Developers and businesses have tried using WeasyPrint for document generation. They report mixed experiences.
You see, many enterprises and small-to-medium sized businesses have issues with the quality and speed of WeasyPrint’s html-to-pdf library.
It takes an “extremely long time” to generate documents, a developer said on a programming forum. Worse yet, the documents look nothing like they’re supposed to.
How can you automate paperwork and business lines when your generated documents have tables with wrong formatting and text in the wrong font or size, and layouts that don’t align?
Can you imagine generating a WK-9 form with someone’s name, address, and taxpayer information in the wrong place? Or printed too small? You could not send that file to the IRS. You would have to start over.
Another example: What if you generated an invoice with line-items stretched out over several pages?
You would feel too embarrassed to send it to your customers!
Surely this library has a way to generate high-quality documents, you might think. But how much time and effort will it take you?
For enterprises, document generation with a robust system that works every time is vital. You need your documents pixel-perfect. It is a must have. You can’t do without it.
What are documents you can’t read or make sense of worth, anyway? The standard is: You should be able to print your generated documents if you wanted to; even if you only use them digitally.
Still, the mixed reviews about WeasyPrint don’t end.
Here’s what another developer had to say. They said that WeasyPrint clogs up when you generate documents with lots of pages, like reports.
Imagine telling your business analysts to wait (who knows how long!) just to get a couple of documents. What if they need the documents right now, like a quote, a regulated notice, or insurance policy? Imagine losing valuable business deals because of this.
Nobody wants that.
Another developer said that WeasyPrint isn’t lightweight. It consumes a large amount of server resources. It eats Gigabytes of RAM and claims too much CPU time.
Others say WeasyPrint doesn’t support font-faces. Which could explain why so many documents don’t look as they should.
This is no good.
When you choose to work with an open-source library, you have to build the infrastructure yourself, and run it on your own premises.
You have to do the building, scaffolding, hosting, deployment, continuous maintenance, and even extension oft he document generation services yourself. That takes time, staffing, research& development, and overhead. You would have to pull away resources better put elsewhere.
Moreover, you would have to make your solution compatible with all your business lines. Or custom-tailor what you build to get each line operating.
Additionally, suppose you’re concerned about storage, document security, information confidentiality, and document retention. Like many enterprises are. Then you must build out those functionalities also.
That’s a lot of manhours. In the hundreds, easily.
But if the library doesn’t even do what its supposed to do, you can add a good amount of developer hours on top of that, even.
From an enterprise perspective, you probably already see the issue with building document generation services yourself, let alone fixing functionalities that don’t work.
Disclaimer: Yes, this article compares Weasyprint with Inkit’s own solution, and yes it is written, edited, and published by Inkit Inc. While we can’t avoid bias toward our own solution, we scrutinize, review, edit and provide you with the best comparison we can make. Our goal is to help you find the document generation solution that fits your needs. Even if that is with a competitor.
With that, WeasyPrint is one of the largest open-source and free document generation libraries.
This makes it an attractive option for small companies who do not have the capital for an enterprise-level solution or who do not need enterprise-grade capabilities. For example, like auto scaling, on-demand document generation, or security features. And a “done it for you” infrastructure. More about this later.
If you look for a cheap solution that you can use for a quick scrappy fix, then maybe you should pick WeasyPrint.
But, like we’ve heard from many developers, the offered functionalities by WeasyPrint are not complete, unsupported even, and most importantly: Slow.
So what can you do?
Well, you could build an entire document generation platform yourself to meet your needs.
But that is complex. And takes a very big capital investment.
Fortunately, there is good news.
Instead, Inkit has built a document generation platform you can use right now.
And we’ve heard from talks with our customers that purchasing from a trusted vendor who specializes in document generation for enterprises is a more cost-efficient decision.
Many folks tried open-source libraries in the past but ultimately opted out because of inefficiency issues. They wished they could have spared themselves from the time-sink and wasted investment.
For example, Weasyprint generates documents in batches. There is a queue. That means document generation does not happen instantly or asynchronously. You will have to wait for the documents to finish generating and come out of the queue first — one at a time. Not parallel to another.
This poses a problem. What if you need a document right now, and ten or a hundred unfinished documents are in the queue?
You would have to wait for a long time!
We heard from one company that they had to wait seven days to generate one document! Can you believe it?
Unfortunately, this practice is widespread for open-source libraries and older, less robust, legacy document-generation providers.
We at Inkit realized that open-source libraries aren’t good enough for enterprises, so we built a document generation platform that works differently. With it, you can generate as many documents as you like. At the same time. Parallel, asynchronous, and simultaneous.
We automatically scale our services with you. They get faster with use. Think of it like an engine that warms up and becomes faster and more efficient as it does more rotations.
Another benefit. When you connect your back-end systems to Inkit and its document generation platform, you reduce the workload for your engineers. They won’t have to spend hundreds of hours building a platform themselves. And then hundreds of hours on maintenance.
Your development team will thank you for providing them with a document generation solution that is complete, supported, and maintained. We take great pride in delivering a well-oiled document generation engine that works durably and reliably.
Besides, less development for you also means more time to put into your core business.
When you choose a vendor specializing in one complex problem like document generation, they can do the backbreaking work for you. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, building, hosting, or anything else. Instead, you will enjoy the benefits of simply generating good documents. Plus, you’ll benefit from the new features, optimizations, and other updates we release on a two-week cycle.
Why worry about the costs of building a scalable service, including upkeep, and CI/CD, when you can utilize an already-built document generation platform?
Instead, automate paperwork and generate documents by making templates from your already existing .docx and .pdf files on Inkit’s Document Generation Platform and start automating.
Another benefit, did you know you can standardize most documents? 97% to 98% of documents don’t require a signature and that makes them perfect candidates for automation.
Just open the Inkit template editor, upload a document you want to standardize, and create merge fields for data points like customer name, address, invoice line items, or anything you like.
Then, all your engineers have to do is send a “ping” to our systems, and the document is generated. Of course, you can completely automate this process.
And yes. You can use your existing.docx files because we support M.S. Word templates! Please ask us about it. We’ll show you how easy it is.
One company told us that it took only20 minutes to set up a working template with custom variables and all.
Naturally, any automation requires the most reliable services. So we’re happy to tell you that our platform has a 99.9998% uptime. That’s for over 3+ years!
So if you ever speak with our engineers, ask, and they’ll show you the charts. We’re really proud of how reliable we are.
Moreover, you can store documents created by Inkit’s document generation platform in our secure storage if you like. You can even generate documents that expire automatically after a period or number of views.
Many enterprises find this critical because regulated industries often require you to delete customer documents after seven years.
With Inkit’s platform, when you generate a document, you can specify a time and date for it to expire. That way, deletion happens automatically. Never has document retention been this easy.
Or if you would like a document to self-destroy after one or however many views (for example, as you would with a confidential briefing), you can do that also.
If you wonder about Inkit’s security, know we are SOC 2 Type II, ISO 27001, HIPAA, EU/US Privacy Shield, GDPR, and CCPA compliant.
This means you are compliant throughout all U.S. states: from California to New York. But when operating in or with Europe too.
Another security benefit to using Inkit for storage is that you can control which departments, teams, and even individuals have the authorization to view what documents.
That is a brief overview of why enterprises choose Inkit; because Inkit simplifies the complex problem of large-scale document generation. We dare say we’re the first ones to do so.
Choose Inkit if you want robust document generation, automation, security, and a trusted vendor you can use for the long term.
Choose Inkit if you want a centralized solution that meets your enterprise-level document generation needs.
Choose Inkit if you see the value of having a trusted vendor who specializes in serving enterprises like yours.
Choose Inkit if you want an API-first way of doing document generation.
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