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Expanding the Power of eSign APIs with Automated Workflows
Published: July 29, 2022

Software developers are often under pressure to deliver applications capable of doing it all.

The average user no longer has the patience to deal with software that can’t seamlessly manage documents or gather information. Nobody wants to waste time emailing or printing forms, contracts, and waivers to be filled out, signed, and delivered to the proper recipient. What they do want is a fast, streamlined, and secure process that allows them to sign documents and send them wherever they need to go.

For development teams, that means incorporating legally binding eSignature features into their applications. Once they’ve addressed whether it makes sense to build or buy eSign functionality, however, they must then think about how to manage those signatures as part of an automated workflow.


Solving Challenges with an eSign API

Although there are some advantages to building eSignature capabilities from scratch, the costs almost always outweigh the benefits unless the software team is planning to offer a dedicated eSignature product. Between the technical challenges of implementing electronic signatures and the steep costs of securing all the necessary compliance certifications to protect them, building those capabilities in-house is well beyond the resources of most development groups. 

Every moment spent working on eSignature features is time not being spent on other application capabilities, which will end up delaying time to market or causing software to launch without some of the key features that were supposed to set it apart from the competition.

Fortunately, third-party eSign API integrations provide a fast and easy solution that can keep development on schedule and within budget. Thanks to robust documentation and a variety of pre-built features, eSign APIs can be implemented within a matter of minutes to allow applications to collect electronic and digital signatures seamlessly and securely.


Great, You’ve Collected eSignatures. Now What?

Of course, simply gathering eSignatures is only one part of a larger process. After using an eSign API to solve the technical hurdle of sending and collecting signatures, the application needs to be able to send them somewhere for processing, review, or storage. Depending upon the eSignature use case, several people may be involved in the process, which would require the application to be able to designate different roles and permissions within a defined workflow.

Considering the next step that comes after a document is signed is incredibly important in helping your business scale. And, doing the research to find an eSign API with workflow capabilities built in is incredibly beneficial in the longrun. Many eSign APIs on the market today are just that—an eSignature only API solution. It’s often not until a document is signed and sitting ithe backend of an application that stakeholders realize they need the application to take things a step further.

The need for these workflow capabilities presents development teams with the same build vs buy question that is faced with eSignature tools. Creating workflow features capable of automating repeatable processes using conditional logic is another technical hurdle that can easily delay software projects. By implementing an eSign API platform that includes these workflow capabilities, developers can save time and build much more complex functionality into their applications.


Unlocking Your Application’s Workflow Potential

Conditional workflow logic makes it easy to set rules to intelligently automate an existing business process. While an API-powered workflow could be used to digitize a variety of tasks, it’s especially useful for eSignatures. Once the signature is gathered, it can be routed to a variety of destinations instantly, such as sending it along to another person for review, adding it to a document that’s being generated, or archiving the data in a system of record.

In many cases, these workflows may need to branch out as part of a more complex process that incorporates multiple tasks to be completed. Automated reminders and notifications can also be set to escalate various tasks if no action is taken. This could include reassigning or resending information or bringing more people into the process to ensure everything remains on track.

One of the major advantages of an API-based workflow platform is that they frequently provide a wide range of templates in addition to customizable workflow builders. These templates allow developers to quickly select and implement a proven, secure workflow for routing eSignatures. Not only can they avoid the hassle of building workflow functionality from scratch, but they can also skip the trial and error of designing a conditional process that meets their application and business needs. If the API offers integrations with other systems, the advantages are even greater because the workflow can securely route data to and from those systems without forcing people to manually transfer information between them.


Expanding Workflow Capabilities with OnTask

OnTask’s eSign API provides developers with a comprehensive solution for securely managing electronic and digital signatures. Of course, that began with building all the features needed to gather legally-binding signatures from any device while maintaining full compliance with important standards like HIPAA, SOC2, FERPA, and CCPA. But it also meant providing developers with the tools needed to route those signatures wherever they’re needed as part of an automated business process.

That’s why OnTask API provides a variety of workflow features, including pre-built templates, built-in notifications, progress tracking, and bulk send tools. OnTask’s flexible conditional logic allows developers to build customized workflows or modify existing templates to ensure that every signature they collect moves swiftly and securely to wherever it needs to go.

When selecting OnTask eSign API integration options, it’s important for development teams to think about both their existing workflow needs and their future requirements. Having the ability to implement and maintain multiple workflows from the very beginning can help to avoid potential challenges in the future. The ease of API-based workflows often leads users to want to use them for a variety of processes, so it’s generally a good idea to keep scalability in mind during implementation.

To learn more about how OnTask eSign API’s workflow features can enhance your application’s versatility and help you do more than simply collect electronic signatures, talk to one of our integration specialists today or explore our flexible workflow pricing options.