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# Introduction to the electronic signature APIs

# Introduction

Signicat offers several APIs related to electronic signatures. We can divide these into two main categories:

  • Our Sign API is a RESTful web service that can function as the single point of integration for every part of the electronic signature life cycle.
  • Our SOAP APIs such as DocumentService, PackagingService and ArchiveService need to be used together to provide a full electronic signature life cycle.

Note

If you don't know whether to choose the single REST API or multiple SOAP APIs, we can generally recommend the Sign API for ease of use.

# Sending out electronic signing orders

The two APIs listed below are used for sending out electronic signing orders to end-users and perform actions related to the signing process.

The Sign API is a REST API that lets you send out signing orders in addition to packaging and archiving documents, while DocumentService is a SOAP service that requires ArchiveService to archive and PackagingService to package documents.

# Using the Sign API (REST)

The Sign API serves as Signicat's single integration point for electronic signatures and all underlying signing methods, both in a browser and in the context of a native app. It also allows merchants to archive the documents after they have been signed. The Sign API is a one-stop shop compared to the DocumentService SOAP services, which require the support of several subsystems.

For reference documentation on creating a signing order with the Sign API, see Create signing order with the Sign API.

# Using DocumentService (SOAP)

DocumentService is a service with a SOAP web service interface. It is used for creating and manipulating signing orders for document-centric services at Signicat. The service may be used from any platform capable of making a SOAP web service call. Signicat provides several connector kits with wrapper classes for accessing the web service. A connector kit may or may not be used when calling the service.

For customers using .NET, we recommend using a web service reference directly to the web services located on https://preprod.signicat.com/ws/documentservice-v3?wsdl. For production usage, the same WSDL can be used, but changing the endpoint to id.signicat.com or your subdomain will be necessary.

For reference documentation on DocumentService, see DocumentService v3.

# Uploading documents

# Using the Sign API (REST)

When using the Sign API, the document is uploaded to the Sign API's built-in Session Data Storage (SDS) by using the documents endpoint.

# Using Signicat's standalone Session Data Storage (SDS)

Signicat offers a standalone SDS service which is typically used together with our DocumentService and PackagingService SOAP APIs.

In a typical use case, the client first uploads a document using SDS and then calls a method on a web service with a reference to the newly uploaded document. The web service may respond with a message that references another document that the client may download from SDS.

# Packaging signed documents

When one or multiple documents is signed you can use packaging to package it to an electronically signed PDF (PAdES). The PDF contains validated electronic signature data, is protected against tampering and can be easily viewed by end-users.

# Using the Sign API (REST)

Packaging of documents is automatically done when using the Sign API to create signing orders. To see how to use it and available parameters, check out the API reference for creating signing order.

# Using PackagingService (SOAP)

PackagingService is a SOAP web service used for packaging one or multiple documents into an electronically signed PDF (PAdES format). The service may be used from any platform capable of making a SOAP web service call and relies on Signicat's standalone Session Data Storage (SDS) service or on Signicat's Archive service (configurable in the SOAP request) for uploading and downloading binary document data.

Reference documentation for PackagingService can be found here: PackagingService v4.

# Getting archived documents

# Using the Sign API (REST)

With the Sign API it is easy to get documents from the archive and is done with a simple GET call:

GET /archive-documents/{archiveId}

Check out the API reference for more information.

# Using ArchiveService (SOAP)

The ArchiveService API can be used to access documents that are stored in Signicat's archive. All documents in the archive are identified with a unique archive reference which is must be used to access the document. Documents have no metadata and there is no functionality for searching for documents.

Reference documentation for ArchiveService can be found here: ArchiveService v3.

Last updated: 7/21/2021, 1:18:18 PM