document automation

Intro to document automation

Updated: October 12, 2020

Your Afterpattern apps can automate (auto populate) document templates. This is one of the most common uses for an app.

Document automation with Afterpattern goes far beyond mere "find & replace." You can use conditional logic to create highly customizable templates that produce documents that are tailored to the specific situation at hand.

A single app can automate multiple templates.

Template types

Your apps can automate one or more of the following types of templates: 

How templates work

Templates work by using variables.

When you create a template, you designate variables. For example, this Power of Attorney document includes several variables for such things as client_name, agent_name, etc:

When you connect a template to an app (all templates must be connected to an app in order to function), you determine how the variables should be populated. Determining how variables should be populated in a template is what we call "types of document automation."

Types of document automation

Once you've identified the variables in your document template, the next question is: where do you want the data that populates these variables to come from? 

With Afterpattern, you have two options. You can populate your template's variables by:

  1. Collecting new information by asking questions in your app; and/or
  2. Using previously-collected information by pulling data out of a database.

In either case, what you are doing is determining how you want your template variables to be "defined."

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