S-Docs for Salesforce
S-Docs for Salesforce

S-Docs for Salesforce

07/21/2016 by Ryan Owens
Reviewing the capabilities of the Salesforce document generation tool, S-Docs.

Incredibly powerful—remarkably simple… that is the S-Docs tag-line. So, does it live up to this? S-Docs is the only document generation tool on the AppExchange that is 100% native to Salesforce. This makes it a one stop shop to meet all of your document generation needs. A native Salesforce application has its benefits, my favorite being that all data is natively stored on the platform. The absence of an external server or engine means that any security risks are greatly reduced. This also means that there is no paying twice for infrastructure, making S-Docs a cheaper than its competitors. S-Docs also comes with the look and feel of the Salesforce that we all know and love. Let’s check out some of my favorite components.

Oh, the capabilities!

S-Docs is quite the powerful tool, so no data in your Salesforce org is out of reach. There is a built-in SOQL feature that allows unrelated data to be queried and directly merged into a template along with your standard related object merge fields. You can grab multiple standard or custom objects, and include related lists as tables to filter, sort, group, or manipulate rows however you see fit. You can also embed pictures, graphs, charts, and dynamically show content based on the data values being retrieved. Finally, you have the option to output your document to Word, PDF, Excel, Google Drive, or direct to email as inline content. Once you’ve output your document, integrate it with activities, tasks, and Chatter upon creation. These are all great features, but what I have found through usage is that the strength of this application is the simplicity and flexibility of its template editor.

Keep it simple, stupid!

Tired of the complexities of some document generation tools? No more creating outside templates for you, buddy. As I mentioned earlier, S-Docs is a 100% native Salesforce application. This means that you can access and do everything right from inside Salesforce. All you have to do is click on the S-Docs tab, name your template, create the object relationships that you are going to be using, click through a few more options, and then go right to the template editor.

No Code? No Problem

Salesforce is famous for their clicks not code model. So why wouldn’t a native Salesforce application follow that exact same model? S-Docs features an intuitive point and click design where you have the ability to create your template, like a Word document, directly from the template editor. You can create tables, align text, bullet point, style, and format your template to your heart's desire. If you’ve been given a word template, you can copy and paste it straight into the editor and after a little reformatting, you will be good to go. And to top it all off, all of the HTML code is automatically generated for you by the application. You can reveal all of the HTML code that you have generated by simply clicking the ‘Source’ button on the top left corner of the window. This gives all of you folks that like to dabble in code the opportunity to flex your creative muscles without having to start from scratch.

King Code

One of the best things that I’ve found about S-Docs is the flexibility that this application provides to those of us who are hip to the HTML and CSS world. If you feel like you need to scratch your coding itch, you can code your template from scratch. You can also style your template just as you would a webpage using CSS. As you can imagine, this opens up a ton of possibilities. To accomplish this all you need to do is start with your blank template, click that same ‘Source’ button that revealed your point and click generated code earlier, and start coding away. The possibilities are endless!

Bottom Line

S-Docs is a great tool if you have a smaller Salesforce org with a simple need to click a button and generate a document, or if you have security concerns. If you are a larger Salesforce org with more complex needs or are looking to automate your document generation processes through button customization, you may want to look into third party application competitors.

S-Docs might not be the robust third party tool that some other document generation tools may be. However, S-Docs is a tool that fits simple needs in a big way, all in a seamless fashion while giving you a lot of flexibility. Incredibly powerful, remarkably simple, who could ask for more than that?

Have you tried S-Docs before? Want to share your experiences or opinions? Share them on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @RyanOwensRPO.