This month marks a new milestone for Nintex as we introduce Nintex Document Generation for O365. Personally I am super excited about this. For years I've built workflows and then had to craft something to wrap the outputs up in nice way. Now in office 365 land with the absence of Sharepoint Word Services in O365, crafting that output document has become that much harder.
With the rollout of the next version of Nintex Workflow for O365, all Nintex O365 customers will get Document generation action with some trial Doc Gens right out of the box.
Let me introduce this new capability by way of a story...............
As a Business Analyst for Crestan, I need to create a solution that allows Safety Inspectors to fill in a form on their mobile. The inspection information not only needs to come back into SharePoint but it also needs to be presented into PDF format to be archived.
First thing we need to do is create the list and build out the form and mobile application..Now because this has been covered in other posts in the past and no doubt into the future, I'm going to skip over showing this part. But rest assured a Form was created
With that all done let's get to the workflow, where the magic is going to happen.
To setup the Document Generation Action, we need to get all the information we want in the final document into Workflow Variables. This gives us the flexibility to pull in information from other sources, not just SharePoint.. So whether it is CRM, SQL, or a webservice call etc, if you can connect to it, and get a result, you can put it into the document.
Let's take a quick look at the action.. As I need to create my template.
Things I need to do to get this action working are:
- specify the "Document" library where my template/s are going to be stored,
- specify the template this action is going to use (Or create a new one).
- Select the output type.
- Keep the source of the template (DOCX, PPTX, or XLSX)
- Convert to PDF
- Specify the output library for the new
If I need to / or want to create a new template, I would select the "Create new template" link. This will allow me to select DOCX, PPTX or XLSX as my template source and to also specify a name for my template.
If I'm going to edit an existing template, this is just as easy as selecting the "Edit in Word" button. (*Note that this will change to "Edit in Powerpoint" if using powerpoint as a template and "Edit in Excel"
So let head to my new template and start to build it out
After selecting the button, the relevant app will load. What is really neat about this is notice to the right hand side of the screen we have the new Nintex Document Generation Tagger. This will load when editing the template doc from the action. You can also find the Add-in in the Microsoft Office Store. This tagger whilst simple in stature will give you the power to place the variable tags into the document, spreadsheet or PowerPoint to then be further modified using the styling tools of the choosen document type.
From the top down, the Add-in gives you access to the workflow variables particular to the instance of the workflow that has currently run up to the point of the Document Generation action running. In the screenshot above I've selected a 'Dictionary' variable, where I have then specified the Key. To use the tagger, simply place the cursor in the position that you require the information, and select "Insert Tag".. Simples right ??
Now because the template is in an Office 365 document library all you have to do is hit save and close, to commit the changes to the template document.
All in all, this new functionality can be used in a multitude of situations, whether it is to round out some sort of field inspection with a report, that can be then filed away sending to a record center for policy application. Or use the connectors to upload the document to a cloud based document store. If the report needs a signature before sending off to it end destination, you have the DocuSign option to capture that. Generating quotes, excel datasheets and customer specific sales PowerPoint presentation all become possible.
Go ahead and have a play and let me know how you plan to use it.. Stay tuned for a heap of new content that will start rolling out over the coming weeks around how to use the Document Generation action and different usage scenarios.
Until next time happy doc gen..
For more information I highly recommend you head off to to read the help information located here ..