Expense Report Tutorial (AirTable)

This tutorial will show you how to use a Windward Expense Report Template with the AirTable Expense Tracking Template to automate your expense reports.

Before you Get Started...#

For this tutorial, you'll need:

Upload the Sample Windward Template#

Your first step is to acquire the sample Windward Template and upload it to Windward Hub.

  1. Download the Sample template to your computer.
  2. Login to Windward Hub if you haven't already.
  3. Go to the Template Library.
  4. Click "Upload:" img
  5. Select the Windward Template on your computer and "Upload and Publish:" img
  6. Now click "Run" next to the uploaded template and fill in the input parameters: img
  7. Once output finishes, click "View" on the notification: img
  8. Click "Download File" next to the output file: img
  9. To see the output, open the downloaded file: img

Didn't click on the output in time? No problem, you can always view your output in the Output History!

  1. Go to the Output History
  2. Open the Details for the output you just ran
  3. Click "Download File" next to the output file

Setup Expense Tracking in AirTable#

Now that you have your Sample Template in Windward Hub, you can setup your data in AirTable to have a complete data collection and data output system.

  1. Go to the Expense Tracking Template in AirTable.
  2. Click on "Use Template" and specify a workspace for the new base: img
  3. Click "Add Base" to add it to AirTable: img
  4. Navigate to the new "Expense Tracking" base in AirTable and open it.

AirTable has lots of cool features to structure, store, and collect data. You can explore more in AirTable later, but for now let's focus on using your new AirTable base as a datasource for your template.

Connect your Windward Template to your AirTable Data#

By connecting the sample template to your data in AirTable, your output template will always reflect the data in your specific AirTable base.

Build the URL for your AirTable Data#

  1. Open the "Help" drop down in AirTable and click on "API documentation:" img
  2. In the Authentication section of the AirTable API documentation, you can get a URL to access the data in your base from the Designer. Copy this URL (like "https://api.airtable.com/v0/appG6ojSm5tJLEPiD/Receipt%20Log?api_key=YOUR_API_KEY") and save it for later: img

Did you notice in the URL you copied where it said "YOUR_API_KEY?" You need to replace this with your personal API key, so let's get that now.

  1. Go to your AirTable account.
  2. In the "API" section, you can get your API key. Copy your API key, and replace the text "YOUR_API_KEY" in the URL from earlier with your key: img

Connect to your AirTable Data in Windward Desktop Designer#

  1. Open the sample template you downloaded earlier.
  2. Open the Windward ribbon.
  3. Click on the "Data Sources" button to open the Connection Editor: img
  4. In the "Active" section of your Connections, you'll see a Datasource named "AirTableExpenseData" Select this Datasource: img
  5. In the "File/URL" field, replace the sample data URL with the URL you built in the previous section: img
  6. Click "Update" and you should see your connection update without problems: img
  7. Close the Connection Editor.

Test that Everything is Working!#

Here comes the moment of truth! Is everything working as expected?

  1. Change some of the data in your AirTable base or add some new data: img
  2. Click the Output button and enter your input parameters. img
  3. You should see the changes and additions you have made in the output: img

Did you add data but are not seeing it in your output?#

New data you add may have a more recent Date & Time. Be sure when you run output that your new data falls between the start and end date you specified as input parameters.

Now the Fun Part: Make it your Own!#

Now that you have an automated expense report, it's time to customize it for your company!

  • You can edit the expense report using native Word functionality. Some recommendations are:
    • Add a company header and footer
    • Add your companies logo
    • Change the font, title, and table theme to match your companies style
  • You can further automate the template using Windward Designer functionality. Learn more basics of the Designer here.

Upload your New Version#

Once you have further customized your template, upload and publish the new version on Hub:

  1. Log in to Hub again and click "View Versions" for your template in the Template Library: img
  2. Click "Upload New Version" and select the template on your computer: img
  3. Add a comment for the changes you made and click "Upload:" img
  4. Change the published version to your new version: img

Now when you output the template in the future, you'll see the changes in your new version also output in Windward Hub.