For native Office output, AutoTag really delivers
January 07, 2016

For native Office output, AutoTag really delivers

Brent Rossow | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with AutoTag Template Designer

We use AutoTag designer to build reports for our customers to use internally and with their own customers. It is one of several report design tools currently in use, and we selected AutoTag specifically for its native Microsoft Office output for which there simply is no comparison against our other tools, which technically create Office-type output (RTF, DOCX, etc.) but not in formats that are easy for our customers to adapt and modify after the reports are generated. AutoTag output behaves exactly like Office documents because they are Office documents. Certainly this isn't the answer for every reporting scenario, but when native Office output is required, AutoTag delivers exactly that.
  • Native Office output -- not nested tables and/or horrible RTF like other tools generate.
  • Ease of use -- once the data sources are set up, creating tables is as simple as drag and drop (okay, maybe not exactly that simple, but you can certainly create a table of data using drag and drop, then format it and manipulate it as needed).
  • Responsive developers and support -- when I've had questions, they've been addressed VERY quickly and professionally.
  • Limited in terms of customizability -- this is a double-edged sword. Other report tools we use support anything from limited to incredibly complex JavaScript, for example, and we often use a combination of JavaScript and complex queries to pass and manipulate data. AutoTag can do some of this, but it wouldn't be our go-to solution for complex reporting.
  • Limited drag and drop -- while you can easily create tables with drag and drop, you can't drag and drop individual fields, which really isn't intuitive
  • Jaspersoft
Each tool in our kit has its strengths and weaknesses. When we need to build complex reports and native Microsoft Office output is a secondary (or less) consideration, we turn to tools from Jaspersoft or InetSoft, which are great for building complex reports but are frankly terrible at providing useable Office output. However, when we need to develop templates that our customers can maintain on their own and/or that produce ultra-clean Office documents, AutoTag delivers in spades. It's simple to use (relatively speaking) in applications that are already familiar to most users, and the output is a "real" Office document and not just a collection of tables that happen to exist within an Office doc.
AutoTag is a brilliant solution for less complex reports where native Microsoft Office output is required. This is where AutoTag really shines. It's also appropriate in situations where our customers want to develop and maintain their own reports but don't necessarily want to commit an experienced data person or report developer to do the work. For complex report requirements that need JavaScript or considerable data manipulation inside the report templates, we will continue to look at other tools in our kit.

Windward Studios, from PDFTron Feature Ratings