After a completed signature process it is possible to create a PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signature).
The PAdES file is a PDF compliant with the PAdES standard, which means that anyone with a regular PDF reader can see what was signed, by whom, and how it was signed. Evidence of every completed signature is embedded within the PAdES, which enables evidence to be unfolded in case of a dispute. The PAdES standard is published by ETSI.
PAdES files are made from packaging XAdES files — it is therefore required that the utilized signing method creates a XAdES output instead of the third-party format.
Please note that it is possible to obtain a PAdES that does not contain a XAdES, through a Signicat Sealing operation, which uses a certificate to seal the PDF by applying a digital signature. The signature fulfills the requirements of the PAdES standard, which makes it a PAdES signature. A PAdES therefore may or may not contain a XAdES. In a Signicat context, PAdES usually refers to the packaging operation.
Benefits of using PAdES are:
- One common format
- Contains the full evidence of the signature
- Works as a container of multiple signatures on a document
- Can be read by anyone with a PDF reader
- Can be distributed to relevant third parties
- Enables all parties of the agreement to possess it
Utilizing PAdES requires packaging with our packaging service before the document may be handled further.