patrick.hosch@nintex.com

Document Generation just got a major upgrade in Office 365

Blog Post created by patrick.hosch@nintex.com Employee on Apr 18, 2017

Well over a year ago we released our beloved Document Generation (DocGen) feature in Office 365. Everyone was super excited getting their hands on the new feature and starting to automatically create Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents as part of their workflows. And it was indeed an amazing new world that we entered. Creating sales contracts involves a lot of manual work and using DocGen it made everyone's life so much easier.

 

Over time people got more creative and demanded more functionality. And Nintex listened, releasing an on-premises version last December. This feature built on the feature in Office 365 but took to the next level. Lots of new things that were available to workflow pros:

  • Generation Types:
    • Generate a single PDF file that can consist of up to 20 document templates
    • Generate up to 5 separate PDF files - allows output of multiple files
    • Generate up to 5 separate documents and keep them in their original file type - - allows output of multiple files
  • All of the above can be created and merged depending on conditions. No more workflow logic to do that, all right there in the action
  • Ability to dynamically incorporate pictures and logos
  • Making it even easier to create tables, moving away from the concept of building and using dictionaries
  • Accessing workflow variables, item properties and common variables straight from the tagger

 

All of above was very well document in my colleagues' Dan Stoll and Chris Ellis blog posts and rather than me telling you all the things they've already said, here are their posts:

 

Today, I am very excited to announce, that you will find these exciting enhancements in your Nintex for Office 365 toolbox. Yes! We have taken all of the goodies and packed them into the brand new DocGen workflow action for Office 365!

 

 

 

 

 

"What do I need to do to get it?" I hear you say? Well, nothing really. As usual it is deployed into your app, so when you open it, it will be right there ready to go. The only other thing is, ensure you have a DocGen subscription with enough documents left to test it out. In case you haven't seen it yet and want to try, go ahead, we actually give you 50 test documents to create.

 

For those of you who have been using the previous version of DocGen there is a few things to consider.

 

Number 1, open the workflows that use the DocGen action. You will be prompted to open the action.

 

 

Go ahead and save it straight away and save the workflow as well. Then, go back into the action, open your documents and re-tag them. This is a necessary step as part of the upgrade process. If you don't re-tag your documents, the tags will remain as text in the output file. NOTE: this is only relevant to existing workflows that use the DocGen action and not required if you don't need to update or republish your workflow.

 

Number 2, careful with tables. We've changed the way to tag tables, essentially making it easier to build up variables that can be used for table creation. The creation of tables is now done via the action UI and subsequently removed from the tagger, you must recreate your tables in the UI and replace the tags using the tagger as described below.

 

In the upgraded DocGen action you will notice a new tab in the ribbon called 'Tables' which is where we use Collections to build up the columns for the table, in the scenario where you are using a 'Complex Collection' (e.g. Query list - Single output) you must also specify the Internal SharePoint column name of the corresponding column, not required for Simple collections.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, open up the document within which you want to create the table. You will notice that in the tagger there is a Table section which contains your table, the rows and a start tag.

 

 

 

In order to tell the DocGen service "Hey this is a table with repeating content now!" you need to insert the start tag as shown below.

 

All done! I am keen to hear what you folks have in mind with this new capability and how we can further enhance it to make your life even easier. So please go ahead and post your feedback below in the comments.

 

That's it from me for now. Until next time and happy DocGen'ing!

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