Although Exact Forms Plus is widely acknowledged as one of the leading document creation tools for Quickbase, there's a strong likelihood that its capabilities extend far beyond your current knowledge. Take the opportunity to explore and discover some of its lesser-known functionalities.
What is Exact Forms Plus?
Exact Forms Plus is a Quickbase Add-on specifically created to effortlessly generate Microsoft Word or PDF documents directly from your application. With just a simple button click, Exact Forms Plus empowers you to create consistent and professional looking MS Word or PDF documents using the data from your application. This streamlined process significantly minimizes the time you spend on manual document creation.
While the additional functionality Exact Forms Plus brings to Quickbase is undoubtedly valuable, we've also introduced several advanced features over the years in response to customer demand. In this article, we'll be exploring five of these most frequently used features.
1. Generate Exact Forms Plus Documents in Bulk
While the ability to generate each of your documents with a single click rather than manually creating each document individually is powerful, what about cases where you need to generate a large volume of documents?
Perhaps you have a set of clients you need to send out monthly invoices to, or maybe you need to do weekly reporting on sales, financials and other performance analytics. No matter what the case may be, the ability to generate multiple documents simultaneously offers a significant advantage over the traditional method of generating one document at a time with a single click.
By utilizing this functionality, users can save substantial time and effort. This greatly boosts productivity, freeing up valuable time and resources, enabling users to focus on more critical tasks and ultimately enhancing overall efficiency and productivity. This process also ensures consistency across all the generated documents.
The video below gives an in-depth rundown of how to do this (and is timestamped for easier viewing).
2. Triggered Document Creation Based on an Action
Yes, we know that for many people simply clicking a button and having a detailed document created in seconds is more than enough functionality. That being said, you technically never have to click the button at all.
This is particularly useful when looking for a method of document creation that won't need to be changed as your business' needs increase. This scalability supports business growth and ensures that documents can be generated promptly and consistently, without the need to click a button (or remember to click a button at that).
For example, consider a large e-commerce company that regularly generates invoices for thousands of customers. By having their documents created based on customer records being created/updated, the company can handle the high volume of invoices efficiently and accurately.
As orders are processed and marked complete, Exact Forms Plus can be triggered to automatically generate invoices based on the record change. This process seamlessly scales to handle the increased workload during peak periods or times of increased order fulfillment, when the volume of invoices may surge. This ensures that invoices are always generated promptly and consistently, preventing any bottlenecks or delays in the invoicing process.
This can be done by changing the conditions for your Exact Forms Plus Batch email notification (refer to video above and skip to 8:18).
3. Auto-Save to a Repository, Amazon S3 or Dropbox
Although every document created using Exact Forms Plus is typically stored on the corresponding Quickbase record, this approach may not always be ideal when sharing documents across an organization.
To address this, configuring Exact Forms Plus to utilize a repository table within Quickbase for document storage offers numerous advantages. This setup enables centralized organization, improved searchability, enhanced collaboration, and heightened security for your team. By leveraging these benefits, your company can achieve better document management, increased efficiency, and streamlined operations overall.
The video below (skip to 32:02) offers a clear explanation of repository tables in Quickbase with Exact Forms Plus, including the essential formula URL parameters required to enable this feature. It serves as a valuable resource to better understand and implement repository tables effectively.
Amazon S3 and Dropbox
By pairing your Exact Forms Plus subscription with either one of our Amazon S3 or Dropbox Add-Ons, you can achieve more thorough data governance and significant cost savings.
Both Amazon S3 and Dropbox offer reliable and secure cloud storage, providing a separate dedicated space for file storage that is distinct from Quickbase's application-focused environment. This allows for more flexible and versatile handling of non-application related files.
Additionally, Amazon S3 and Dropbox offer scalability, accommodating various storage needs as businesses grow and evolve. Their robust access controls and permissions enable secure file sharing and collaboration, providing seamless integration with different teams or external stakeholders. The advanced search capabilities of these platforms make it easy to locate and retrieve files efficiently.
Furthermore, their automatic backups and version control features provide added peace of mind, ensuring data integrity and easy recovery of previous file versions.
Looking for alternate storage options for Quickbase?
4. Appending/Prepending Files to Your Documents
Appending or prepending a file to a document can serve several different purposes for your company, most of which are as follows:
Additional Information: Appending files supplements the document with supporting data, enhancing its comprehensiveness.
Updates or Amendments: Prepending files communicates updates or corrections at the beginning of the document, ensuring recipients are aware of the latest information.
Compliance Requirements: Appending or prepending files may fulfill legal or regulatory obligations, ensuring document compliance.
Supporting Evidence or References: Additional files can be appended to provide evidence, references, or citations, supporting the information presented in the document.
Document History and Versioning: Appending or prepending files facilitates tracking document versions, including change logs and revision notes, ensuring transparency and collaboration.
The video below shows how to append files onto an Exact Forms Plus document at the 27:40 mark.
*Please note that the same could be done to prepend, but the parameter would change from "addfiles=fid" to "prefiles=fid".
5. Varying Subtables in a Document Template
Those familiar with Exact Forms Plus are well aware of the basic principles on how the documents are created: By designing a single document template and mapping fields from their Quickbase application to specific sections within the document, allowing users to achieve consistency across their documents.
However, there are instances where diverse scenarios require different data. Rather than creating a separate document template for each unique case, Exact Forms Plus offers the ability to dynamically adjust the subtable within the document template based on predefined conditions. This flexibility allows users to tailor the document generation process to specific requirements, eliminating the need for multiple templates and enhancing efficiency.
If this use case applies to you, follow along with this video that explains how to set this up in your existing document template.
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