Integrating ServiceNow with DocuSign

I have been working on integrations between ServiceNow and DocuSign for several years so I thought it might be useful to do a quick blog post on the options. 

The good news is that both ServiceNow and DocuSign are extensible with open APIs. This makes it possible to combine the two in powerful, flexible, and creative ways.  

What are your integration options? 

  1. Build using ServiceNow JavaScript and the DocuSign REST API 
  2. Use DocuSign Spoke (part of ServiceNow’s IntegrationHub) 
  3. Use eSignifi (a certified ServiceNow Store App) 

How to choose? There are actually good/strong reasons for each option. So, let’s explore them a bit. 

Option 1: Build your integration from scratch 

If you have never built anything using ServiceNow JavaScript, I invite you to give it a try.  ServiceNow has fantastic developer tools that make building an integration pretty easy and pretty fun. Using ServiceNow JavaScript to call DocuSign’s comprehensive, fully documented REST API allows you to create integrations that work exactly how you need for your use case. Of course, if your integration needs are complex, this may require a fair amount of development work.  More on that later. 

Option 2: DocuSign Spoke 

ServiceNow includes DocuSign Spoke at the Enterprise subscription level of their powerful and popular IntegrationHub offering.  DocuSign Spoke gives you access to the most used parts of the DocuSign API without writing a single line of code!  Instead, you use ServiceNow Flow Designer  their next-generation, wizard like workflow tool  to connect ServiceNow with DocuSign and, potentially, dozens of other systems. IntegrationHub is a powerful way to centralize your approach to integrations with many systems (browse a list of spokes here). 

Option 3: eSignifi 

Ok, full disclosure here: my company, General Networks, is the publisher of this ServiceNow Store App and I was the designer and one of the primary developers. But with that out of the way, eSignifi is very easy to use, configuration driven connection between ServiceNow and DocuSign that can get you up and running and deployed to production in as little as 2 weeks.  You can view the store listing here for more information. 

What can I do with each option? 

Good news here: the answer is…everything! All options will allow you to connect ServiceNow with DocuSign to suit your exact needs without limitation. The difference between the options is how you will go about implementation, from a technical perspective, and how much effort it will require. 

So how much effort will it be? 

Of course, this depends on your exact use case, so let me propose a use case as an example: Let’s say you want your users to be able to send a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) to a vendor from a ServiceNow vendor screen.  It might look something like this: 

Our goal is to push data elements from ServiceNow to a DocuSign template that will produce a properly formatted NDA, send it out for signature and then attach the signed document to the vendor record at the end of the process.  Make sense?  Let me show you how you would build this with each of the integration options.

Option 1: Build your integration from scratch

Building this from scratch will look something like this:

What you will build/configure:

Component Description Notes
Business Rule or UI Action To call your script to create the envelope Just a few lines of code that call the JavaScript function below
“Send envelope” JavaScript function Calling the DocuSign REST API using either sn_ws.RESTMessageV2() or the “Outbound REST message” capability Maybe 100 lines of JavaScript if you write it well and include some comments ?
DocuSign NDA template A DocuSign template with boilerplate NDA language and DocuSign fields for vendor specific information These are easy to create using the DocuSign web application
DocuSign Connect Configure DocuSign Connect to call your ServiceNow instance for events on your envelopes Quickly configured in the DocuSign web application. You will provide a ServiceNow service account with basic authentication to give DocuSign access to your instance
“Receive updates” JavaScript function A function that will be called for each update received from DocuSign culminating with the receipt of the signed document which will be attached to the ServiceNow record Maybe another 100 lines of JavaScript code

The short version

This is probably less than a week’s worth of work to build assuming you already know the DocuSign API and are familiar with ServiceNow scripting and other elements.

Option 2: DocuSign Spoke

Using ServiceNow’s IntegrationHub DocuSign Spoke, you will build a process that looks something like this:

What you will build/configure:

Component Description Notes
DocuSign Spoke Install and configure the spoke including the connection to DocuSign This takes a few hours but it’s well documented
Business Rule or UI Action To call your flow to create the envelope Just a few lines of script – very simple
Envelope creation Flow Designer Subflow DocuSign Spoke actions to create the envelope, map the data fields and download the signed document when the signing is complete About 20 flow steps
DocuSign NDA template A DocuSign template with boilerplate NDA language and DocuSign fields for vendor specific information These are easy to create using the DocuSign web application

The short version

This is a few hour’s work if you are familiar with DocuSign Spoke and already have it installed and configured.  The DocuSign Spoke actions allow you to avoid learning the DocuSign API for all common features (and a few uncommon features too).

Option 3: eSignifi

Use eSignifi, your process will look something like this:

What you will build/configure:

Component Description Notes
eSignifi Install and configure the eSignifi including the connection to DocuSign This takes a couple hours with your team guiding you through every step
Business Rule or UI Action To call your flow to create the envelope This will be automatically generated by eSignifi
eSignifi NDA Map The map defines the data flow between ServiceNow and DocuSign without the need for any scripting 1 map – maybe 25 mouse clicks to create
DocuSign NDA template A DocuSign template with boilerplate NDA language and DocuSign fields for vendor specific information These are easy to create using the DocuSign web application

The short version

This takes minutes if you already have eSignifi installed. eSignifi maps provide a 100% declarative connection between ServiceNow and DocuSign.

Ok, great so how do I decide?

My general advice is:

  • Avoid the “build from scratch” option. We have worked with several clients who took this approach and though it works, extending and maintaining it requires time and may be difficult.
  • If you own Integration Hub at the enterprise level, use DocuSign Spoke period. There just are no good reasons to take another approach for DocuSign integration if you’ve made a commitment to using IntegrationHub as your general integration approach. Being consistent means that your tech folks learn a common set of tools that apply across many integrations.
  • If you don’t own IntegrationHub and it doesn’t look like the right option for your organization, choose eSignifi. It’s very easy and super-fast to get deployed.

How General Networks can help (a blatant plug ?)

No matter which option you choose, we are here to help! We have deep experience with all 3 options.  Here is a summary of how we can help:

 

DocuSign Spoke eSignifi Build from Scratch
We offer an API launch package where we’ll guide your technical team through the process of installing, configuring and building your first use case. Free with your first-year subscription is our QuickStart package where we assist getting you live in production in as little as 2 weeks. We can assist your developers on training and planning resources along with technical advice on an ad-hoc basis.
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