# Electronic signatures functions and features
Generally, electronic signing of documents can be achieved in two ways; Authentication-based signing or third-party (or native) signing. Both authentication-based signing and third-party (native) signing are explained in more detail below.
# Authentication-based signing
Authentication-based signing is Signicat's own signing solution. Authentication-based signing supports the use of any type of authentication method provided by Signicat, where the authentication result is used for signing. This ensures a unified output format in accordance with EU specifications, as well as a scalable, responsive signing interface supporting all modern device standards and window sizes.
Authentication-based signing enables you to sign one or more digital documents electronically by first consenting to the contents of the document(s) and subsequently authenticating yourself using one of a number of supported methods of authentication, including eID providers.
As the product relies on authentication, the eID providers do not need to support signing themselves. The service gathers proof of the signer's actions, i.e. viewing the document(s), consenting to the contents and most importantly the authentication itself. The series of proofs is combined with each of the original documents.
The result – the XAdES (XML Advanced Electronic Signatures) – is digitally signed by Signicat. Each original document results in one XAdES document for each signer. The signed documents can also be merged into a final PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures) document using Signicat's PackagingService API.
Refer to our demo service documentation for a list of ID methods which support authentication-based signing.
# Third-party (native) signing
Third-party signing, also referred to as native signing, is signing performed by third-party methods and their own, native signing support. Note that this applies only to ID methods that have a signing solution embedded.
Here, the documents to be signed are transferred to the third-party provider's infrastructure. The end-user's private key is then used to create a digital signature over the original document.
This alternative does not follow the same output formats, cannot be guaranteed to support a responsive signing interface and will not necessarily support all of Signicat's electronic signature functionality.
Refer to our demo service documentation for a list of ID methods which support third-party (native) signing.
# Electronic signature functionality
You can read about the different functions and features of Signicat's Sign product by clicking on the buttons below.