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What is an Intelligent Document?

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  • Written By: S. Gonzales
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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An intelligent document is a specific type of interactive, electronic document. It differs from a standard electronic document in that it is dynamic and can be personalized. Businesses from marketing firms to commercial leasing entities can benefit from incorporating intelligent documents into their operations, because using them can save time and resources by immediately reflecting specific data.

Formats for intelligent documents include Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® InfoPath®, Cardiff software and XForms by W3C®. DocFire™, Exari and Intelledox also can be considered part of the intelligent document solution. Any of these pieces of software can be programmed to help in the production and use of intelligent documents. They also are XML-based, regarding the data used.

An intelligent document is distinct from the average electronic document in a fundamental way. Whereas a standard electronic document can be said to be the digital version of a piece of paper, an intelligent document is interactive and can be dynamic. Interactive electronic documents allow for high personalization of documents either for the user or the viewer.

Personalized web pages, presentations and forms that change upon the user's request can be considered intelligent documents. They usually work in conjunction with the Internet and a type of server software. These things help bring the intelligent document to life, keep it dynamic and responding to input.

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The applications for an intelligent document are numerous. These documents can help businesses streamline their operations, aid with customer service protocols and cut costs. Certain businesses that rely on ever-changing data, such as marketing firms, also can apply intelligent documents to their business practices. For example, marketing firms that use intelligent documents to automatically fill direct marketing materials with prospects' personal information have a better chance of reaching their target markets and increasing their conversion rates. They also can solidify their brands, have better customer retention and lower the costs associated with marketing by using intelligent documents.

An example of a practical application of intelligent documents involves commercial leasing and lending. This industry is founded on the idea that several entities will lend and lease for business purposes and for specific amounts of time, so intelligent documents can help the entities doing the lending and leasing. Intelligent documents can provide the lending and leasing agents with documents that have been intelligently programmed to reflect the lessee's name and other personal information. This can save the lessor time and resources when trying to finalize deals.

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