More details are available at http://www.WindwardReports.com
. But very simply, with Windward Reports you lay out your report in Microsoft Word (or any word processor that can save a document in rtf format). In Word you use all of it's powerful layout and formatting properties to set exactly how you want the report to look.
Where you want data in the report, you type the following directly into the Word document "<=:/order/customer/first_name>". You can also put in a while-end, an if-end, and an if-else-end. In the case of a while-end, as it iterates through each element, inside the while you can have additional <=:...> replacements.
Once you have created the report, it is saved as an rtf file. You then feed Windward Reports this rtf template file and an xml data file, and it then merges the data into the template and creates a final report, with all of the formatting and positioning as set in your original template. This final report can be written as html (3.2), html (with .css), pdf, rtf, or txt.
Elements are identified within the <=:...> commands using xpath. So it is a very powerful and complete system available to specify what data to display, what data to enumerate through, and what order to enumerate in.