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Get Started with the RESTful Engine




The Windward RESTful Engine is used for integrating document and report generation into both internal and commercial software applications. With the robust RESTful Engine, you have an elegant, flexible and very affordable reporting solution from practically any programming environment.


How The RESTful Engine Works


The RESTful Engine is one part of the Windward solution, and it works in conjunction with the AutoTag template design tool. There are three major steps to using the RESTful Engine:

  1. Design the report templates with AutoTag and Microsoft Office. See the AutoTag documentation for more information.
  2. Set up the RESTful Engine in your environment. See the install documentation.
  3. Request documents and reports from the RESTful Engine programmatically through your application. See the Getting Started documentation.

More About the RESTful Engine


With Windward’s RESTful Engine, it doesn’t matter what language and platform you are using because you work in your preferred programming environment. Integrate the RESTful Engine using a simple RESTful API that can be called from browsers and practically any programming language.


The RESTful Engine uses the templates designed in AutoTag to create customized reports from your databases and/or other data sources.  To output your documents and reports from the RESTful Engine, you must involve at least one instance of AutoTag.


Differences Between the RESTful Engine and the .NET or Java Engines


Why would someone want to use the RESTful Engine instead of the optional Windward .NET or JAVA Engine?

  1. The RESTful Engine lets you generate documents and reports using a programming language other than Java or the .NET family of languages (such as C#, VB, etc.). To access the RESTful Engine, you make a Web Service call from your application (this is a generic way to communicate that is independent of programming languages). Using a web service allows any application to connect to the Engine and generate desired output. Are you using Ruby, Python or Perl? You can use the RESTful Engine to generate your documents and reports.
  2. Integration is easy and the code is easy to use. Plus, it's integrated as a separate server as opposed to embedding the Java and .NET Engine libraries into your specific application.
  3. With the RESTful Engine, the document generation is not married to the application. The application makes a call to the RESTful Engine server and the RESTful Engine returns the desired output. With the Java or .NET Engine, you actually wrap the Engine inside of your application using a set of code libraries. When using the RESTful Engine, your application needs its own RESTful Engine key and passes the same variables that are required by the other Windward Engines.
  4. The RESTful Engine can be useful for licensing - clients can run multiple projects with documents and reports from one RESTful Engine server. If you want to integrate documents and reports as part of your application, use the Java or .NET Engine. If you want to use an independent server to generate your documents and reports, use the RESTful Engine.


System Requirements


See the installation page for up-to-date system requirements.