A template determines how a merged document will appear and what information it will contain.
Creating a template requires some familiarity with the source software application. To create a working template in Microsoft Word, for example, you should be familiar with how to create documents in Word. The more familiarity and mastery you have in the source software application, the easier you'll find it and perhaps the more you'll be able to do with the styling of the final output.
What Types of Documents Do You Need
Conga Composer® solutions can output to a variety of document types. Most solutions output one type of document, but more advanced solutions may include multiple templates, sometimes using different document types. For example, a quote solution might generate the quote using a Microsoft Word template, use a parameter to save the resulting document as a PDF, attach the PDF to a record in Salesforce®, and then email the PDF using an HTML email template.
You can create templates to output to:
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)®
Once you know the types of documents you want your solution to use, you can look at what data you need to have for each template document.
Data needed for your template determines the reports and queries to include
The information you want to display on the merged documents must first be identified and gathered. For example, if your final document will be an invoice, you will want data about the account, order number, inventory levels, shipping information, price, and the sales representative. Data contained in the Salesforce Master Object where the button is placed will be automatically available to Conga Composer, but all other data must be gathered by using reports or queries.
Existing Documents as Sources
Most likely you'll have source documents to work from. These can be electronic or printed documents that you are tasked to reproduce as templates. Those source documents can quickly give you a list of data fields that you'll need to collect.
If you don't have an existing document to identify the fields, you can mock up a template and list the fields, their object, and any special formatting required. (For example, you might need the item price, formatted in the currency specified in the record.)
Identify Repeating Data and Conditional Text
Your template may use tables of data. In a quote, for instance, you might want to separate items by product family. Conga Composer templates easily handle tables of repeating data, and can show or hide data based on conditions, such as whether a specific table contains data—it can hide tables without data—or whether an order total that exceeds a threshold number receives different payment terms.
The template type you choose may well depend on the repeating data and conditional text features you need. Microsoft Word is the most full-featured application for repeating data and the singular choice for conditional statements; PowerPoint and Excel have limited ability to work with repeating data.
The Template Builder can help you create tables of repeating data, so that adding one is as simple as drag and drop.
Solutions are run by your end users and so must be accessible to those with the proper security credentials. And not by those who should not have access.
By storing templates in Salesforce, Conga Composer ensures that all authorized users can access the same templates.
If you need to password-protect a merged document, you can use parameters to convert a Word template into a PDF document and specify the password needed to open the document.
Internal or External Audience
In addition to who can run the solution, you should also consider who will receive and view the merged documents. Is the audience internal and the information company confidential? If so, you may want to add distribution warnings and copyright information.