|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
ContractExpress is a document automation program designed and produced by Business Integrity, a company focussed on contract automation based in the UK and US. ContractExpress is delivered in server based and Software as a service formats. Users of the solution are typically law firms and corporations, such as Clifford Chance and Microsoft.
ContractExpress template creation is conducted entirely within the Microsoft Word interface. The add-on for Word 2007 installs a custom ribbon tab to utilise .NET functionality. The ribbon controls variables, optional text and questionnaire editing amongst other options. Authors create a contract template using bracket-based mark-up to specify conditional text and variable fields.
Once published, other users can then manipulate the document using a pre-defined questionnaire to apply client specific details and preferences. Accordingly, the need for programming skills is removed; a basic knowledge of document mark-up is all that is required. It is notable that the field control used is derived from the conventions of traditional legal document mark-up, for example use of square brackets to indicate areas for document specific information.
The most recent version of the software is version 4.5, released in January 2014. ContractExpress 5 is due to be released in March 2014, and includes significant updates to the user interface and customer extranet features, as well as improved compatibility with tablets and smartphones.
Built around Microsoft SharePoint, the enterprise edition is designed to encompass contract lifecycle management including contract creation, execution and archiving. The system utilizes customizable workflow systems, allowing for out-of-the-box control of the document lifecycle.
ContractExpress for SharePoint can be deployed within an existing SharePoint environment or as a standalone application running on SharePoint Foundation (a free component of Windows Server). Documents are output in either in an editable format, such as .docx, or a non-editable format, for example PDF form. This is to avoid situations where "sales people adapt old documents without legal department review, they may insert unapproved language or delete important language, changes that can cause legal issues later".
Based on DealBuilder technology utilizing a cloud delivery system. As with all other versions, document mark-up takes place in a normal Microsoft Word document. However, cloud delivery allows for remote access from any web browser.
Use of cloud technology allows for systems to be set up without the associated infrastructure requirement and is a growing tool for deployment of software solutions. Some companies do not require all the features of server based document automation and so functioning in the cloud can reduce potentially unnecessary infrastructure spend and technological expertise requirements. This broadens the potential market for document automation to smaller and solo firms as well as larger companies. ContractExpress.com is due to be replaced with ContractExpress 5 in March 2014.
ContractExpress for Salesforce
Launched at the end of 2013, ContractExpress for Salesforce fully integrates ContractExpress 5 RESTful technology into the popular Salesforce platform. As in the above versions, template mark-up takes place in Microsoft Word. However, the questionnaire is fully integrated into Salesforce, which also provides an approval process so that non-standard contracts can be routed to the correct teams in a customizable approval order (alongside Legal, there may also be a need for financial approval, for example). Contracts are also stored in Salesforce and the whole process can be linked to customer accounts, opportunities, cases, Salesforce Contracts, Contacts and custom objects, making document assembly, approval and management a fully integrated part of the sales process.
The ContractExpress DealBuilder system is built on technology standards: Microsoft .Net 3.5; Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 or 2013; Open XML and Windows Communication Foundation. ContractExpress DealBuilder supports the generation of Word 2007+ OpenXML (.docx), Word 97-2003 (.doc), Word-RTF, PDF, HTML and XPS.
- Lauristen, Mark. The Lawyer's Guide To Working Smarter With Knowledge Tools. American Bar Association. ISBN 978-1-60442-826-1
- Susskind, Richard. The End Of Lawyers?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-954172-0
- "Why going online is better for everyone By Richard Susskind". The Sunday Times. 2005-07-19. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Inside Counsel: Document Assembly Speeds Contract Process". Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "Law.com: Sum of Parts". 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- "AdamsDrafting: Business Integrity Launches ContractExpress.Com". Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- Legal IT Professionals: New Document Assembly Features Put ContractExpress.com at the Heart of Law Firms’ Interactions with Clients, 2010-10-02, retrieved 2010-10-19
- "ContractExpress.com". Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "Document Assembly on the Move By Seth Rowland". 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "Futurelawyer: ContractExpress - Document Assembly in the Cloud". Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "ContractExpress DealBuilder datasheet". Retrieved 2010-06-25.