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Enterprises

Templates + Data = Documents

Andrew Elliott

Simple Client-facing Documents

We've been working on a new product, Echo Publish. (www.EchoPublish.com) It's a straighforward product that satisfies a simple need: to let your systems generate professional client documents (contracts, correspondence, etc) from templates defined by your business experts.

Curiously, it's a market that's currently ill-served. Alternative solutions tend to be very costly, overly technical, or inflexible. (Oh, and often dependent on MS Word).

The initial development of Echo Publish was for 9yds, (www.9yds.com), a service providing full administration facilities for private and commercial landlords. They use it to create contracts and other legal documentation, as well as a myriad of emails they need for day-to-day operations.  Read more about that implementation here:  http://www.echopublish.com/pdf/EP_Glanty_PR.pdf

Our goals for Echo Publish have been to make it:

  • Simple for business experts to define the document templates they need using familiar tools
  • Simple for IT to integrate into systems through an interface that is sensible and based on open standards.
  • Versatile enough to produce documents in the formats that businesses most often require.
  • Available at low enough cost so that even start-ups with small volumes can afford it.

How it Works

It really is this simple:

Templates + Data = Documents

Let's unpack that formula.

Templates

  • Templates are created by business experts as documents in your own Google Drive account.
  • Fully formatted Google Drive document templates result in fully formatted output documents.
  • Templates in plain-text formats like HTML or Markdown result in output documents in those formats. This is very useful for emails, SMS content, etc.
  • You can use a very rich but intuitive templating language to populate the templates with business data, and even to control the logical structure of your documents.

Data

  • Your applications provide the data that Echo Publish uses to populate the templates.
  • This data can be in XML or JSON formats, and can be structured to suit your data models.  
  • For development purposes, you can define test sets of data.

+ (The "plus" in the formula above)

  • Your data is merged with the templates through a simple web service call to our Echo Publish service. 
  • The only required parameters to this call are:
    • Which template is to be used?
    • What type of template is it?
    • What is the payload of business data to merge?
  • Additional parameters unlock a host of options. 

= Documents

  • The response from Echo Publish, will contain one or more links to documents produced.
  • Optionally, Echo Publish can upload the documents to your own Google Drive account.
  • Alternatively, you can download the documents as DOCXs, or PDFs, or HTMLs or whatever format you have chosen, for further handling by your systems.

Why not take a look? www.EchoPublish.com is up and running: the website lets you play with some examples to get the general idea of what the service does. There is also a form to register your interest in a trial account - with no commitment - should you wish to explore further.

A Selfie for Your Website

Andrew Elliott

How do you know what your website looks like out in the wild?  Sure you test with a half-dozen devices and browser types, but what about, say, the Yandex browser (big in Eastern Europe), or on a Chromebook, or on a Playstation, or even on a Blackberry?  How much are these minority devices and browsers even used?

And when people find your website, what do they do?  Navigate confidently to where they will find the content they want, or scroll up and down, hovering over the "Try Me" button, before returning to the "About Us" page?

Echo Reflect (www.echoreflect.com) records every visit to your website, so you can see exactly who is finding you, and what they are doing when they find you on the web.  It holds on to those recordings, so you can analyse your customer base, and the experience you provide them, in detail.

Oh, and think about the possibilities for your internal IT department: imagine your IT crowd able to pull up a recording showing exactly what Matt on the sixth floor did, that crashed the payments system...

What Would Make Your Business Revolutionary?

Andrew Elliott

We founded Revolutionary Systems to be a vehicle for exploring and developing new technology to the point where it becomes a sound basis for commercial development.  We love engaging with technological problems, especially new and challenging ones, and finding new ways to deliver efficient and robust solutions.  

But especially, we love to find people with vision: those who can see how technology can transform their business.  

Just try for a moment to envisage what your working life would have been like just ten years ago.  The web in infancy, smart phones more or less non-existent, satnavs a flash toy.  How many small revolutions have taken us from that to where we are now?  And what, in your business, will be the revolution that will make 2015 unrecognisable in a decade?  

If you have the vision, Revolutionary Systems can help you turn it into reality. And day by day, there are newer and better tools out there to help us do the job, much of it at low or no cost. Even the giant Amazon offers "free tier" services for small operations, and over the decade that our folk have been using Amazon Web Services, their prices have only got cheaper.  We know how to use these services to deliver the cheapest data centre possible.

Get in touch

www.revolutionarysystems.co.uk

A Security Guard for your Online Business

Andrew Elliott

Echo Protect is all about the analysing streams of data to understand customers, and from this sophisticated analysis, to identify opportunities and threats in real time.  Opportunities to improve customer experience, perhaps by delivering website content better suited to the visitor; threats arising from potentially malevolent website visitors.

Think of the friendly security guard in the lobby: he knows his regulars and their habits; always polite and discreet, helpful in every way, but always alert to the warning signs of trouble, and skilled in gently ushering out troublemakers, before they make trouble.

Echo Protect aims to be that doorman, but for websites.

Echo Protect is a product from Echo Central Ventures Ltd.  www.echoprotect.com