Auto Place Makes Agreement Setup Easy with fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition)

We recently released a free update to fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature platform, that included support for AutoPlace. AutoPlace (also referred to as anchor tagging) is an advanced field action in DocuSign that adds fields near each occurrence of a given string in a template or document.

With a typical document you would need to specify where you wanted the DocuSign tabs (fields) to appear on the document, for example to capture a signature, initials, name or date. In the fmESignature Link file the setup for adding Template Tabs looks like this:

It can be somewhat fiddly while you work out the coordinates from the left and top of the page for each tab and can involve a bit of trial and error before you get the positioning right. This also means that your tabs are hardcoded into fixed positions on a specific page, which is fine for fixed length documents where these positions will never change.

If you’re working with a variable length document, such as the legal agreement where the length of the agreement could change depending on the number of included clauses, then you won’t be able to know in advance what page and what position to place the these tabs. Fortunately DocuSign has a solution to this problem called AutoPlace, which involves the use of hidden strings that won’t appear anywhere else in your document. The tab/field is then automatically placed in the position of your hidden text string.

This makes setting up Template Tabs in the fmESignature Link file much simpler: instead of working out the pixel positions from the left and top of your page you simply enter the matching string to look for like this:

If your agreement PDF is being generated from a FileMaker layout you simply place the corresponding string on the layout like this (I’ve changed the text colour to red to make it visible, but you would set this to the same colour as the background of your agreement which is typically white)

DocuSign then automatically place the specified tab at the position of the matching string, regardless of which page or where it appears on the final document. With AutoPlace you can have your templates setup for eSignature with DocuSign within minutes using the fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) solution.

We’ve added a support article that has all the details of using AutoPlace with fmESignature Link, along with a short video demonstrating the setup of this which you can watch below or on YouTube here.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) v1.25 Update

We’ve just released another free update to fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature platform. This update includes a new Template example that utilises the Auto-place (anchor tagging) feature, as well as Webhooks that work with the FileMaker Data API (in addition to the PHP API Webhooks).

Auto Place Template Example

We’ve added another example Template that demonstrates how to use the Auto-place (anchor tagging) feature of DocuSign. AutoPlace adds fields near each occurrence of a given string in a template or document. You can use AutoPlace with any field type – it is automatically placed at all instances in your document of the specified string.

Our previous Template examples demonstrated how to place DocuSign tabs at fixed locations on a page or by reference to a DocuSign Template, but there are circumstances where you will not know in advance the page number where the tabs should be placed. For example you might have a standard legal agreement that varies in length due to the number of standard clauses that are included which might cause the document to run to 1, 2, 3 or more pages in length as a result.

Tab anchoring enables you to place tabs at every location where a specified text string, also known as an anchor, is found in a document. This allows the tabs to move with the text of the document. One common approach to anchor tagging is to use special strings that don’t appear anywhere else in the document as the anchorString property for anchor tagging, then setting the colour of these strings to match the document background, making them invisible to recipients. This enables you to easily attach tabs to many places in your documents without disrupting the signing experience for your recipients.

The new Auto Place Agreement Template uses a new layout Customer Agreement Auto Place PDF that demonstrates the use of special text strings that are used as the guide for the Auto Place tabs. If you have a look at this layout in Layout mode you will see these invisible text objects highlighted here:

These text objects have a white text colour set – the same colour as the layout background – so they are not visible when printed or saved to a PDF file. If we change the colour of these to red you can see the strings that we have set for these:

There is a new setting option on the Template Tabs tab in the Template Details screen where you can specify the same strings to associate with these. If you click the gear icon to the right of a Template Tab you will get this popover:

Here you can specify the Anchor String and any X/Y offset values. As I have specified /SigName1/ as the Anchor String for this tab it will search the document for any matches for this and place the specified tab in that location.

Webhooks Changes

In addition to the existing PHP API Webhooks we now include Data API compatible versions of these. Remember when working with the Data API you will need to enable the fmrest extended privilege for the Webhooks Privilege Set:

You’ll now find 2 folders in the PHP Webhooks folder containing the php files for both the Data API Webhooks and the PHP API Webhooks:

Both folders contain the same contents (each set of PHP files works with either the PHP API or the newer Data API) – see our DocuSign Webhooks page for further details on installing these on your server and configuring the fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) file for these.

Other Changes

As well as the new Auto Place Template example and Data API Webhooks updates this update includes a number of other small changes, including:

  • you can now specify the Template Tab Recipient ID to assign tabs to specific recipient
  • we’ve added the option to allow you to set the Routing Order to 1 for all recipients which means that when set all recipients will receive the signing request at the same time. This overrides the Position value that you can set when specifying the Recipient Contacts for a Request. This is helpful when you don’t want all recipients to be delayed by a previous recipient not having signed the document in a timely manner.

The full list of changes are listed in the version history notes here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc).

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) v1.1 Update

We’ve just released another free update to fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature platform. This updates provides additional functionality around DocuSign Templates including:

  • you can now specify a value or a field name to use to pre-populate Template Tabs such as Text and Number tabs that can have the value set dynamically
  • you can now download the Tabs and Roles for DocuSign Templates to save you having to enter these manually (we downloaded a Template with 6 Roles and 120 tabs in under 2 seconds)
  • we’ve updated to support the latest version of the eSignature API (v2.1) and are now using a custom function to store the value of the DocuSign API to allow this to be updated more easily in the future

The new Template Tabs Value field allows you to specify a hardcoded value (e.g. “Acme Inc” for a text tab that users would enter their Company Name into) or a merge field, e.g.:

RequestsContactsContacts::Position

that will be merged at runtime as the Envelope is being constructed and replaced with the value from that field reference for the current recipient record. We’v also added a Locked field to the Template Tabs table to allow certain fields to be locked or “read-only” to the recipient. You can see the difference in the following screenshots. In the first screenshot we have set the Locked Value to false – the field has the pre-populated value but we can edit this if required:

In the next screenshot we have set the set the Locked Value to true and the field has the blue border and cannot be edited:

Here’s a short video showing the downloading of Template Tabs and Roles and how to use the new Template Tabs Value field to pre-populate custom tabs (you can also watch it on YouTube here):

The full list of changes are listed in the version history here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc).

Databuzz releases fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) – Integrate FileMaker Pro and DocuSign

Sydney, Australia – June 04, 2019 – Databuzz today announced fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), a FileMaker solution that integrates with the DocuSign eSignature platform.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is a FileMaker solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and DocuSign. DocuSign is one of the most popular electronic signature platforms and helps organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act-on, and manage agreements and allows users to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) allows you to quickly send electronic signature requests and download the signed version of the document into FileMaker at the click of a button. fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is completely unlocked allowing you to integrate it into your existing FileMaker solutions. You can copy and paste examples showing you how to authenticate with the DocuSign API and send signing requests and more at the click of a button.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) features include:

  • works with FileMaker Pro 16 or later
  • uses all native FileMaker scripts and functions (no plug-ins required)
  • completely unlocked for you to integrate into your own FileMaker solution
  • can be hosted by FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server
  • works with Macintosh and Windows

“Many of our customers use the FileMaker Platform to run their business and DocuSign for electronic document signing,” said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Databuzz. “With fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) you can send document signing requests and downloaded completed documents from DocuSign at the click of a button, without having to give users direct access to your DocuSign account.”

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) includes examples for the following DocuSign features:

  • Send Document Signing Requests: you can use fmESignature Link to send documents that are generated dynamically from a FileMaker layout, from a PDF file stored in a FileMaker container field, or using a DocuSign Template (including support for multiple recipients and roles)
  • Check Status: check the Status of Sent Requests at the click of a button
  • Download Completed/Signed PDFs: download the completed PDF file into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Download Form Data: download any associated Form Data back into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Support for Webhooks: have completed PDFs pushed automatically to FileMaker within seconds of being completed (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Support for FileMaker Server Schedules: setup schedules to poll DocuSign every 20 minutes for any new completed agreements (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Testing Sandbox support: dynamically switch between the DocuSign Sandbox test environment and the live production environment. You can perform all required tests in the free Sandbox account before switching to your live production account

 Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility

fmESignature Link is available in a number of licenses: Company, Product (Vertical Solution) and Developer. It is available now from the Databuzz website at https://www.databuzz.com.au/fmesignature-link-docusign-edition/. Company Licenses start at AUD $795.00. fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) requires FileMaker Pro v16 or later and a DocuSign account with API access.

Media/Customer Contact:

Andrew Duncan

Phone: +61 418 468 103

sales@databuzz.com.au

AboutDatabuzz: Databuzz is a long-standing member of the FileMaker Business Alliance. We have been developing and deploying FileMaker solutions for clients in Australia and internationally since 1999. Our clients are individuals, small-medium businesses, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Databuzz was founded by Andrew Duncan, a Certified FileMaker 17 Developer. For more information please visit our website at https://www.databuzz.com.au.

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FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Coming Soon – fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition)

For a number of years we’ve been helping customers automate the management of electronic document signing requests using the DocuSign platform, one of the most popular electronic signature platforms. Managing the workflow around the sending of documents to be signed (contracts, quotes, real estate tenancy agreements etc) can be challenging when you’re using an associated FileMaker custom business application to run your business. You end up performing double data entry and updating multiple systems and inevitably something gets missed and one system is now out-of-date.

We’ve previously written about the benefits of integrating your FileMaker solution with DocuSign so you can manage the document signing process in one central place from start to finish. The new workflow could then look like this:

We’ve taken everything we’ve learned over the past few years helping customers manage their document signing workflow in FileMaker (saving them time and money) and turned this into a new product called fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) which we will be launching very soon.

The main features of fmESignature Link include:

  • Send Document Signing Requests: you can use fmESignature Link to send documents that are generated dynamically from a FileMaker layout, from a PDF file stored in a FileMaker container field, or using a DocuSign Template (including support for multiple recipients and roles)
  • Check the Status of Sent Requests
  • Download Completed/Signed PDFs into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Download any associated Form Data back into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Support for Webhooks: have completed PDFs pushed automatically to FileMaker within seconds of being completed (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Support for FileMaker Server Schedules to poll DocuSign every 20 minutes for any new completed agreements (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • dynamically switch between the DocuSign Sandbox test environment and the live production environment

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) uses all native FileMaker scripts and functions (no plug-ins required) and requires FileMaker Pro 16 or later. Like our other products it will be 100% unlocked for you to integrate into your own FileMaker solution.

We’ve put together a short preview video showing fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) in action sending a signing request to a contact and then downloading the completed PDF back into FileMaker at the click of a button. You can watch this below or via this link on YouTube:

If you would like to be notified when fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is release please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Using DocuSign Webhooks to Push Completed PDF files to FileMaker Server

Earlier this year we wrote about how you can integrate FileMaker with DocuSign, the leading electronic signature platform, to automate the electronic document signing workflow using the FileMaker platform. In that article and video we demonstrated how you could generate a PDF from a FileMaker layout with merge fields then send a document signing request to the recipient using the DocuSign API, all from within FileMaker Pro.

At the time we were manually downloading the completed/signed PDF from DocuSign once we received the email notification from DocuSign that it had been completed. Since that article we done a number of FileMaker/DocuSign integrations and had some requests to automate the downloading of the completed PDF so users don’t need to manually download this. There’s two main options available here – Polling or Webhooks:

  • Polling involves making a request to DocuSign for the current status of an envelope. For example you could create a FileMaker Server scheduled script to run periodically to check the status of a DocuSign request, and then if it is completed download the final PDF. You are limited to checking the status of each envelope to once every 15 minutes – polling rates are checked by DocuSign and exceeding this limit can lead to failures with the automated review process
  • Webhooks are the preferred option as DocuSign can automatically notify you when the status of a DocuSign envelope changes. You don’t have to make unnecessary polling requests to continually check the status of an envelope – DocuSign will notify your application via the URL you specify when setting up your particular webhook.

In our experience we receive the Webhook notification within 15-30 seconds on average after the event without having to make any requests to DocuSign. We just wait for the notification from DocuSign that a request has been completed and then download the completed PDF into a FileMaker container field. We’ve written about how we use Webhooks for some of our other solutions, including XeroWooCommerce and Shopify to be automatically notified of specified events, such as a new online order or a customer payment. Using DocuSign Webhooks is another example of how you can automate your business workflows and remove any unnecessary polling requests.

Here’s a short video showing the ‘Envelope Signed/Completed’ Webhook in action (you can also watch it on YouTube here):

If you would like to discuss integrating DocuSign with your FileMaker solution please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.

 

Automate Electronic Document Signing with FileMaker and DocuSign


For many years we’ve helped business both large and small with their workflow challenges, and one of the most common issues we see is managing the distribution and signing of standard business documents such as contracts, employee agreements, quotes and proposals. The solutions to these problems vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of document to be signed, the number of recipients, volume of documents and the location of recipients.

Over the past few years we’ve helped a number of customers integrate with DocuSign, one of the most popular electronic signature platforms. DocuSign helps organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act-on, and manage agreements and allows users to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time.

With DocuSign you can create DocuSign Templates with merge fields that you sent to recipients for signing, or you can create a PDF on the fly and upload that at the time of sending the signing request. A common workflow solution integrating your custom FileMaker business app with DocuSign might look like this:

The process would typically work like this:

  • a FileMaker user is notified that a certain document needs to be sent to a customer for signing, such as a contract
  • the FileMaker user clicks a button that creates a custom PDF with any merged data for that customer with details on what actions the customer needs to take, such as signing on a particular page, entering their name or other details such as their date of birth
  • the FileMaker generated PDF is then sent to DocuSign with instructions to send this PDF to be signed to the specified customer, and DocuSign then sends a signing request email (you can customise the email subject and body)
  • the customer receives the email and electronically signs the document. DocuSign then notifies you that the document has been signed and you can then download the signed version of the document into a FileMaker container field

This type of tight integration between FileMaker and DocuSign has a number of benefits, including being able to manage the document signing process in one central place from start to finish. You don’t need to give your FileMaker users access to DocuSign as everything is managed from within FileMaker and you have access to the signed documents from FileMaker. You can even setup Webhooks to have FileMaker automatically notified by DocuSign when a document has been signed and have FileMaker download this automatically.

You will need to sign up for one of the DocuSign API Plans – (US, UK and Australian plans) which have a number of tiers depending on the number of documents you need to send each month and other additional features.

Here’s a short video demonstrating how a FileMaker DocuSign integration might work (YouTube link):

If you would like to discuss integrating DocuSign with your FileMaker solution please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.