Starting in Documentum Content Server 6.6, using the eSignature mechanism uses iText rather than PDF Fusion to create the electronic signature page. Documentum made this move to iText in order to be able to support creating eSignatures when the content server was running on a Unix/Linux environment, which was previously unsupported. Using the eSignature mechanism still requires a TCS (Trusted Content Services) license from EMC.
When upgrading to Documentum Content Server 6.6, it is easy to overlook the need to update your template. Anyone that had customized the template prior to D6.6 will be required to create a brand new template for eSignatures. Below is the old and new formats for customizing the fields that are shown and their layouts.
Customizing the pre 6.6 “PDF Fusion” signature page:
Customizing the 6.6+ “iText” signature page:
The new iText templating process makes use of proper PDF form fields to pull in the information about the signatures and the document, but the syntax to pull in the various fields is not very well documented. The “PaTr_title_SfFx” field pulls in the title of the document being signed, and the “EsIg_username_1_SfFx” field will pull the username field. The updated documentation for this new templating mechanism contains the following snippet:
Note: EMC Documentum provides standard technical support for the default signature validation method installed with the Content Server software. For assistance in creating, implementing, or debugging a customized signature validation program or a user-defined signature validation method, contact Documentum Professional Services or Documentum Developer Support.
Because EMC no longer provides documentation or standard support for customizing the eSignature page, we continue to advise our clients to create their own eSignature mechanism. We have helped many of our clients implement their own iText eSignature code, which has made their upgrade process to the various new Content Server installations seamless. See this post for more details on how seamless this upgrade was. The great part about having their own eSignature code, is that any changes to how the core Documentum eSignature TCS module works does not impact an upgrade in any way. The client was able to perform the Content Server 6.7 upgrade without realizing that the entire mechanism of eSignatures had been drastically changed in D6.6.
We would love to hear your stories on upgrading your eSignatures during your 6.6 or 6.7 upgrades. Please post your thoughts below.