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The Adobe Sign integration for Microsoft SharePoint provides an integrated solution for creating, sending, tracking, and managing electronic signatures.
This documentation has been developed for the Microsoft Online instance of SharePoint (generally referred to as “SharePoint” throughout this guide), and is intended as a guide to the use of the add-in from the end-user perspective. The installation guide can be found here.
This solution is developed as an add-in application for SharePoint and provides:
- Send an agreement from any SharePoint document library, or list, for signature
- Ability to send documents to a single recipient or group of recipients from a document library or custom SharePoint lists
- Map data from SharePoint lists as well as from a document library into documents through merge mapping when the documents get sent for signature
- Map data from form fields of signed agreement into textual columns of SharePoint lists as well as a document library through data mapping when the document has been signed and its status has been either automatically or manually refreshed through the Agreement Status page
- Archival of all signed agreements within SharePoint
- Ability to add the Adobe Sign Manage page as a SharePoint web part, which can be used by SharePoint users for tracking and updating Agreements
In order for SharePoint add-ins to work, some configuration of Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer / Edge is required. Internet Explorer 10 and older are not supported.
Additionally, IE 11 / Edge users need to explicitly edit their Trusted Sites settings to include the following URLs:
To edit your Trusted Sites:
1. Open IE 11
► Edge users press Windows + S
2. Click the Tools (gear) icon, and select Internet options from the drop-down menu
► Edge users type in Internet Options and press Enter
3. The Internet Options menu opens. Select the Security tab
4. Click on the Trusted Sites icon
5. Click the Sites button
6. Enter one of the URLs above, and click Add
7. Repeat for each URL above
8. Close the Internet Options menu when done
Adobe Sign is an add-in application that is installed by your SharePoint Admin. As a User, you can see the Adobe Sign tab at the top of your SharePoint site.
Clicking the Adobe Sign tab exposes the ribbon with all the available Adobe Sign features.
The ribbon icons are inaccessible until you click within a Document or List web part, or select a document. Once you click into the web part, the ribbon icons become active.
In the modern user interface, the ribbon is replaced by a menu bar. All the same functionality is available through the menu bar:
The ribbon/menu consists of five icons:
- Send for Signature
- Agreement Status
- Library Template
- Manage Agreements
Of these, the first four are the actions you might use on a regular basis for creating and sending agreements.
The last icon, Settings, is where you can define your personal Agreement template. Once defined, you won’t likely return to the page, unless you want to adjust the template. So, let’s start there.
Your personal settings allow you to define a default agreement name and message for all the agreements that you send from SharePoint using the Adobe Sign app.
The Agreement Name field (255-character max) allows you to enter any string that identifies the agreement. This string populates in the Subject line of the recipients’ email (highlighted in yellow below), and also as the name value on the Manage page. Providing a unique and meaningful agreement name helps your recipients identify your email more readily, and can improve your ability to search for the agreement if needed
The Agreement Message is a plain text field where you can enter any instructions or comments that are warranted (highlighted in green below). The message appears on the Please Sign email sent to all recipients and should not be used like the personal notes you can attach for each recipient.
Just under the default agreement name and message fields are two settings that govern how documents can be attached when sending an agreement from a List.
The default behavior is to allow the sender to select a document from within SharePoint.
Two options are available for the user to alter the default experience:
► For custom lists, use a document template from outside of SharePoint – When enabled, the sender bypasses the option to attach a document from within SharePoint. Instead they are presented with the file attachment options as configured within the Adobe Sign system. This can include one or more of the following:
o Attach from the local system
o Attach from the Adobe Sign template library
► For custom lists, always use the designated document template – When enabled, SharePoint remembers the file that you attach, and automatically attaches that file on the next agreement that you create from a list, bypassing the file selection step. Great for when you use the same document multiple times.
Sending Agreements and getting signatures is what Adobe Sign is all about, and in the SharePoint environment there are four methods to begin that process:
- Sending from the ribbon or menu
- Sending via right-click
- Sending from Lists via the ribbon or menu
- Sending from Lists via right-click
All four of these options open the configuration page that allows you to define the Recipients, and the signature order if more than one signature is needed.
Documents sent from within SharePoint cannot exceed 5MB.
If you need to send a document over 5MB, you can upload that document to your Adobe Sign library (outside the SharePoint integration), and attach it from there.
Sending from the ribbon is the method to use if you need to attach multiple SharePoint documents:
1. Select the document(s) to be sent by clicking the check to the left of the document name
2. Click the tab in the ribbon at the top of the page
3. Click the Send for Signature icon
○ All the selected documents are attached automatically
Sending by right click lets you quickly send any document in a list of documents, but only attaches that one file to the Agreement:
1. Right Click the document you want to send for signature
2. Select Advanced from the pop-up menu
3. Select Send for Signature from the sub-menu
The classic menu structure is slightly different:
1. Right-click the list record you want
2. Select Advanced from the menu, and then Send for Signature from the sub-menu
1. Click the list record you want
2. Click Adobe Sign on the ribbon or menu
3. Select Send for Signature from the drop-down menu
The classic menu structure is slightly different:
1. Right-click the list record you want
2. Select Advanced from the menu, and then Send for Signature from the sub-menu
3. Select a file
4. Click Attach
If you have For custom lists, use a document template from outside of SharePoint enabled, you will bypass the SharePoint file attachment window, and move directly to the Agreement page for configuration. In this case, you will need to use the File Section to add the documents for signature.
There are two important features to remember:
► If you have For custom lists, always use the designated document template, the last file used for this list is automatically attached.
o If you need to attach a different file, you must disable For custom lists, always use the designated document template.
► The returned signed copy (and possibly Audit Trail) PDF is attached to the list item as an attachment, instead of being delivered to a new folder.
o If a Document Storage folder has been defined by the SharePoint Admin, the PDF is delivered to that folder instead.
Once a new Agreement is open, you see the configuration page which can be viewed in four task-specific sections:
A. Recipients – The people interacting with the Agreement
B. Message – The name and global message for the Agreement
C. Options – Optional features related to the Agreement
D. Files – The actual documents/files that you need to be signed/approved
o Note that the Document you used to start the sending process is automatically attached to the Agreement.
A. Signing Index – This number indicates the relative position of the recipient in the signature cycle when a sequential workflow is selected.
B. Role – Defines how the recipient can interact with the document. Roles are enabled by the account administrator, so you may not see all options listed:
○ Signers (default)– Recipients that are expected to apply at least one signature
○ Approvers – Recipients that review and approve the document, but do not need to legally sign
○ Acceptors – Acceptors function mechanically the same as Approvers, with the primary difference being that the Audit Report identifies them as Accepting the agreement vs. Approving the document.
○ Certified Recipients – Certified Recipients can have no (zero) form fields assigned to them. During their "signature" process, they are asked to either delegate, decline or acknowledge the agreement.
○ Form Fillers - Designed specifically for customers that have a need to fill in form content during the signature process, but don't have the systems in place to programmatically build custom documents or push field content from a database to the form.
○ Delegators - The delegator role is designed for workflows that require a person to make the final judgment on who the correct next person is that should sign or approve the document. There is a Delegator version for each of the other roles.
C. Email address – Who is the recipient? This should be a personal email address
○ Add Me – The sender can insert themselves into the signature cycle by clicking the Add Me link at the top right of the Recipients section
○ Add Recipient Group – Sometimes, a recipient in the signature cycle can be one of several people. For example, if you need someone from the legal team to sign off, but it can be any one of five individuals. Recipient groups allow the Sender to list all five possible signers, but only require one of the five to apply a signature. (See recipient 3 in the image above)
D. Verification process – How should the recipient be vetted?
○ Email (default) – Authentication is based on access to the email box
○ Password – A sender generated alpha/numeric password that should be communicated to the recipient out of band
○ Social – Authenticate to a third-party social network like Facebook or LinkedIn
○ KBA (USA only) – Knowledge Based Authentication requires the recipient to enter their Social Security Number and then generates several non-trivial questions based on public databases
○ Phone – Requires the sender to supply the recipient’s phone number so an SMS code can be sent when their signature is needed
E. Private Message (optional) – The sender can supply individual instructions to each recipient which appear when the recipient is viewing the agreement. This option must be enabled by the Account Admin in the Adobe Sign UI.
The Show CC link just under the recipient list exposes a field where you can carbon copy (CC) any email address that you want to view the agreement, without them having interactive access.
To change the order of the recipients, you can click and drag the recipients to the correct stack order, and the index numbers adjust properly.
Just above the list of recipients is a switch that asks you select the basic signature order workflow:
○ When Complete in Order is enabled (as shown above), recipients are indexed and a sequential signing process is observed from one signing step to the next
○ When Complete in Any Order is enabled, recipients are not numbered, and parallel signing can take place.
The Message section contains two fields that can dramatically improve your success, and if you have configured your personal template, these fields are auto-populated with the values you have defined.
The Agreement Name field allows you to enter any string that identifies the agreement.
The Agreement Message is a plain text field where you can enter any instructions or comments that are warranted.
These values can be edited until the agreement is sent.
The Options section allows you to better control the document after it has been sent:
► Password Protect - Require recipients to enter a password to open and view the signed PDF file. This password is defined by the sender and would be communicated out of band. Adobe Sign does not record this password, so don’t forget it!
► Completion Deadline - Click into the Completion Date field to pop-up a calendar interface. Select the date on which the agreement expires and can no longer be completed. Document Expiration must be enabled by the account administrator before this feature is available.
► Set Reminder – Set the frequency (daily or weekly) of reminders to be sent until the agreement is completed. Only the current recipients are notified
►Signature Types – This option defines the expected signature process:
o Electronic - This option attempts to collect an electronic signature for all signers to the Agreement.
o Written – When you need to get a physical signature, this option prompts the signers to print the document, physically sign it, and then upload it back to the Adobe Sign system. (Instructions provided to signer when they open the agreement) The Written signature workflow must be enabled by the account administrator before it is available for use.
► Recipient’s Language - Select the language to be used in emails sent to recipients and during the signing experience.
o This setting also defines the visible Message Templates if your account is configured to use them.
If your SharePoint account is configured to allow external documents, the File section is where you attach the documents to the transaction. If you started the process with a SharePoint document, that file should already be attached.
Adobe Sign combines all documents into one inclusive PDF for the signature process, and builds that PDF based on the order that the documents are listed. Documents can be rearranged by clicking and dragging one document to a new list location.
Files can be attached from either the Adobe Sign library, or uploaded from your local system using file search or drag and drop.
File types allowed are: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PDF, JPG, GIF, TIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, RTF, HTML
Just under the Files list you see the Preview & Add Signature Fields check box. This option allows you to open the documents that you upload and place form fields as needed on the document.
If you aren’t using designed templates, you should place at least the signature fields. There are many other fields you can use to build complex forms if you like.
If no signature fields are placed, Adobe Sign automatically adds a page to the Agreement, and places a signature block on that page for every signer.
- If the Agreement is completed (Signed or Approved), the name of the Agreement is link enabled, and shows the completed document when clicked.
- If the Agreement is in a terminal state (Signed, Cancelled / Declined, Expired) then the Refresh action is disabled
- If the Agreement is not in a terminal state, the Delete icon is disabled
Once an Agreement is sent, tracking its progress is best done on the Agreement Status page, accessed through the Agreement Status icon on the Adobe Sign ribbon.
You can easily search for all the Agreements sent using a SharePoint document or list by:
1. Find and select the document/list item you want to search against
○ Multiple documents can be selected
2. Click the Agreement Status option (either in the ribbon or right-click context menu)
If you do not select specific documents or list items to search, SharePoint returns all agreements from all documents/items within the library or list that were initiated by the user.
If the user clicks on the Agreement Status icon in the ribbon from the Home page, SharePoint returns all documents initiated by that user within the whole site collection.
The Agreement Status page has a limit of 5000 records that can be returned to the page. If your search results exceed 5000 records, use the Manage Agreements option.
To filter the agreements in your view, you can use the Search field in the upper-right corner of the page. This search field searches for any string stem in any of the fields, and returns all matches:
The far-right column in the Agreement Status table is a “Refresh” action that actively queries Adobe Sign for an update to the agreement status.
SharePoint automatically updates all Agreements on a regular cycle. The Refresh action allows you to update an individual agreement outside of that cycle.
The last icon to the far right of the Agreement Status page is the Delete icon. This action deletes the Agreement record in SharePoint, but does not cancel or delete the Agreement in Adobe Sign. This action should be used with caution as it cannot be reversed.
Depending on how your SharePoint Admin has configured the Signed Agreements storage, signed documents (and possibly Audit Trails) are pushed back into either:
► A Global folder – All completed documents are in this folder if configured this way
► A new “Signed Agreements” folder in the source library – If no Global folder is identified, a new folder called “Signed Agreements” is created in the Document library from which the Agreement was created/sent. All completed Agreements sent from the same library have the completed PDFs returned to the same Signed Agreements folder
► Attached to the List item – If you sent an agreement from a list item, the attachments are contained in the list
The Manage Agreements icon opens a different and more enabled view of the Agreements related to your user. Where the Agreement Status page shows a simple view of all Agreements with the option to update their status, the Manage Agreements view offers a deeper view into the Agreements, and additional options to modify the Agreement properties.
The Manage page has a lot of embedded features to explore. For simplicity, it can be broken up into four functional areas:
A. Agreement filters
B. Agreement list
C. Agreement meta-data
D. Agreement tools
Along the top of the page we have four tools to help find specific agreements by filtering the lists below. The drop-down lists are dynamically populated from the loaded agreements in the lists. They are:
► Filter by Name or Company – This is a list of every Name and Company name that has been entered as a signer field on your agreements. Selecting any item on the picklist filters out all other agreements.
► Filter by Document Status – This list effectively collapses all the list sections except the one you select.
► Filter by Document Owner – Useful if you view the agreements of other Adobe Sign users, this option constrains the lists to only show the agreements from the owner (sender) you select
The text field on the far right allows you to search for any string that would be a recipient name, a company name, a recipient email, or the name of the document.
The main body of the page contains the lists of agreements that you are connected to. Every agreement that involves you (meaning the email address you log in to Adobe Sign with) is reflected somewhere on the list. Not just the agreements that you have issued, but the agreements that have been sent for you to sign/approve, as well as any agreement you have been CC’d on.
The list is divided into collapsible sections indicating the status of the agreement. Starting from the top:
► Waiting for you to approve/sign – These agreements are at the top of the list because they are all waiting for your action
► Draft – These agreements were created up to the point where they were sent to the Authoring environment, but never sent for signature
o Click the edit link to open the document in the Authoring environment and complete the sending process
► Out for Signature – These agreements are in the signature process and waiting for other people to sign/approve
► Signed – Fully executed/completed agreements
► Cancelled/Declined – Any agreement that was cancelled by you, or declined by a recipient for any reason
► Archived – Files that have been uploaded to the Adobe Sign system for storage. These documents are not part of a legal signature process managed through Adobe Sign.
► Library Templates – Any template created by you, or shared to you by someone else in your group/account
o The ability to edit the template is reserved for the owner (creator) of the template
o Clicking the send link starts a new Agreement with the template already attached
► Web forms– A list of all web forms created by you
The headers along the top of the lists sort the contents of each section by single clicking them. Clicking them again reverses the sort order.
The individual records contain the following information:
Name – The name value reflects either the name or email address of the first recipient that is not the sender
o An email address is used if the recipient has never signed a document through the Adobe Sign system.
o Once a name value is entered during the signature process, the email is replaced by the name
Company – If the first recipient has entered a company name, either through a signature field or by logging in and updating their profile, that name value is reflected here.
o If you do not include Company Name fields in your agreements, this column remains largely empty
Document Title – This is your Agreement Name
Iconic indicators – There are four icons indicating that additional controls are in place:
o Notes - A word balloon icon indicates that there are notes attached to the agreement which can be viewed by clicking the Notes tab in the tools section
o Reminders - The bell icon indicates that at least one reminder is set for the agreement that can be reviewed by clicking the Reminders tab in the tools section
o Password Protection - A pad lock icon indicates the document is password protected against viewing
o Field content - Found only on Signed agreements, this icon opens a CSV file that shows all the field data collected on the document
Date – This date shows the last modified date, meaning the last time the document was updated as a sending event, or a signing/approval event
When any agreement is selected from the lists, the metadata for that agreement is displayed in this small panel. The included data is:
► Name of the Agreement – The name provided to the Agreement when it was created
o Modify Agreement - If the agreement is eligible to be modified, the Modify Agreement appears next to the Agreement Name.
► From – Who sent the agreement (and their Company name if known)
► To – The first signer of the agreement (and their Company name if known)
► Date – The Time/Date stamp for the last modification to the Agreement
► Status - The current functional status of the agreement
o Replace Signer link – If the agreement allows the sender to replace the current signer, a link appears under the Status. This is useful if you have sent the agreement to the wrong email, or the current signer is unavailable
o Upload a signed copy – If the account settings allow for it, a link to Upload the signed document appears under the Status. This is useful for the odd occasion when someone prints the document, signs it, and then mails it back to you
► Message – The original message entered in the Message field
► Expiration Date – This field displays the date that the agreement self-cancels
o Add/Edit - If your account is configured to allow expiration dates, a link to add or edit the expiration date for the agreement is available
The Agreement Tools panel allows you to access a few controls to better manage or understand your agreements.
► View – A thumbnail of the agreement in its current state is shown
► Share – Sharing a document with this feature asks you to enter an email address and a message, and then email that address a copy of the agreement in its current state as well as adding the document to the Manage tab of the designated email address
► Protect – Only available if the document isn’t yet completed, this tab allows you to establish document viewing protection after the agreement is sent.
► Remind – Reminders can be created or deleted after the agreement is sent using this panel. Additionally, you can send a reminder in real-time, or on a specific date.
► History – This tab is an inclusive list of all events the agreement has logged, starting with the Send event, and ending with the final signature event.
o Audit Report – This link generates an extended PDF report of the agreement history including deeper parameters like the IP address for each event
► Notes – You can add a personal note to any agreement. This note is personal to just you, and is not shared to any other user or the signer
Below is a quick reference for the most common tasks you may need to use, followed by a high-level survey of the manage page itself and the feature landmarks.
The Library Templates icon on the Adobe Sign ribbon allows you to send a SharePoint document to the Adobe Sign Authoring environment where you can place form fields, and then save the field enabled form in your Adobe Sign library.
The original document in SharePoint is not be changed. The new document template exists only on the Adobe Sign side, and must be attached via the Document Library option in the Files section of the Agreement.
To create a document template:
1. Click on the document you want to build into a template
2. Click the Library Template icon on the ribbon (or right click and choose from the menu)
○ The Adobe Sign Authoring environment opens, showing you the full document
3. Place the fields needed on the document
○ If you are creating a template that needs input/signatures from two people, place all the fields for the first recipient. Then, change the Recipients field to Participant 2, and then place the fields for the second signer/approver.
Note: When creating a template through the Authoring environment, you can build the document for up to 99 recipients. To insert Participant 3+, click the Add New Participant option at the top of the participants list.
4. Once the template is complete, click the Save button in the lower-right corner.
○ This saves the template to the Adobe Sign library.
The Adobe Sign add-in includes two automation features that your SharePoint admin can configure. If the below functionality is valuable to your process, contact your SharePoint admin to discuss how best to utilize them.
Admins can configure one central folder where all signed agreements (and optionally the related Audit Trails) can be stored. This includes documents from Libraries as well as Lists.
If a central folder for signed documents is not defined, then all signed agreements will be returned to the document library from which they were sent.
A new folder will be created in the library called “Signed Agreements”.
For agreements sent from Lists, the signed Agreement PDFs (and potentially the Audit Trails) will be attached to the List item.