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.