Using Proxeus smart templates

November 21, 2019

In the digitization of a process, the creation of a human-readable output in the form of a document is often an important aspect. Proxeus enables users to create and use smart document templates comprising not only the desired layout and static content, but also a logic implemented through dynamic variables that can be filled into the forms that are part of the workflow. The functionality can be compared to “serial letters” in Microsoft Word, but is designed in a much more powerful way.

What are Proxeus smart templates?

Proxeus smart templates are document templates created by users and added to a workflow. Upon workflow completion, they are sent to the Proxeus document service alongside data collected via forms or API in order to produce a human-readable output.

What makes those templates special?

Users are entirely free to define their own content and layout to produce any document they need. While the basic templating features enable non-technical users to create simple templates within minutes, advanced users can use the full spectrum of the JTwig templating engine to create smart templates. Those can include formulas and even scripts, allowing users to implement a complex logic into their documents.

What is the document format used for templating?

Templates are created using the OpenDocument Text Document file format (.odt). Such files can be generated by open-source office suites such as LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice, but they are also supported by Microsoft Word and Apple TextEdit, which makes them very versatile.

How can I create a template?

In order to create a template, start by drafting a workflow that collects inputs (for example a name) via Forms or Connectors. Let’s say that you would like to collect an email address: start by naming the input variable on the form (for example “input.EmailAddress”), then take your document template and simply add the variable {{input.EmailAddress}} at the place in the document where the user-entered input should appear. Lastly, upload the template and add it as an object to the workflow. A document using this template will then be automatically generated each time your workflow is run. If you would like to see a template in action, we added a simple example that you can re-use on the Proxeus demo platform.

Too complicated?

In order to facilitate the creation of templates, variables entered into the form elements selected for the current workflow are automatically made available to the user in the right format via the “Templates” workspace. Click the variable to copy it to the clipboard and paste it into your document. The document preview functionality enables you to quickly test and fix your templates. Go to the “Templates” workspace to preview the result of your actions in real time.

Where can I find more information?

For a complete guide on templating, please check our templating handbook. Share your best results and contact us if you get stuck or if you are struggling to implement a complex functionality — we’ll be happy to help!

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