DocuSign Signature Appliance APIs

The DocuSign Signature Appliance supports multiple APIs for application developers. This guide provides Quick Start information and examples for the primary APIs.

The Signature Appliance is designed for specific use cases including signing documents in their original formats, including seals and stamps with the graphical signature image, and many use cases in regulated markets and industries. Please contact DocuSign if you’re not sure if a DocuSign eSignature or Signature Appliance API is the right answer for your use case.

Getting Started

Sign up for a free DocuSign Signature Appliance Developer Sandbox account.

Choosing a DocuSign Signature Appliance API

Ready to add digital signatures to your application? This is a Quick Start guide on choosing which DocuSign Signature Appliance API to use for your integration. Each API has its own Hello World example program and quick start information on setting up your development environment.

Note that the APIs used to be known as the CoSign Central APIs. Some of the documentation still uses the older name.

Is your app a web app? Do you only need to sign documents? (Versus management of signers.) Can a browser be used for the signing ceremony? Then first check out the Web Agent API. It includes a full User Experience (UX) layer for signing. Your app communicates with the API via HTTPS calls using XML to pass the signing options. Key benefits: sign PDF, Word and Excel files in their native formats. Fastest integration by using the included UX layer; any language and any platform can be used.

Do you need to programmatically add/change/delete signers? Do you want to write your own User Interface layer? Do you want to sign documents automatically on behalf of a signer without a user interface? (This is often called “silent signing” or “auto-signing.”) Do you want to sign Word, XML or other document types in their native format? Will the integration component of your app run on Linux, iPhone, iPad, or other non-Windows platforms?

Will your app run on Windows but be implemented in Java, PHP or other language not supported by a Windows COM Object? Then first check out the SOAP API. It uses HTTPS/SOAP network calls to provide a complete set of signing and user management functions. Key benefits: a full feature set for all scenarios; any language and any platform can be used.

Will your app’s integration with the DocuSign Signature Appliance be implemented on a Windows server or desktop? Then investigate the Local API. It is implemented as C/C++ libraries and as a COM Object. The library is full featured with all the capabilities of the SOAP API. The library is also more performant than the other APIs since parts of some API functions are implemented locally.

Just need to sign on a non-Windows platform? The new DocuSign Signature Appliance API is an alternative to the Signature SOAP API. See the API documentation for more information.

Mixing APIs

It is often appropriate to use both the Web Agent and either the SOAP or Local API. Your app would use one API to add/remove users. Your app would use the Web Agent API to enable users to sign documents.

API Questions? See StackOverflow

Signature Appliance API questions should be posted to StackOverflow. Tag your questions with “cosign-api”. 

SharePoint API

The DocuSign Signature Appliance also offers a local API for use within SharePoint workflows. The API can be used to create signing actions and verify document signatures. The other DocuSign Signature Appliance APIs can also be used to integrate with SharePoint on-premises or on-line applications.