DocuSign is the only company in the eSignature space that takes the platform approach to its API. From the very beginning we knew that the days of paper and faxing were soon going to be over. We also knew that we ourselves could not possibly take on eliminating paper from every part of business on our own. Thankfully partners and the development community stepped up and started helping us realize the vision where all contracts, forms and agreements leveraged the power of Cloud Computing – all to accelerate the speed of business.
With the release of our eSignature REST API we again put the needs of our development community first. Even before the release of this new standard we were the only company that gave our developers free and immediate access to development sandboxes, documentation, support forums and code samples. In this release we also invested in interactive tools that help you with eSignature integration.
The first tool is what we internally call “The Rubix Cube” of development scenarios. We heard that while we had the most comprehensive set of functionality it was sometimes hard to figure out how to get started. So we created a grid of the most popular scenarios that our customers and partners implement. When you click into a scenario you get a high level overview of the sequence of calls that your program will need to do. If you click on one of the steps you will see a code sample with a detailed explanation for the key parameters. The feedback from our initial testing is that it’s much easier to get going and incredibly fast.
The second tool we provided is the API Explorer based on I/O Docs from Mashery. This is a visual code generator. You plug in your development credentials and push the “Try It” button. Right away you execute the code against the demo account and you get the JSON of the request and response along with the headers.
This tool has proven to be extremely valuable for rapid prototyping and debugging. Since the release of our eSignature REST API to production, eleven companies jumped on development with the new toolkit. Two were done and certified within seven days.
Another interesting anecdote came from a customer meeting. I joined a conference call where a new project team was discussing how they were going to approach their DocuSign integration. You could tell that these guys were getting ready for what they expected to be a lengthy process. The architect, the development manager, the product manager, and the project manager were all gearing up to write 20 page specifications with weeks spent digging into the nuances of what needed to be done. I pulled up the API Explorer during the meeting and showed them how their system would integrate in about 20 minutes. Once we came to a satisfactory demo I copied the JSON code and sent it over in e-mail. The team was stunned at how easy it was to get going. I think the spec has shrunk by two-thirds.
In closing I want to say that I am proud of the DocuSign team for delivering this amazing toolkit. Mike Roseleip who lead the development, Ben Hurlburt who lead the QA and Vlad Cretu who lead the tool development. These guys came together and created a phenomenal product. I am wanted to thank several external partners who helped us create a truly global standard REST API for eSignature, including Appirio, Box, Mashery, salesforce.com, and others. We are extremely excited to let you guys play around with these awesome new developer tools.
Director, Integration Development