One of the best things about working for an Dropbox Sign is that we get to help thousands of business around the world operate more efficiently. We’ve heard time and time again companies using Dropbox Sign have improved their document completion rates, reduced overhead, and in many cases achieved higher revenue returns using our API.
But what if you don’t have the developer resources to build a custom API integration, or maybe just want something that’s simple but still as efficient and streamlined as possible?
For these use cases, there’s a type of solution classically referred to as Business Process Managers or BPM for short. BPMs allow people to connect different solutions and automate workflows without having to get knee-deep in code.
One company that’s caught our eye building a new modern take on this classic BPM platform is called Zapier. Their platform acts as the “glue” that connects various solutions together to create custom automated workflows. Best of all, Zapier comes with a cleverly designed user interface that makes it so that anybody can connect services together with no coding required.
Dropbox Sign has been partnered with Zapier for a while now and we love how easily they enable anybody to automate the sending of signature requests and the collection of data once the document is completed.
Automate All the Things With Triggers and Actions
Zapier works on two main concepts:“triggers” and “actions.”The trigger is effectively an event listener and the action is what is executed upon that event being detected.In Dropbox Sign’s case, the trigger would be tying into into the Signature Request life-cycle events (i.e. sent, viewed, signed, etc) and if used as an action it would be a “send with template” request.The last version of our Zapier integration was so well-received we decided to keep iterating.
A few short weeks ago we released two major upgrades and a few minor improvements.
The first big change was to provide the following new trigger events: Signature Request “viewed,” “signed,” and “declined.” These were joined the “sent” event which had existed since the beginning.This is great because all 4 are important events in the document lifecycle and depending on which event happens, you may want to then kick off different actions in response.
The second change was to migrate all our triggers over to Zapier Webhooks instead of the old polling model. Webhooks has always been the best possible way to implement triggers with Zapier but they required us to create special endpoints in our codebase to accommodate them.Effectively now when a trigger is fired (i.e. signature request “viewed”), we immediately notify Zapier of the event instead of them having to poll us periodically asking which events have been fired. This will make the triggers operate much more quickly and efficiently, two great wins!
Finally, in addition to both these changes, we also added the ability to include CC fields from the send-with-template action and the ability to include arbitrary metadata along with the send request.
Common Problems Solved With Zapier
A very common pairing with our eSignature API is to use Google Sheets in either the role of a trigger or an action. As a trigger, the Google sheet could fire off a signature request to somebody every time a new row is inserted, perhaps as the result of a Google Form which it is connected to. The template could then use data from the form as the input for custom merge fields.
A second Zap could be set up with Dropbox Sign as the trigger and fire whenever the document is fully signed. The data the signer provides is easily collected in a row entry in the spreadsheet making it easy to manipulate or pipe into another.But why stop there? By chaining together Zaps using Zapier’s library of over 750 apps you can create workflows that are quite complex and powerful without having to put in the development time to build them. As you can imagine, this saves you untold hours performing manual repetitive tasks.
See for Yourself!
Give it a try and keep in mind you can always test our API for free either with Zapier or by using our test mode parameter. When you’re ready to go live, head on over to the API pricing page and sign up for a paid plan to begin sending legally binding eSignatures programmatically. Enjoy!