Archiving Adobe Sign documents through eOriginal vaulting services

Digitally manage and protect documents.

Adobe Sign partners with eOriginal to help organizations meet compliance and regulatory requirements by archiving important signed documents in a secure digital vault. Once a document is signed, eOriginal can securely vault it with the highest levels of protection and compliance in a fully digital environment. Organizations can choose to archive all documents in a particular account, all documents initiated by a specific group (or subset of users), or individual documents.

When a document is created, the original document that is uploaded to Adobe Sign is considered the authoritative copy of the contract. The authoritative copy remains on the Adobe servers throughout the entire signature cycle. Once the signature cycle is complete, the authoritative copy is archived in the eOriginal vault, and the document becomes a legal instrument. A PDF copy of the document remains in Adobe Sign, but it is watermarked with “Copy of Original” to indicate that the document vaulted by eOriginal is the only authentic version:

How it works

Upon completion of the signature cycle, any transaction enabled for vaulting will trigger the eOriginal vaulting service to initiate the transfer of the authoritative copy. This is an asynchronous call-and-response process in which the vaulting service requests information from Adobe Sign after receiving a notification, and Adobe Sign provides the content requested.

These sequential requests happen in near real time to ensure that the authoritative copy is stored with the vaulting service the moment the signature process is complete.

After the final signature is applied the following steps occur in the order presented:

  1. The audit report is updated with the event "Document ready to vault"
    • Because the audit report must be completed when an agreement reaches a terminal state, and the vaulting process occurs only after the signature process is complete, it is not possible to update the audit report to indicate a completed vaulting process. The history of the transaction events (stored on Adobe Sign servers) will indicate the completion of the vaulting process.
  2. The document, and all related images, are watermarked. 
    • One unwatermarked copy of the final document is retained for the eventual upload to eVaulting provider.
    • At this point, only the eVaulting provider can retrieve the unwatermarked version using a verified access token
  3. The vaulting service is notified via ping to the Vault Callback that the document is ready for vaulting. 
    • Adobe Sign sends a unique identifier for the document, called the Document Capability Key, to the vaulting service.
  4. The vaulting service requests the document audit trail to create a profile for the document.
  5. Adobe Sign provides the audit trail
    • The audit trail includes the complete record of what happened during the signature process, including the identity of the signers, the date and time of each event, the IP address, and location information (if available).
  6. The vaulting service requests the unwatermarked document.
  7. Adobe Sign provides the unwatermarked document to the vaulting service.
  8. The vaulting service confirms receipt of the document and notifies Adobe Sign that the vaulting process is complete.
  9. The unwatermarked copy of the final contract is purged from the Adobe Sign system.

Note:

The vaulting service only involves the final (authoritative) copy of the document, and the related images.

The interim versions of the document (prior to the final signature) are not part of the vaulting process.

These unofficial versions remain on the Adobe Sign servers in  an unwatermarked state unless  they are deleted through some other process (such as a retention policy or GDPR action).

Diagram of the evaulting process

At this point, Adobe Sign only stores a watermarked copy of the final document. Thumbnail images (as viewed in Adobe Sign) are also watermarked to ensure that there is only one unwatermarked version which is in the possession of the Vaulting service.

Once the document is vaulted, Adobe no longer maintains any unwatermarked copies of the final document.