This tutorial teaches you how to connect your templates to a database file so you can retrieve answers from it during the interview.

As you know, each time you assemble a document, HotDocs prompts you for the information required by the document. Typically, to answer the questions in an interview, you either enter them during the interview, or you use a HotDocs answer file that already contains the answers you need. Another way you can provide the answers is by retrieving them from a database file.

In this tutorial, you will automate a Collection Letter that will be sent to clients who are delinquent in paying Hobble Creek Publishing for services it provides. To deterĀ­mine which clients are late on payments, you will query a database file that stores information about the clients, including a list of all invoices associated with a given client.

To do this, you will create an ADO connection string that will link variables in the template to records in the database. You will then create a filter to retrieve only those records where invoices are unpaid.

The tutorial is divided into six lessons, which you must complete in order. However, you can complete each lesson in separate sessions.

In these lessons, you will:

  • Create database components using an ADO connection string.
  • Link variables in the template to fields in a database table.
  • Filter the list of records that are returned on the database query.
  • Retrieve related records based on the filter you create.

Before completing these lessons, you should complete the lessons in Chapter 1, since many of the ideas and concepts you see in the following lessons build upon the things you learned in that chapter.
The template and database files used in the tutorial were drafted for instructional purposes only.