Documents in Connect: to send or not to send

Docusign Connect is a webhook solution that notifies your application when selected events get triggered—which means your application can get event notifications when they happen, rather than your application polling for them. But what data should you include in the messages Connect sends to your application? This seemingly innocent choice can determine, among other things, what kind of Connect listener you're going to use. And if you want to use a cloud-based listener, here's one data item you might not want to include: documents.

Why not documents? It seems an obvious item to include in your messages, but there’s a good chance that documents attached to your Docusign transactions are going to be bigger than 256KB. And that's the limit for the most inexpensive and simple cloud solutions. For example, if you're using AWS, and you want to queue messages larger than 256K, you need to use their extended client library, and messages are no longer free. This single factor may decide whether you want to write your own listener and host it on your web server, or use a cloud-based solution. So choose wisely!

There are situations where you really, really need to include documents in your messages: for example, if you want a snapshot of your document at a particular point in your workflow. But in most cases, you can just use the eSignature API to retrieve the documents you want to save to your database once Connect notifies your application that your trigger event has occurred.

In addition to cost, other benefits of using a cloud-based listener are built-in security, no need to navigate your firewall, and no worries about uptime. If you're not quite ready to jump in yet, consider taking Sasha Vodnik's fantastic course at Docusign University: Configure Docusign Connect Webhooks with the eSignature API.

Additional resources 

Robert Knight
Robert Knight
Sr. Programmer Writer