Electronic Signatures: Endless Possibilities With an API


Electronic Signatures: Endless Possibilities With an APIImg Credit: Hammer

For companies that offer services on the web, access to a robust API has become mandatory. What is an API, and why and how is it useful? An Application Programming Interface, or API, helps access a web based software application through a specific set of instructions. APIs are created to provide developers with access to the instructions for interacting with specific applications. Developers can then design products centered around the specific application without changing the functionality or rewriting existing code. The main advantage of this technology is that it provides the necessary framework for developers to employ their creativity, reducing redundant development work and allowing different services to interact with each other.

There are two different types of APIs: language dependent and language independent. While the former permits only a single programming language, the latter is able to communicate with numerous languages. Therefore, independent APIs are highly useful, allowing various services to communicate and interact with one another, even when they are written in different languages.

How or when will users of a service know that the API is in use? They will not know. The API simply enables the applications to work in tandem. This interaction runs behind the scenes, ensuring total functionality of the application without interruption to the displayed interface.

APIs are indispensable for many cloud computing services and their customers. An API integrates various programs, enabling higher functionality and the ability to handle numerous tasks directly within the cloud.  Basically, Cloud services make use of three different types of APIs; application functionality APIs, data APIs, and control APIs.

For instance, a cloud service company is aiding its clients with billing. The developers of this company would facilitate getting contracts signed on the online platform. Ideally, they would have an e-signature tool, but building this is expensive and time consuming.  So, rather than building the application on their own, they can integrate with an e-signature vendor who has an API. This not only saves time and money, but also ensures top quality in the tool  as a vendor who specializes in this functionality is used.

Electronic signature vendors are one of the most prominent third party applications used in cloud services. With more and more businesses shifting their work online, e-signature is gaining popularity as they contributing to the “paperless” trend. With this technology, authentication and verification processes are simplified with biometric records and optional picture verification. As businesses integrate more with open APIs, many web-based companies can provide more quality and value for their customers.

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