What is GroupDocs Assembly?

Last week, I mentioned changes that we’re making to GroupDocs Assembly to make it more intuitive. Document assembly (also known as document automation) is an aspect of document management that you might not be familiar with, so this week I’ll discuss what it is and how it can be used in more detail.

Document Management?

You’ve found your way to GroupDocs and the GroupDocs blog so chances are that you have an idea about document management. It’s simply the process of keeping track or and managing the various documents you use. Creating a professional-looking template, storing it online and sharing it with your colleagues so that they can all use it is all document management. So is customising contracts, sending them out for signing and archiving the signed documents.

Document assembly allows you to automate document creation to save you time and effort.

Why Do I Need Document Assembly?

What makes document assembly so useful is obvious from the other name for this function: document automation. It allows you to automate data collection and make it specific to a particular document. You can re-use the document again and again, creating a new, unique document each time. It’s commonly used to put together legal documents, contracts and letters, bringing together sections of text with data from other sources. Mail merging, for example, is a type of document assembly.

Document assembly: take a template, add data and create a new document.

Document assembly: take a template, add data and create a new document.

Give Me an Example!

Imagine that you own a painter business. People call you to get their walls painted. Before you can give them a quote, there are certain things you need to know: the number of rooms or walls, whether they need the ceiling done too, or the woodwork, what the approximate square footage of the area you’ll paint will be, and if there are any special conditions (very dark or textured wall, for example, or if a room has unusually high ceilings). You can put all of these questions into a quote document and send it to the potential client. They fill it in and create a unique document from which you can quickly prepare a quote or visit to give the place a once-over before quoting.

GroupDocs Assembly lets you add questions to a template to automate document creation.

GroupDocs Assembly lets you add questions to a template to automate document creation.

Document Assembly with GroupDocs Assembly

GroupDocs Assembly's aim is to make document assembly as easy as possible. The process is straightforward:

  • Create a template with fields to hold customised data.
  • Add questions (making a questionnaire).
  • Customise the document pages.
  • Test.

The changes that we’re making to GroupDocs Assembly encapsulate this process so that you cannot go wrong.

Introducing GroupDocs Assembly’s New Look and Feel

We're continuing work on the new and improved GroupDocs look and feel. We're told you that we're making changes to the GroupDocs dashboard and GroupDocs Viewer, and we're also changing GroupDocs Annotation. We're not stopping there. We're also making changes to GroupDocs Assembly.

GroupDocs Assembly is an app that lets you automate document assembly and automation.

Think of your document as a form that you can use to create several new documents from. You start with a template document. In the template, there are a number of fields that will collect information, for example, name, address, date. (These are straightforward examples but you can use GroupDocs Assembly to create really sophisticated forms and collect all kinds of data.)

In GroupDocs Assembly, associate questions with the different fields. We call this "creating a questionnaire". When you send the document out, the recipient answer the questions. When all questions have been answered - when the questionnaire is complete - a new document is created. The new document looks like the template but contains all the information that the recipient provided.

GroupDocs Assembly helps you set up documents that you can use again and again to collect information and generate unique documents. It's convenient, safe and quick. To make it easier to use, we're improving the interface and adding a workflow to help lead you through the assembly process.
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Keep Up With What We’re Doing: Read GroupDocs Newsletters

GroupDocs changes regularly as we introduce new features and update the interface. It's easy to keep up with what's happening:

  • Follow this blog. We post weekly, sometimes even more often, with recent and upcoming changes.
  • Read the GroupDocs newsletter. On the first of every month, we send out news about what we've been up to in the last month. We share what new features we are planning, our most popular blog post and any media we've had.

The May 2012 GroupDocs newsletter is our first issue. In it, you'll find out what we're working on right now, what new features we've released recently, what other people are saying about us, and what we're saying in this blog.

You can read the May GroupDocs newsletter here.

A peek at the GroupDocs newsletter, May 2012.

A peek at the GroupDocs newsletter, May 2012.

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