Power of HotDocs – Creating a Loan Amortization Table

Yesterday, I took on a  new “challenge” in one of the many commercial lending systems we have been building.  Typically, we attach a Loan Amortization Table supplied by the “bank client” to the loan documentation.

These tables project payments of principal and interest during the term of the loan.  After some research on formulas, review of VBA model code and Excel spreadsheets, I took the challenge. That featured image up top is the result.

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HotDocs-Amicus Master Component Eases Integration

At the last Amicus Consultant’s Conference I demonstrated some innovative ways of improving the way HotDocs and Amicus interact.  A recent post on the LinkedIn user’s group, Amicus Wizards, has prompted me to post some pictures from that demo.  The question was asked why is the HotDocs interview generated automatically by Amicus so long with so many dialogs.  The answer is that the automatically generated interview DOES NOT HAVE any dialogs, it is merely a list of variables that are used in the template in the order that they appear in the document.

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SQL Adventures – Navigating PCLaw Billing Preferences From HotDocs

The answer to the question is “MatterInfoSpareLong2”.  After several hours of searching, calls to former PCLaw product managers and tech support directors, I got the answer I was searching for.  My odyssey had started with a simple request: “Produce a report that combines File details in Amicus Attorney with billing and receivables details in PCLaw.  Having presented a seminar on integrating Amicus Attorney and HotDocs, I thought it a simple matter to integrate HotDocs and PCLaw.

On the surface, it was easy.  In PCLaw there is a MattInf table that stores the Matter information.  You can use the MatterID from within HotDocs to query the SQL database and get file information.  On the MattInf table there is a ClientID that links to information on the primary client, allowing you to pull in client data. For current statistics, there is a MattBal that contains data on each file regarding account balance, receivables, billings etc.

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XpressDox Integration With Salesforce

Previously, I have written about XpressDox integration with Salesforce.com and Advologix from a technical side, how from Microsoft Word you can access your template library, launch a template, and pull data from a Salesforce.com based practice management system.  Such approach is very powerful and cost effective.  But it also requires you to have Microsoft Word installed with an XpressDox plugin.

This post, however, focuses on implementation of a completely cloud-based assembly engine integrated into Salesforce.com.  A prototype has been tested and implemented on a client site; however the tool is not yet ready for public distribution.   In this system, a simple button would be added to the Matter object (or any object) in Salesforce.

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HotDocs Tips – Importing from Outlook

HotDocs has for years had a connector to Microsoft Outlook.  It is an effective tool for importing data.  However, the data that comes in, often needs to be “cleaned up” before it can be used.

Working with Outlook

  • State Field: The state can sometimes be entered as Abbreviated (e.g. NY) or as a Full State (“New York”) which causes problems on import if you importing into a Multiple Choice field
  • Street Field:  The “Address” in Outlook is different from the BusinessAddressStreet field.  And that field can have multiple lines in it, affecting how that text appears in your template where you may have coded Street1 and Street2

Further, some of the mappings in the tool are confusing because of the terminology used by Outlook and that used by most HotDocs coders can be quite different.

  • Which Address:  In Outlook there is a MailingAddress, a HomeAddress and a BusinessAddress.  If you are importing into a primary address, then you would choose MailingAddress.  If it is a Business, with a Company, you should use Business Address.
  • Salutation, Title and Job Title:  These fields are confusing since Title is “Mr.” or “Mrs”, Saluation is non-existent, and JobTitle is the positon someone holds at a company.

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Cloud to Desktop – Connecting XpressDox to Advologix

Salesforce is a powerful tool for practice management.  It’s implementation by AdvologixPM brings that power in a digestable form to attorneys.  Until now, your main option for document assembly has been to create basic merge templates.  The DrawLoop addin allowed you to create packages; multiple templates with designated outputs.  But in the end, you were still restricted to Word-Merges.

XpressDox 4.0 introduces the Salesforce.com Data Source Configuration Tool

Now there is another option, XpressDox.  This tool is a power document assembly engine (with most everything you would expect from rival products), but at a very competitive price point.  What I want to show here is live and dynamic connection between the desktop version of XpressDox (NOTE: it also works with the Server version as well).

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Database Connection – Vista64 and Windows7

Have you ever tried to add an Access database as a new “datasource” in Vista64 and Windows7? In most cases, you will go WINDOWS START -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Data Sources (ODBC).  When you click ADD, you will get SQL Native Client and SQL Server.  There will be NO opportunity to add Access or any of the OLDER data types.  These 32-bit datatypes are effectively banished from the system.  Quelle disaster!!!  Well we have a solution, one that is REAL EASY

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