HotDocs Cloud Services: Paving the Way for a New Breed of Platform Provider
It’s been more than three years, now, since we began developing the HotDocs cloud stack, an integrated group of technologies that not only fortifies HotDocs’ position as the heavyweight of the document generation (document assembly) space but also position HotDocs as a key player in the ECM market.
At the base of the stack is HotDocs Cloud Services, a Document Generation Platform-as-a-Service that enables indigenous document generation within any commercially available or custom web application or web page. That’s a powerful concept and one that has resulted in recognition from high places, like Gartner, for example, which named HotDocs a “best-of-breed” technology among niche ECM players and a vendor to watch in 2013 and a Cool Vendor for content management in 2014.
Cloud Services and 3rd-Party Platform Providers
HotDocs Cloud Services paves the way for a new breed of platform providers—3rd parties that recognize opportunities in vertical markets for custom applications that address specific needs. Document Agility is a great example of this new breed of platform provider. Perhaps most closely associated with Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), Document Agility pushes the envelope for any vendor in the CLM space, allowing an organization to automate contracts with HotDocs but then to add additional levels of application development in the form of interview design and manipulation.
Document Agility’s core functionality is collaborative document generation, the concept of distributing different sections of a complex HotDocs interview to different individuals and disparate groups within a company for completion. While Document Agility may be most closely aligned with CLM, it’s also got real credentials as a workflow engine for document processing, including rights management and features for stage approval of data before contracts get produced.
Document Agility is based on a great idea and real insight into the contracting process, but in the end, it couldn’t have been brought to market without the Cloud Services platform, which enables Document Agility to handle the rigors of complex contract assembly. Given the reality of hundred-page contracts having thousands of possible variables and uber-complex business logic, document generation at this level requires off-the-chart sophistication and flexibility in a code base, and that’s what Cloud Services brings to the party.
Because of its design, HotDocs Cloud Services sits at the heart of the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) movement in the ECM space, exposing both SOAP and REST APIs to third-party developers, who, like Document Agility, can build a new layer of development tools on top of HotDocs, or even build finished solutions, complete with unique feature sets and automated HotDocs content aimed at tight vertical niches.
With ECM vendors transitioning to the cloud and looking to embrace standards for core ECM functionalities, HotDocs Cloud Services provides a powerful answer for any ECM vendor in need of indigenous content generation.