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.

Denis
Enterprise Publishing Lead Developer in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Public Safety, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

The best Publishing tool

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

Thank you very much for the wonderful review

Christopher
Christopher
DevOps in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Awesome Service for Report Generation

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Bert
Bert
Enterprise Architect in UK
Verified LinkedIn User
Retail, 10,000+ Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Very useful tool to create business documents

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: 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

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Template design made easy

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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.

Xen
Xen
Business Analyst in Australia
Verified LinkedIn User
Telecommunications, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Awesome Product

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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

Ruben
Ruben
online marketer in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Marketing & Advertising, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Great tools to manage documents

5.0 5 years ago

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

Christopher
Sr BA in US
Nonprofit Organization Management, 5,001–10,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

WIndward Studios Designer has all of the functionality you need to generate reports from a Database

4.0 3 years ago

Comments: We reduced the time to generate 100+ page contracts from 24 hours via cut and paste methods (and an average 15 days turnaround, to literally 5 minutes and 1 day turnaround. At 8 Contract updates per month average, we estimate that 1 person-year will drop to a week or so. The PMO sponsors are thrilled; they free up to do higher value work. The ROI is hugely compelling.

Pros:

There are so many. Connecting to 1 or more data sources is straightforward. The Wizard lets even non-SQL practitioners build the logic via the Wizard. In-line previews are so useful. The ability to establish Office formatting at the field level is impeccable once you understand it. Our developers wanted to build it in house, but my estimate it would have taken 4-6 developer years to have even an MVP candidate (and that would still have only yielded about 50-70% of the functionality you get from this COTS product). The built-in error messaging and cc to help desk is very handy (requires more advanced users to decipher). Compatibility with the MSFT XML mapping is very impressive. WIndward's on-boarding support was great, and you get a lot of time from a dedicated SE to ramp up.

Cons:

Minor things: - the license key failed a few times- but Windward resolved the same day each time. - the built-in help, documentation and Wiki blog posts are extensive but sometimes out-dated. - Not really a con, but: the functionality is so extensive that it took me (an Advanced Office user with moderate SQL skills) about 6 months to deploy operationally. As with Analytics, make sure the DB schema and data is robust, then prepare to roll up your sleeves to earn your rewards.

Apryse Response

3 years ago

Thank you for your very kind words,

Clint
Senior Programmer in US
Insurance Software, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Meets all our needs

5.0 5 years ago

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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

Hi Clint; Thank you for the very nice review. On your request for additional support for JSON datasources, please email me ([email protected]) to give me specifics. Or you can make suggestions at http://ideas.windwardstudios.com/ We're always working on improving the product. thanks - dave

Robert
Strategic Program Manager in US
Hospital & Health Care, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Windward document generation

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Rob
Lead Information Analyst in UK
Hospital & Health Care, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

A great piece of kit

4.0 8 years ago

Comments: 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.

Suresh
Associate Director in US
Information Technology & Services, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

A powerful tool for automating the doc generation.

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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

Ed
Contract Engineer in US
Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

AutoTag templates -

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

Ed - thank you for the very nice review. And I agree, our support team rocks. I'm very proud of them.

Will
Senior User Interface Developer in US
Used the Software for: Not provided
Reviewer Source

Powerful and smart reporting system

5.0 9 years ago

Comments: 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.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Review for Windward Java Engine

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: 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.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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.

HALEH
HALEH
developer in Australia
Information Technology & Services, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Windward Studios

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: 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

Erik
Software Developer in US
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Powerful product which is constantly evolving and growing.

4.0 7 years ago

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.

Tomáš
Consultant in Czechia
Information Technology & Services, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Templates

4.0 5 years ago

Pros:

The easy of use and marking engine for templates.

Cons:

The missing libraries for processing of pictures from cameras.

Apryse Response

5 years ago

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

Ben
Head of Development in UK
Information Technology & Services, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Powerful reporting to improve your products or services in a snap

5.0 8 years ago

Comments: 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.

Brent
Business Data Analyst in US
Used the Software for: Not provided
Reviewer Source

Great product, beautiful output, fabulous support

5.0 8 years ago

Comments: 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.

Rob
Lead Information Analyst in UK
Civic & Social Organization
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Winward Autotag - a great piece of kit.

4.5 8 years ago

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.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Windward is a great product to use

5.0 7 years ago

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.