How does Offer-Ready work?
From a technical perspective, Offer-Ready is a content transformation platform. Content is transferred to our platform via an HTTP request (for example, via a web form), where it is enriched with content from additional data sources, and eventually converted into documents, emails and tasks.
Offer-Ready is a platform that allows the creation of web service endpoints via straight-forward configuration. In simple terms, a web service endpoint in our context is a web address (URL) pointing to our platform. By referencing the URL from a web form or from an app or any other kind of hyperlink, you will trigger operations specified in your Offer-Ready configuration. Each individual project implemented with Offer-Ready can define and serve multiple different endpoints.
In a typical use case, calling an Offer-Ready endpoint will include the sending of data. For instance, referencing Offer-Ready from a web form will send the data submitted in that form to the Offer-Ready endpoint. The method to send such data can be a simple GET request (such as from a hyperlink with parameters), or a POST (which is the preferred method for sending data from a web form). The request may have content-type "multipart/form-data", which means it can send uploaded files or images along with the other form data.
A typical workflow provided by an Offer-Ready endpoint
- Data is sent from a web form to an Offer-Ready endpoint.
- The input from your request will be transformed into a set of parameters. This transformation is a powerful tool which allows loading of additional data from within and outside your configuration, complex validation of your request data, and potentially not just "copying" request data into parameters, but also creating new parameters by applying complex calculations and data enrichment from external services.
- The parameters, and if required, additional data sources from inside or outside the configuration, such as XML, JSON, or database queries will be combined to build a single temporary XML file, which will then be transformed into many different documents. The transformation from XML to documents uses XML stylesheets (XSLT). You can create documents in PDF, HTML, RTF, XLS, JSON and any kind of text format.
- Depending on your configuration, the endpoint will return one of the following to your web form: a simple HTTP status code (e.g. 200), a redirect to some other URL (for example, a "Thank You" page), directly return the generated HTML or trigger the download of a generated document.
- As a side effect, additional tasks may be defined, such as sending emails or sending HTTP request to other systems (for example, uploading documents to a CRM).
Request data will not be persisted on our system
Requests are executed in-memory. No request data will stay in our system. You are in full control of your data. You can configure a task to send data to any other external system during the time of execution. But once the request has been successfully completed, or the request was aborted due to an error, all request data is deleted from our system.
There is one small but useful exception: You can record requests for debugging, which requires explicitly enabling this feature on two sides: the server-side configuration, and the client request. If the feature is not enabled on the server-side configuration, or it's not requested in the client request, no data is recorded. Recorded debug data will not be available longer than 30 days, and can be deleted any time from within the Service Portal.
Easy to integrate with external systems
Offer-Ready makes it easy to load data from external sources or send requests to external applications. The only prerequisite is that such systems provide an interface for HTTP requests, such as REST or SOAP.
The response of any task can be parsed and used as an input for a later request. Offer-Ready automatically analyzes dependencies of tasks and will decide which tasks will execute in which order. Whenever possible, tasks will be executed in parallel (multi-core).
Binary data encoded as base64 can be part of HTTP requests to external systems. Data can originate from the original request data (for example, a file uploaded within the web form), or can be generated from within Offer-Ready (for example, a PDF document). You can also generate a PDF containing all contact data and upload it to Google Drive.
Document generation with XSLT
The technology to generate documents with Offer-Ready is XSLT. This is not a proprietary technology, but a well-documented, established W3C standard. With XSLT, you can create documents of any complexity. It supports the creation of PDF, HTML, XML, RTF and text. The creation of PDF documents requires extending XSLT with XSLT-FO, which is the ultimate technology for creating professional PDF documents. XSL-FO has a rich toolbox to support professional publishing standards.
Offer-Ready also supports the embedding of individual fonts (TrueType format).
Sending an email
Sending emails is supported by a comprehensive set of useful features. Not only is it possible to customize the email body (via XSLT), but you can also add attachments that were generated on-the-fly with XSLT (for example, PDF documents).