Features Overview

Features for enterprise-critical projects

Offer-Ready provides a comprehensive toolbox for the automated creation of offers and the processing of online generated customer contacts.

Generating documents

Offer-Ready supports the automated creation of documents in a variety of formats.

Offer-Ready is a “content transformation platform” that can transform structured data with XML templates (XSLT) into documents with various file formats. The possibilities of this standard technology have been further enhanced by our own JAVA modules.

Beyond PDF, RTF, XML, HTML and JSON, arbitrary text formats can be created. A special extension of the standard also allows the generation of simple Excel files on our platform.

When the Offer-Ready interface is called, generated documents can either be returned directly, started as a download, attached to an email as an attachment, or transferred to an external system (for example, upload of an offer created to CRM).

PDF documents created with Offer-Ready meet the highest layout and printing standards. It creates polished document templates that incorporate your business logo, company colors, and more.

On our first project with a large enterprise customer, the sales manager told us: “I’m surprised by the fact that the generated document looks more beautiful than the documents we created manually.”

Our technology for creating PDF documents is XSL:FO. Not only does it allow us the freedom to build documents exactly as requested, it also provides a massive toolbox from the world of professional publishing. Automatically generated documents sometimes have the reputation of appearing rough, awkward, and unprofessional. This is not the case with Offer-Ready!

No “lock-in”

XSL:FO is not a proprietary technology, but a recognized industry standard. Templates that you develop for your Offer-Ready projects can also be used with other platforms.

Custom fonts

With PDF, individual fonts can only be displayed if they are available on the recipient’s local hardware. However, PDF offers the possibility of circumventing this restriction by embedding fonts directly into the PDF. Offer-Ready supports this variant and allows the embedding of individual fonts in individually generated PDFs.

Unique IDs can be required in different scenarios to identify individual requests or create offers.

Offer-Ready supports the acquisition of IDs from external systems as well as the creation of different types of IDs with integrated tools.

IDs already built into Offer-Ready include:

  • A 10-digit random number that is automatically created for each request, and is unique to your project. This number is also automatically displayed in the request log for each request.
  • Unique serial numbers generated on demand.
  • UUID – a universally unique 128-bit string used in many computer systems.

Sequential numbers are only “consumed” if the call to Offer-Ready is technically successful. If an error occurs, the number will be redelivered on the next call. Thus, the numbers have no “holes” and are suitable for use as sequential offer numbers.

The uniqueness of the sequential number can be specified either per month, per year, or without a time limit. For example, you can build a quote number in the format YYYY-MM-xxx, where xxx is the sequential number and xxx starts again at 1 each month (or each year).

An example of an ID from an external system would be an offer number created in a CRM. Offer-Ready can query the ID from there. External IDs make sense when quotes are created simultaneously with Offer-Ready and other applications (for example, when quotes are created by the back office with conventional templates, and at the same time offers are automatically created with Offer-Ready). This allows IDs to remain unique across all applications.

High Quality Input Data

The validity of entered data can only partially be checked directly in the web form. Offer-Ready offers you many more options for data validation.

Offer-Ready can comprehensively validate content from a form and return an error message to the form. It can also automaticallycorrect data or mark it for manual post-processing.

The range of possibilities for data validation with Offer-Ready go far beyond the capabilities of an HTML form:

  • Matching the data with external systems – for example, whether an email address not only has correct syntax, but whether the address actually exists.
  • Consideration of dependencies between different fields.
  • Plausibility checks, such as the comparison of free text fields with keywords from a spam database.

Variations in formatting may cause problems with the automatic processing of data. But with Offer-Ready, spellings and formatting can be standardized easily.

Formatting standardization can only be controlled to a limited extent during data entry in a form. During the transfer of form data to external systems, or the retrieval of information from external systems (using the form data as query parameters), different formattings can create problems.

Some data examples that can often cause issues include:

  • telephone numbers
  • spelling of addresses
  • Use of upper and lowercase
  • Zip Codes with different patterns for different countries

Offer-Ready can comprehensively unify all form data. Different variants of the data can also be generated in parallel if different external systems require different formats.

E-Mails with attachments

With every call to Offer-Ready, any number of emails can be sent to different addressees. Email bodies can be generated individually, as well as subjects, attachments, and inserted images.

An email is nothing more than a document from the perspective of the Offer-Ready platform. With Offer-Ready’s flexibility to generate documents, all aspects of an email can be created with pinpoint accuracy.

Attachments

Any number of documents of different file formats can be included as attachments to emails. These attachments can either be existing files or created on-the-fly as individual documents (PDF for example). Additionally, all files uploaded to a form can be included with an email as an attachment.

The file name of an attachment can be generated from the data of a request. For example, an offer for Mr. Max Berger may have the filename “Offer-for-Max-Berger.pdf.”

Email delivery depends on rules

Complex rules can be created to decide:

  • whether an email is sent or not
  • to whom an email is sent, and from which sender
  • what content includes an email
  • which attachments are attached.

SMTP Configuration

Offer-Ready supports the sending of emails via any third-party provider that supports the SMTP protocol for sending and authentication, such as Mailgun or SendGrid.

Data Protection

Offer-Ready is built to handle data from external applications and to pass data to external applications.

Data submitted to Offer-Ready for processing will be held temporarily in-memory only at the time of document creation. At no time will this data be permanently stored on our platform.

The use of external platforms in the cloud is inevitably linked to the question of data security. Is my data stored securely enough, and is the data protected against unauthorized access?

Offer-Ready makes privacy easy. We do not store any data sent to us. Hackers will not find any confidential data with us, because the data is not there.

With Offer-Ready all data of a request is held in temporary memory until the request has been processed. In the event of an error, the data is deleted.

If you want to save data from a request permanently, you can transfer the data from Offer-Ready to a system of your choice during the time the request is processed in our temporary memory.

To use Offer-Ready via a web form or an app, a hash code is required, which can be changed at any time as needed. This feature also allows other important use cases.

Sometimes it is necessary to restrict the free use of a form or a hyperlink. Typical scenarios supported by Offer-Ready include:

  • A publicly accessible form on a web page.
  • Use of the Offer-Ready interface with a computer program. As a rule, accessibility should be limited to use by the software.
  • With Offer-Ready, you can create a document or an email containing a link to a personal offer intended exclusively for the user.

Each time Offer-Ready is called, a mandatory SHA256 hash code must be included. (A hash code is a string that is calculated using an algorithm of input values, and is a “one-way-function” and cannot be translated back to these input values.)

For the Offer-Ready platform, each hash code is first created using the name of the called function and a secret key. The secret key is a randomly generated long string. You can regenerate a random secret key in the service portal at any time.

Offer-Ready has a preview environment that can test new versions of your configuration. This information also flows into the calculation of the hash. The hash code for the preview environment is different than the hash code for the live environment.

Additional fields for hash codecalculation

Optionally, you can specify the use of additional data to calculate the hash code. For example, if you specify the customer’s email address to be included in calculating the hash, then each link to Offer-Ready (which includes the customer’s email address as a parameter) has a different hash code. If someone copies the link and exchanges the email address, it will not work because the hash is no longer valid.

Calculating the hash code

There are three ways to calculate the hash code:

  • With the hash calculator in the service portal. This requires no technical knowledge. With a few clicks, the calculated hash will be displayed.
  • Embedded into the creation of a document – e.g., you can create an individual link with an auto-generated hash inside a document.
  • Any computer program can calculate the hash if it knows the secret key.

Log files should be a meaningful protocol of the use of a system, and they should also fulfill the data protection requirements of the GDPR. The Offer-Ready Request Log works to meet both needs.

Log files sometimes receive too little attention in the analysis of data protection requirements. What is stored in log files? What is stored permanently in backups? When designing the Offer-Ready platform, one of our goals was to avoid storing data relevant to data protection in log files or anywhere else in the system. In addition to classic log files, Offer-Ready stores all requests for at least one month in a database table. The request log is available in the service portal, and can be filtered according to different parameters. Personal data, such as the IP address, are not stored.

Debug Option

For the development of new functions or the search for sources of error, it may make sense in exceptional cases to completely log requests to Offer-Ready. This option must be activated in the service portal, and a parameter must be given in the respective request, which activates the logging of the request. The log is stored for a maximum of one month. Debug information can be permanently deleted at any time beforehand.

Integration with external Systems

Offer-Ready is built to handle data from external applications and to pass data to external applications.

Offer Ready is not a CRM. It is not a lead management platform or archiving system. Offer-Ready is perfect for taking structured data, enriching it, and converting it into documents and emails, in interaction with a number of other applications.

Load data from different sources

The simplest way of integrating external data into Offer-Ready is to save data as an XML file directly in Offer-Ready. We have transferred customer projects that use XML files with tens of thousands of lines – without any issues.

Data can also be queried over the Internet – as XML or in JSON format. (The two most important use cases are loading XML files that reside on a customer server and querying application data using REST APIs.)

Offer-Ready also supports querying data from a database. (MySQL and PostgreSQL are currently supported.)

Deliver data to external applications

Offer-Ready supports all methods of REST APIs and SOAP requests. A special feature of our platform is that a RequestBody can be built over XSLT – offering flexibility for different scenarios of calls.

The call of external interfaces can be bound to rules that can be arbitrarily complex. This also allows different scenarios to be mapped, with different calls from external systems. The options are limitless!

An example: If binary data, such as an uploaded image, has been transferred to Offer-Ready, then the data can also be inserted into a REST or SOAP request.

Parallel vs. sequential processing of tasks

As a rule, calls from external systems are executed in parallel in order to keep the processing time as short as possible. But it is sometimes necessary to execute calls in a specific order (for example because the return value of a first call is needed for a second call).

Offer-Ready detects such dependencies and automatically executes requests to external systems in the correct order.

Quality Assurance

All project settings are saved in a version control system (Git).

All project settings are saved in a version control system (Git). This means that every change in product data, templates, email settings and so on can be completely traced and easily reversed. All project settings are saved in a version control system (Git). This means that every change in product data, templates, email settings and so on can be completely traced and easily reversed. There is a separate Git repository for each project managed by our service portal. The repository is provided by Offer-Ready. If required, a repository residing on your own company network can be used instead. Offer-Ready has a preview environment that can be used to test changes before they are applied to the live system. A different version of the configuration can be published on the preview environment than on the live system.

Sync all of your Applications seamlessly

Integration into the leading platforms

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