CAPS was once the king of document assembly system. In the good old days of DOS, the old CapSoft built a document automation system that could off a floppy disk drive and still build several hundred trust documents in a blink of the eye. The system was “object based”, but still designed so that a smart lawyer could use the system to model his markup and drafting process for complex documents
While CAPS is now available by special request only from LexisNexis (and only if you lost your old floppy disk) there are still CAPS systems out there. And you know what, those systems still work and still do what they were designed to do. I know, because I have converted a number of these systems. They were great.
But, now there is HotDocs 2007. Long ago, HotDocs ceased to be the younger and less capable sibling of CAPS. HotDocs retains its ease of use, but now has scripting powers that leave CAPS in the dust. Take a look at some of the systems we show case in Document Assembly Video Tours and compare them to your existing CAPS system.
Migrating from CAPS
Don’t let anyone tell you to “scrap” your CAPS system and start from scratch. The CAPS systems I have seen were well designed and carefully thought out. They might be difficult to navigate, compared to the simpler seeming Template and Component File approach of HotDocs. However, any consultant who tells you to start from scratch is merely trying to jack up his or her consulting bill. The most expensive part of document assembly development is NOT the coding (that stuff is easy); it is the business rules. And with CAPS systems, there are often hundreds of clearly documented business rules.
So how Basha Systems migrate clients from CAPS? We first start out with a clear roadmap. We extract from CAPS all the objects, the elements, and their properties, including all the business rules. From that we build a core interview map of the whole system and use that as the basic to design, where appropriate HotDocs variables and HotDocs Dialogs. Once the core interview(s) are configured, we turn to the templates and replace the CAPS codes with the equivalent HotDocs Codes.
The process is tedious, for us!, but not for you. We then start out with a fully functioning HotDocs system that matches your current CAPS system. Once it is in HotDocs, then we begin the enhancements, extensions, clarifications. In HotDocs, you will be able to see the alternate provisions, side by side with the rules and business logic. And you won’t have to squint in that 400 X 300 DOS Windows to do your coding and development.