San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe led the charge on the creation of an open standard for digital signatures when it formed the consortium last June. Last week, the classification and parameters of that standard were released for public comment.
With today's upgrades, Adobe Sign (AS) customers will get cloud-based digital signatures built on the open standard through the Adobe Document Cloud. They'll also get several upgrades that enable them to create end-to-end business workflows that go beyond signing and approvals as well as an integration offering electronic signature and tracking within SharePoint.
The New Open Standard
While Adobe Sign's new functionality is interesting, the open standard classification for digital signatures is even more newsworthy.
For the sake of clarity, it is important to understand the difference between an esignature and a digital signature and why digital signatures are becoming increasingly important.
In statement at the time the Cloud Signature Consortium was created, members noted it was "necessary to develop solutions for mobile devices and the web" and to "create and securely manage digital identities.”
Digital signatures require the use of a digital ID issued by a trusted certificate provider. The digital ID is an encrypted string of characters stored on a secure device, such as a smart card or USB drive, which plugs into a computer loaded with special software.
The consortium was tasked with modernizing digital signatures for use on cloud and mobile devices.
Lisa Croft, Adobe’s group marketing manager for the Document Cloud, told CMSWire Adobe's new digital signature tool was built on the new open standard with the specific goals of "providing and improving our signature offering" as well as adding an "additional layer of security."
“Open standards propel entire industries forward, allowing interoperability between otherwise fragmented solutions, and opening up the possibility of widespread adoption,” she said.
Enabling Mobile Processes
Adobe Sign now streamlines the flow of documents and tasks across entire teams with solutions that are mobile, customizable and easy-to-use. More to the point, they are all powered by the recently released Adobe Sensei.
Adobe Sensei is a framework and set of artificial intelligent-based (AI) services built into the Adobe Cloud Platform which improve the design and delivery of digital experiences. Among the new additions are:
Mobile reading and reflow: The Adobe Sign mobile app on iOS users pinch or double-tap to change text size and reflow with five different zoom levels.
Mobile tracking: Add the new tracking widget to your smartphone or tablet, and you can track and manage signatures in real-time from the home screen.
There are a few other additions like advanced document routing, or advanced process management, but what is likely to catch a lot of attention is the ability to use Adobe Sign in SharePoint.
With this upgrade, users will able to add Adobe Sign to SharePoint Workflows for a digital experience that makes it easy to request signatures, track progress and archive documents without ever leaving SharePoint.
While this is targeted at SharePoint 2016, it also works with 2013 and the online service but there is some allowance for SP 2013.
“We have a great relationship with Microsoft. We had Document Cloud integrated into Office products for a while, and we have integration so that you can share documents into SP. This is the rounding out of that relationship enabling users not just store docs in SharePoint but also round that off being able to tick those relationships off,” Croft said.
The preview edition with the new digital signature capacities will be available in the coming weeks.