About this article
The purpose of this article is to give a brief overview of Templafy from a technical point of view. Sections in this article:
- Introduction to Templafy
- Diagram of PaaS and Customer Infrastructure
- Templafy technical overview
- Pre-requisites for Templafy Add-ins
- VSTO Add-ins (PC)
- Web Add-ins (PC, Mac & Office online)
- Deploy of Add-ins - Templafy Desktop
Introduction to Templafy
Templafy is a cloud-based template and document asset management system. It integrates into Microsoft Office 2016-2019, Office 365 Pro Plus with 2016 Apps, SharePoint Online for Office 365 and Google Drive. It can be configured and customized to meet the needs of any organization in the world – no matter the size.
Templafy has a rich set of features to help users easily generate new documents that are up to date with regards to Visual Identity, Corporate data, User data, Legal information and shared content. Templafy can manage templates and document assets from a central admin platform which means it is easy for Brand and Managers and Content Administrators to update templates and push out new digital identities throughout the entire organization.
Diagram of PaaS and Customer Infrastructure
Templafy technical overview
|Microsoft ASP .NET 4.7.2, MVC 5, WebApi, Windows Forms and VSTOResponsive HTML5 React.js and TypeScript SPA.
|Edge Chromium, Google Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Apple Safari for Mac
|Web site and backend are hosted on the Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS). Microsoft is in charge of uptime and patching of servers. Microsoft Azure is certified with ISO 27001 and PCI DSS among others. Microsoft Azure provides SLA of 99,95% for web servers (website and API) and 99,9% for data storage.
|Templafy uses Microsoft Azure automatic scaling of web sites.
New instances are automatically spun up based on activity on a web server.
Database and Azure backend features are configured for performance.
|Microsoft is responsible for server patching.
|Daily backup of Website, SQL Database, and Blob storage.
|Data are stored in SQL Azure. Files are stored in Azure Blob storage. Both types of storage are considered highly secure and reliable (eg. all data is saved on 3 disks and has geo-redundancy to other data center within the geographical region).
|The Microsoft Azure backend ensures that no other Microsoft Azure customer can access our data. Isolated data containers for each customer/client with no direct access and a web-based access control system ensures that a user can only see data for the customer for which the User is signed on. The role-based system ensures that a User can only perform tasks in the system to which the User has been assigned privileges. All controllers in the system have authentication filters to ensure guest isolation.
|All internal communication between server and client is SSL encrypted. All data in transit is SSL (TLS) encrypted. All data at rest are encrypted.
Open Source components
|A few Open Source components are used for JSON serialization, Unit Tests, Code minification and other non-critical parts of the system.
Third party tools
|Any SAML2 or WS-Federation based Authentication Service (e.g. ADFS, Ping Federate, OKTA, Airwatch, WAYF, etc.) OAuth 2.0 based authentication providers like Google and Microsoft Office 365.
|Microsoft Entra ID via App in Azure, ADFS, Ping Federate, OKTA, WS-Federation and SAML2, Open ID Connect
|Object Relational Mapper protects against SQL injections. Client-side binding framework protects against XSS attacks. Unique per session token required for all backend calls protects against XSRF attacks.
|Templafy supports SCIM
File types supported
|docx, pptx, xlsx, pdf, jpg, png. More file types are added continuously.
Pre-requisites for Templafy Add-ins
Templafy is primarily working with two types of add-ins: VSTO Add-ins (PC) and Web Add-ins (PC, MAC & Office online). The difference pre-requisites for the two types of add-ins are the following:
VSTO Add-ins (PC)
|2016, 2019 and Office 365 Pro Plus
|32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office
|Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11
|32-bit and 64-bit
Web Add-ins (PC, Mac & Office online)
|Office 365 Pro Plus / Office 2016
|Office 365 Pro Plus / Office 2016, Version 16.22
|Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11
|High Sierra or newer
Deployment of add-ins - Templafy Desktop
Templafy desktop is the client Templafy uses to deploy add-ins for MS Office. The application downloads Office add-ins from your repository in Azure and installs files on your local PC. Templafy Desktop consist of three main parts:
How it works
Templafy Desktop automatically checks for updates every 24 hours or when it reconnects to your repository. Templafy Desktop checks for updates at every reboot/start. If the PC is never turned off, a scheduled check for updates will attempt to start at midnight (local time). If the PC is in sleep or hibernation mode, then the scheduled update will run when the PC wakes up.
The add-in files are first stored in a local temporary cache. Then they are automatically loaded to the correct locations. This depends on your Windows version, language settings and other configurations.
1. The desktop host
This is the MSI that is delivered by Templafy and is installed by client IT - typically via System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).
2. The desktop client
The desktop client version is controlled from the Templafy admin site. When the MSI (host) is installed, it will connect to Templafy and download the client.
3. The Templafy Desktop package
When the client is installed, it will connect to Templafy and download active Desktop package containing primarily the Templafy add-in files which it will then distribute on the client PC.
How to install Templafy Desktop
Templafy Desktop can be installed manually on the PC or be deployed via GPO or SCCM. Most customers prefer to install Templafy Desktop in the current user context. It can also be run in local machine. If you install Templafy in a Citrix environment e.g. via Citrix VDI or XenApp, it will often be necessary to install Templafy in local machine context.