Beyond a word processor, which is, obviously, the most flexible way to compose documents, the term document composition could be applied to what is commonly referred to as document generation  (document assembly), a technological approach to governing document quality and mitigating risk stemming from human error in document preparation. This advanced approach to document composition is achieved through process automation and is commonly used by law firms, banks, insurance providers, government agencies, or any organization that produces complex, rule-based documents on a repetitive basis.

Document Composition via Document Generation Process

Process automation for document composition falls into a subset of the process-automation (BPM) class called document generation. Enterprise-grade document-generation platforms provide modeling environments for transforming word processing documents and graphical forms into process applications. Likewise, such systems provide for on-the-fly simulation of a document-generation process or part of a process, allowing a process app developer to test all or part of the business logic in a process app for correctness and completeness prior to app deployment.

Usage of Document Generation Process Applications

In use, document-generation process applications present a sequence of interactive data-gathering forms (an interview) that guides system users through the process of entering all of the data necessary to generate a document or set of documents. Such process interviews can provide question-specific help resources and answer validation for text, date, and numeric values. Once a system user has completed an interview, the system feeds the data into the business logic of the process application and generates a custom document, complete with necessary clauses, correct pronouns and verbs, and calculated date and numeric values.

Data Sources and Integration

Powerful document-generation systems will allow for data to be drawn from one or more external data sources, thus eliminating, in some instances, the need to key data into a process application. Likewise, such document-generation platforms allow for process application deployment in any environment (desktop, on-premise, cloud) and in any browser running on any type of desktop or mobile device. Elite document control systems allow for integration of process applications into virtually any type of web app, including BPM defined workflows, case management systems, or GRC solutions. Output from a document-generation process application can be profiled into any type of content repository (DMS, ECM).