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    BI Publisher versus CreateForm

    I'm curious if anyone is familiar with Create!form from Bottomline Technologies and BI Publisher?  We are in the process of upgrading from World to EOne and we have some forms that were created in Create!form that we are now converting to work in EOne.  I'm curious about functionality differences between Create!form and BI Publisher and if there is any advantages to using Create!form over BI Publisher, it seems like in the long run we would be better off using BI Publisher but I don't have much experience with either solutions.

    Thank you

    Becky Bazabal

    Hi Becky,

    My name is Douglas Brininstool from the Port
    of Portland, Portland Oregon.

    We had Create Forms for our checks and
    invoices.   We decided to replace it with BI Publisher
    (the free version).

    We are very happy that we did.   We
    were able to drop the cost of the tool (Create Forms), we reduced
    the cost of printing our forms (cost per page in Toner usage) and
    we reduced the time it took to produce our AP checks from 3 hours
    for our whole process down to 1 hour.   We have 10 pay
    groups that we had to produce 1 after the other, and each check in
    a pay group was a single print job.  With BIPublisher we were
    able to get all of the checks for a pay group into a single print
    job.  This doesn’t sound like much, but we found that the
    check printers we used do a sweep of the toner cartridge after each
    print job and before each print job.  That means that with the
    sweep, the printers are actually using printer toner.  So we
    were able to reduce the amount of sweeps from 400 checks (twice –
    before and after) plus the check printing itself (that is 800
    sweeps plus 400 checks) to just two sweeps (start and end of the
    full job) plus the checks.  Our toner has lasted much longer,
    reducing costs.  We were able to speed up the processing of
    the checks which reduced as I mentioned above the processing of
    checks from 3 hours to 1 hour a week which is labor costs.  We
    were more easily able to make changes to our forms since it was now
    controlled in WORD template instead of coding through Create
    print.

    We did incur an initial cost in getting our
    developer up to speed on BIP Word Template customization by working
    with a consultant that was familiar with modifying and using BIP
    for this kind of job – but that has paid off big time in allowing
    us to now do other forms and reports via BIP with that
    knowledge.

    One other thing we found was that by using
    BIP, we are able to remove that dumb “Select Printer” popup that
    shows up on reports when you submit them to be printed.  There
    is a way with BIP to basically skip that popup all together, which
    means one less click by a user.  And that then works for all
    reports that we run through BIP…

    Thank you very much, that is very helpful.

    Hi

    I would lean the other way towards Create!Form, it has far more fexibility, and is a very powerful tool, but as always it depends on requirements, and the skillsets you have access to.

    I have worked with both tools, from my point of view Create!From is easier to use, and get your head around.

    We print, email, fax, text message, generate XML, and generate print ready post script for out mail house from Create!Form, amongst many other things.

    We also use Create!From fo applications other than E1, which effectively lowers the cost of ownership, as it works with 6 other applications here outside of E1, and there should be another couple added soon.

    Toner use is easy to control, as its a printer driver setting and not directly related to either print program aside of how much printing is done on each page.

    Hi Becky,

    We are in the midst of converting our Forms Management from Create!Form to BI Publisher as part of our 9.2 Upgrade project.  If you would like to have a conversation about our experience, let me know and I will be glad to discuss this with you.

    Andrew Ostdiek

    Thank you Nick and Andrew I appreciate your feedback.  Andrew I might take you up on your offer.

    @Rebecca Bazabal We have used CreateForm on both World and E1 for about 20 years now. I agree with the person about it having much more flexibility than BIP. We have LOTS of conditional type printing happening in many of our forms (I have about 150 of them) and from what I here, it would essentially be impossible with BIP. Weigh the cost against how long it will take to develop the forms in BIP (as well as future ones) vrs a very quick conversion of your existing World forms to E1. I did all 150 of mine in roughly a week.

    Hi @Rebecca Bazabal,

    At my current company we are in the midst of migrating away from CreateForm in favor of embedded BI Publisher. We have had LOTS of issues with compatibility of the client-side Adobe CF plugin - version compatibility issues, registry issues, etc. If you're considering a CF solution using this model of client-side plugins I would highly discourage it. (They may have other alternatives but I am not all that familiar.) My opinion is that BI Publisher is integrated better with direct PDF output from within the submitted jobs queue (vs. downloading, merging, etc.) It also loads MUCH faster - the formatted document is generated once and stored with BIPub vs every time a user downloads with CF.

    I also used BI Publisher at my previous company (both embedded and standalone) and I have not found anything that I could not do. Within Word you have the ability to do sub-templates it is very flexible (though with a bit of a learning curve). I've designed everything from simple pack slips to "pixel perfect" checks with MICR fonts.

    BI Publisher all the way!

    @Douglas Brininstool Thank you very much, I'm looking for this !

    @Rebecca Bazabal
    Hi Becky -
    At Stoner, we replaced Createform with BIP & saved a lot of money & headaches.
    We do lots of conditional printing, printing 1 UBE to several different printers, emailing, bursting & emailing invoices, invoices with payment stubs, check printing, etc. All of it was doable, and not that difficult with BIP.
    We had to take some data fetches and customizations from Createform and put them in the UBE Event Rules. If you know Event Rule programming, it's easy.

    • Tammy Gaston
     

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