Welcome to the DocuSign API

DocuSign is the most secure and globally trusted platform for adding legally binding signatures, forms and document workflows to your app or service. With the DocuSign API you get the flexibility and control to scale from simple eSignature integrations to complex enterprise applications.

Using the DocuSign APIs you can:

  • Request legally binding signatures on virtually any type of document
  • Embed the signing or sending workflow into your UI
  • Track documents in real-time
  • Retrieve form-field data
  • Enable multi-factor recipient authentication
  • Much more...

How to use the API:

  1. Create your developer sandbox and generate an Integrator Key
  2. Integrate and test the DocuSign API within your app or website
  3. Complete the quick API Certification, purchase an API Plan, and go live

Common Terms

Before we get started let's review some of the common terms that you will see mentioned throughout this site:

Envelope

This represents a container used to send documents to recipients. The envelope carries information about the sender and timestamps to indicate the progress of the delivery procedure. It can contain collections of Documents, Tabs and Recipients and is analogous to a physical envelope.

Document

A document that is to be delivered, representing the content to be reviewed and/or signed by one or more recipients. Documents have names and are always encrypted while stored in the system.

Tab or Stick-eTab

This represents a DocuSign Tab (also known as a Tag or Stick-eTab® ) on a document. It is used in several ways: First, it is used to indicate to a recipient where a signature or initials are required.

Second, tabs can be used to show data or information to recipients, for instance, a company name automatically populates when the signing session is initiated, or a read-only calculated price field.

Third, tabs may be used as editable information fields where signers can add data to a document.

Recipient

Someone who receives the envelope and, depending on the settings, can sign (or initial) the documents or can add information where indicated by tabs. There are currently 7 different recipient types in the DocuSign platform, see the Features section for more information.

Template

A pre-set envelope with specific documents, set recipient roles, recipient routing order, recipient authentication, signing tabs and information fields. Templates can also contain set signing instructions for the document and signature attachment requests. Templates can be set to allow the sender to make some changes before sending the envelope.

Integrator Key

An Integrator Key is a unique identifier for each DocuSign integration. It is used (and required) for all API calls to any DocuSign service. An Integrator Key is required for all integrations, and if you want to move to Production (make calls to www.docusign.net) you also must get Certified with DocuSign. See the Quick Start section for creating your Integrator Key and the Go Live section for information on Certification.

Features

DocuSign's industry leading features and functionality can be integrated into any website, app, or embedded system that can make http requests.

Templates: Create standard envelopes with pre-defined requirements

Templates help streamline the sending process when you frequently send the same or similar documents. For instance, you have a document that you need approved by your manager and their boss once a week. Or you have a standard sign-up form on your website for new users. In both cases Templates can save you time, eliminate errors, and improve efficiency.

Embedding: Initiate workflows directly within your app or website

With Embedding you can seamlessly integrate DocuSign functionality into your app or website, allowing users to send and sign documents instantly instead of using email. With Embedding your users won’t even know they’ve left your website or app, and they won't have to wait for any emails to arrive to initiate workflows.

Recipients: Set specific roles and parameters with pre-defined recipient types

There are seven different types of Recipients you may add to your envelopes. They are: Agents, Carbon Copies, Certified Deliveries, Editors, In Person Signers, Intermediaries, and Signers. Every tab that you add to your documents (such as sign here tabs, initial, etc.) is specific to a given recipient.

Stick-eTabs® (Tabs): Define the actions to be taken by recipients

When you are tagging your documents before sending them out you have numerous tab types at your disposal that you can add for your recipients. You can add signature, initial and other information tabs to help your signers know precisely what actions you want them to take, where in the document you want them to sign, initial or add information, and in what order. You can also do things like pre-populate tabs with data, have calculated fields and dates, have conditional fields, and more.

Send On Behalf Of (SOBO): Allow a user to Send API requests on behalf of another user

With SOBO you have the ability to send API requests on behalf of other users in the same account. For instance if you have an account with two users (let’s say Bob and Sally) with the right permissions enabled Bob could send a signature request on behalf of Sally. To the recipient who receives the signature request it would look like Sally sent it, even though was actually Bob who made the API call.

DocuSign CONNECT: Send real-time data updates to external applications

DocuSign Connect is a separate module that can be used to send real-time updates to external applications. Configured through your account preferences in the Classic DocuSign UI, you can setup a URL that receives http POSTs from the DocuSign system and logic at that endpoint to parse what events just occurred (i.e. document signed, declined, etc.) instead of constantly polling the API for status updates. You can also use DocuSign Connect to retrieved the completed documents themselves.

Additional features

The above features are popular ones but are by no means the only features available. For instance, did you know you can create multiple brand profiles within your account to use during various workflows? There's also things like reminders & expirations, template matching, signer resource files, envelope custom fields, document visibility, signature adoption, and much more. One good way of exploring the various features is to log in to the DocuSign Console and look at the Preferences -> Features page.

See a Live Example

LOAN CO. - This sample loan website provides examples of embedded signing with the DocuSign API. Use the navigation links on the left to access these examples and additional information.

Quick Start

The steps below show you how to create your developer sandbox and Integrator Key so you can start making API calls in the DocuSign Demo environment. Documents sent through Demo are not legally binding and have stamps on them indicating they are tests.

1: Create Your Developer Sandbox

Developer sandboxes are completely free, they never expire, and we give you access to enterprise level features.

Create Free Dev Sandbox

2. Generate your integrator key

An Integrator Key (or API Key) is a GUID that is used to identify your integration and is needed to authenticate your API calls. To generate your key click the Login to Sandbox button to the right or navigate to https://demo.docusign.net and login, then click the profile icon in the top right of the console.

From the drop down menu select Go To Admin.

Preferences

Once in the Admin Console select API and Keys on the lower left side of the screen then click the Add Integrator Key button.

Get Demo Integrator Key

Enter a description for your key click Add and a GUID will be generated, which is your Integrator Key.

3. Try Examples

Request a Signature

This quickstart shows you how to request a signature on a document. The recipient receives an email that lets them initiate the signing process through the DocuSign Website. Advantages are that recipients do not need to install any software and they can sign using any web browser on any device.

Login

The first API call every integration must make is the Login call. The Login call is used to authenticate against the API and retrieve your baseUrl – which is needed to make signature requests and other API calls.

To make the Login call we must provide three values: a DocuSign username, password, and integrator key. Use the same credentials you used when you created your developer sandbox.

Note that you only need to make the Login() call for users who wish to create and send signature requests – signers do not need a DocuSign account and signing is always free.

Create & Send Envelope

To send a signature request we must create an Envelope. Envelopes are packages that contain Documents, Recipients, Tabs, and more. For simplicity we will create an envelope with just one document, one recipient (signer), and one SignHere tab.

In this example we use Absolute positioning to place the tab on the document. You can also specify tab locations using the Anchor Tagging feature or through PDF form fields.

The above code places a signature tab 100 pixels right and 150 pixels down from the top left corner of the first page of your document, which means it might cover document text based on the file you test with. We encourage you to alter the tab settings and observe the results.

Note that if you do not specify any tabs in your request it becomes a Free Form signing experience, which means the recipient decides where to sign the document.

Another aspect to note is the status property which can take one of two values: sent or created. A value of sent immediately sends the signature request, a value of created saves the request as a draft in your account.

Download

You can download the (minimal) sample code for this Quickstart here:

Source Code

Embedded Signing

This quickstart shows you how to embed document signing directly into your website or app. This is done by opening a custom signing URL in an iFrame for web or Webview for mobile. Advantages with Embedded Signing are that your users do not need to context-switch out of your UI and wait for an email to arrive to sign documents.

Login

The first API call every integration must make is the Login call. The Login call is used to authenticate against the API and retrieve your baseUrl – which is needed to make signature requests and other API calls.

To make the Login call we must provide three values: a DocuSign username, password, and integrator key. Use the same credentials you used when you created your developer sandbox.

Note that you only need to make the Login() call for users who wish to create and send signature requests – signers do not need a DocuSign account and signing is always free.

Create Envelope with Embedded Recipient

To send a signature request we must create an Envelope. Envelopes are packages that contain Documents, Recipients, Tabs, and more. In this example we will create an envelope with just one document, one recipient (signer), and one SignHere tab.

The clientUserId Property

To designate a recipient as an Embedded recipient we must set their clientUserId property, which takes a string. Setting this property tells the DocuSign system that this particular recipient will sign in an Embedded workflow, instead of an email-based workflow.

Note that whatever value we use we must remember this value for the last step, where we request the signing URL for the embedded recipient. Just like the request a signature quickstart we will use absolute positioning to place the tab on the document, and we also set the envelope's status to sent.

The above code creates an envelope with one embedded recipient (since we set the clientUserId property), one document, and one signHere tab located at 100 pixels right and 150 pixels down from the top left corner of the document. Since we set the status property to sent the envelope is active and ready to be signed, now we just need to create the recipient view of the envelope.

Request Recipient View (aka Signing URL)

To open the recipient (or signer) view of an envelope we just need to create a signing URL and load it in an iFrame or Webview. The key here is that we must provide the same exact recipient information that we used in the previous step when we created the Envelope. For example, we must provide the same recipient email, name, recipientId, and clientUserId combo that we used in Step 2.

We also need to provide two other values to create the signing URL: a returnUrl and an authenticationMethod, which both take strings. The returnUrl is where the signer is redirected to once they are done signing. The authenticationMethod is an enumerated value used to help identify how the recipient verified their identity.

The authenticationMethod goes into the envelope's Certificate of Completion (CoC) - a PDF that is automatically generated for every envelope - once the signing is complete. Here we just set the authenticationMethod to email to indicate basic authentication was used.

After running the above code all we simply need to do is load the signingUrl value in an iFrame if implementing a web solution or a Webview if implementing a mobile solution. DocuSign recommends not using an iFrame on mobile due to space requirements and other issues.

Note that the returnUrl that you provide will have a query parameter appended to it once the redirect occurs. This is used to determine what action the recipient took. For instance, if the recipient signed the document the URL would look like:

https://www.docusign.com/developer-center?event=signing_complete

Or the recipient might have declined to sign the document, in which case the redirect URL would look like:

https://www.docusign.com/developer-center?event=decline
Download

You can download the (minimal) sample code for this Quickstart here:

Source Code

Go Live with a Streamlined Certification Process

Once you're done developing your DocuSign solution you'll need to put your integration through API Certification - a process where we review your integration for potential security risks and make sure it adheres to general platform rules.

During the Certification process we check your integration and make sure...

  • You have everything you need to be successful technically
  • You are not doing anything strange, like polling the DocuSign service every 5 minutes
  • You have built an integration that puts both DocuSign and our joint solution in the best possible light
  • Any security concerns are addressed

For most integrations the API Certification process takes 1-2 days.

Certification Requirements

SDKs

DocuSign Supported

Community Supported

REST Libraries

Java
JavaScript

SOAP Libraries

Ruby
Objective-C
PHP
DocuSign CONNECT

Modules

DocuSign Connect

The DocuSign Connect service enables the sending of real-time data updates to external applications. In other words, instead of constantly polling for updates (i.e. check if a document has been signed etc) with API calls – to which there are certain call limits in place – you can have DocuSign Connect push event notifications to you as soon as they occur. DocuSign Connect can also be used to retrieved the signed documents themselves.

The Connect Service provides updated information about the status of these transactions, can provide updates that include the actual content of document form fields, and is useful to organizations that want a real-time view into the transactions across their user base in a centralized location. This information can be customized to drive reporting or workflow specific to your needs.

Click here to download the DocuSign Connect Service Guide.
Click here to download the DocuSign Connect for Salesforce Service Guide.

Ready to put your app or website into Production?

Go Live

Go Live with Your DocuSign Integration

Once you're done developing your DocuSign solution you'll need to put your integration through API Certification - a process where we review your integration for potential security risks and make sure it adheres to general platform rules. The following section provides information regarding this quick but critical process, introduces our available API Plans (Certification is included at no additional cost), and explains how to get listed in the DocuSign Solutions Showcase.

Quick links:

API Certification

Start API Certification Process

Certification? What's That?

After you have developed your integration using your Demo Integrator Key, you must get that Integrator Key certified before moving to production. During the Certification process we check your integration and make sure...

  • You have everything you need to be successful technically
  • You are not doing anything strange, like polling the DocuSign service every 5 minutes
  • You have built an integration that puts both DocuSign and our joint solution in the best possible light
  • Any security concerns are addressed

The result of Certification is that your Integrator Key will function with API calls in DocuSign's production environment as opposed to just the demo environment (where your developer sandbox operates).

Please review the following guide before you start certifying your integration as it will help minimize delays in processing. For most integrations the API Certification process takes 1-2 days.

› API Certification InfoSheet

For additional questions regarding the API Certification process please reach out to your DocuSign Account Manager or e-mail apicertifications@docusign.com.

Does Certification Cost Anything?

The Startup API, Essential API, and Advanced API Plans all include Certification at no addition cost.  See our API Pricing page for more info.

How Do I Start the Process?

A DocuSign PowerForm is used to initiate the API Certification process. To complete your submission you'll need an Integrator Key from your developer sandbox, a DocuSign API Plan or Enterprise edition of DocuSign, and a certain number of test transactions completed in the demo environment, among other items. Please refer to the API Certification InfoSheet above for a complete list and a sample certification checklist.

Start API Certification Process

Certified? Now what?

Congratulations! The integrator key from your developer sandbox account will be the same integrator key that you will use in DocuSign’s Production environment. It will not be visible in your Production DocuSign account. Please follow this document for greater detail:

› Post API Certification Guide

DocuSign Branding and Templates from your Demo account have not been migrated to Production. If required, please download them from Demo and upload them into your Production Account. Users existing in Demo have also not been migrated, and will need to be provisioned separately in the Production account.

If you have built a Partner Integration, please note that you must call GetLoginInformation to locate the desired accountID and baseURL. This call is available in both the REST & SOAP API.

For Customer Integrations that are not using multiple DocuSign AccountIDs, the baseURL can be fetched and then persisted.

For Partner Integrations, it is an important part of that partnership to be listed in DocuSign's Partner Solutions Showcase.

Solution Showcase

What is the Partner Solutions Showcase?

  • The Partner Solutions Showcase is a collection of applications found across several different industries and categories that incorporate DocuSign eSignature functionality into their solutions
  • As a partner, your Partner Solutions Showcase listing is a great way to drive traffic to your website and raise your company’s brand awareness amongst DocuSign’s customers and partners

In order to be listed in the Partner Solutions Showcase you must:

To submit your listing for the Partner Solutions Showcase:

There is a lot more you can do with DocuSign to market your product!

  • Build out a page on your corporate website telling prospective customers you integrate with DocuSign. DocuSign is a trusted brand, and being a certified partner is something to be proud of!
  • Do a press release announcing your joint integration with DocuSign.
  • Attend a DocuSign event, such as our yearly Momentum conference. Whether you attend as an attendee or as a sponsor, you will meet hundreds of like-minded, future thinking prospects who are looking for a solution just like yours!
  • Write a guest post for the DocuSign blog. Email IntegratedPartnerTeam@docusign.com for more information.
    - Check out what some existing partners have to say!

In order to help make these activities easier for you, as a Certified Partner, you have access to our Partner Success Content Pack.

The Partner Success Content Pack contains approved DocuSign logos for use on your website, information about messaging DocuSign, options for marketing events with us, and ways to do a press release. If you have any questions related to partnerships with DocuSign please contact: IntegratedPartnerTeam@docusign.com

View the Solution Showcase...