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Beyond ISO 9000, which defines document control in relatively narrow terms, Document Control could be viewed as a technological approach to governing document quality and mitigating risk stemming from human error in document preparation. Document control 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 Control via Document Generation Process
Process automation for document control falls into a subset of the BPM (Business Process Management) class called document generation. Enterprise-grade document-generation platforms provide modeling environments for transforming word processing documents and graphical forms into templates. Likewise, such systems provide for on-the-fly simulation of a document-generation process or part of a process, allowing an app developer to test all or parts of the business logic in a dynamic template for correctness and completeness prior to deployment.
Usage of Document Generation Templates
In use, document-generation apps 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 interviews can provide question-specific help resources and answer validation for text, date, and numeric answers. Once a system user has completed an interview, the system feeds the data into the business logic of the template 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 template. Likewise, such document-generation platforms allow for app 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 powerful templates into virtually any type of web app, including BPM defined workflows, case management systems, or GRC solutions. Output from a document-generation app can be profiled into any type of content repository (DMS, ECM).