Manage E-Signature

The e-signature functionality allows users to sign and approve electronic records within the system. Selected programs, files, and objects can be set up to trigger a request for an e-signature to ensure that review or approval of the electronic record is performed before changes are saved.

This document describes the basic data set up required to activate this functionality in addition to the activities involved in e-signature creation, signature, and error handling.

Basic data for e-signature

Perform these activities to set up basic data for e-signature.

  1. Define programs and files for e-signature

    Programs and files for e-signature are defined in 'E-Signature Program. Open' (SES410). This program is used to identify programs and files that require an e-signature. Records are stored in table CESPGM. A program is an entity that updates data in electronic records stored in a file.

    A program can update records in multiple files. A combination of the two - program and file - comprise the e-signature program that requests an e-signature from the user when changes are made.

    These settings are defined for an e-signature program:

    Field Description
    Signature Event Determines how often an e-signature is required per program. Alternatives are 1-'First Panel' and 2-'Every Panel'. When alternative 1 is selected, the e-signature will be required only once, in the first panel of the program or the first panel where a field requiring signature is changed. The signature will be applied throughout the program. In alternative 2, the e-signature will be required in every panel of the program where a field requiring signature is changed. If comments are required, based on the set up in (SES411), the e-signature is displayed in every panel regardless of the setting, allowing the user to specify the required comments.
    Status Determines if the e-signature program is 10-'Preliminary' or 20-'Released'. Only released e-signature programs will trigger a request for an e-signature.
    Note: Only one individual file can be set to 20-'Released'. This is relevant for programs where multiple files are updated on the same panel.
  2. Define objects for e-signatures

    E-signature objects are defined in 'E-Signature Object. Open' (SES411). This program can be accessed directly or started from 'E-Signature Program. Open' (SES410) using related option 11='E-signature object'.

    Only programs and files that are defined in (SES410) can be used to define an e-signature object. Fields from the identified program and file are set up to trigger an e-signature request. When changes are made in the field, an e-signature will be required. The combination of these three - program, file, and field - form the e-signature object. This is stored in the CESTRG table.

    A blank field can be entered to enable e-signature when creating or deleting records in the e-signature program.

    These settings must be defined for an e-signature object:

    Field Description
    Reason The reason for requiring an e-signature for the object. This will be displayed when the e-signature is triggered.
    Signature Method Determines the method used when signing the e-signature. When alternative 1-'System' is selected, signing is performed within the system by specifying user and password. No external system or security product is used.
    Signature Strategy Determines the strategy used when signing the e-signature. When alternative 1-'Simple' is selected, no other signatory is required. The user who made the changes to the record will also be the one to sign.
    Sign Process Determines the process used in signing the e-signature. When alternative 1-'Synchronous' is selected, e-signature will immediately be prompted and must be completed without interruption. Signing must be made before a new transaction can be started.
    Comment Input Determines whether comments are required when updating an object or executing the e-signature. Alternatives are '0-Not Applicable', 1-'Optional' or 2-'Mandatory'. When alternative '0-Not Applicable' is selected, the comment box is not displayed.
    Status Determines if the e-signature object is 10-'Prelimary' or 20-'Released'. Only released e-signature objects will trigger an e-signature when changes are made.
    Note: (SES411) may also be used to set up comment input when updating a record. To do this, signature method, strategy, and process are set to '0-No Signature' and comment input should either be 1-'Optional' or 2-'Mandatory'.

    Settings for application messages are also defined in this program. These settings are defined for successful signature and failed signature:

    Field Description
    Send Message Determines if an application message should be sent after a successful or failed signature
    Receiver Determines to whom the application message will be sent
    BOD Enabled Indicates if the created application message should be sent to ION in the form of a business object document
    Workflow Name Indicates the name of the workflow to be started in ION when an application message is created
  3. Define exceptions for e-signature

    By default, e-signature is required for all changes in objects defined in 'E-Signature Object. Open' (SES411). In program 'E-Signature Exception. Open' (SES412), exceptions per e-signature object are defined. It is better to define exceptions to avoid missing definition of conditions where e-signature will be applied.

    This program can be accessed directly or started from (SES411) using related option 12='E-signature exception'. The exceptions are stored in table CESEXC.

    • Validations

      New exception records can only be created for existing (SES411) records (CESTRG) with status 20. The table to be validated for exception is the object table being signed. Related tables defined in 'Related Tables. Connect' (CMS011) can also be used. This can be accessed from 'List and Printer programs. Configure' (CMS005), using related option 11='Related Tables'.

      Note that use of related tables are valid only for programs using the new list standard.

    • Assumption

      Verification is not performed between conditions. It is the responsibility of the user to specify correct exception criteria. Exception conditions are specified per e-signature object. The following are defined for each condition in (SES412/E):

      Field Description
      Sequence Sequence (SQNU) starts from 1 and can be manually inputted. If not specified, last sequence will be incremented with 1.
      Join Multiple conditions can be joined by 'AND' or 'OR'. The first condition should always have value of '0-Blank' and will mark the beginning of the entire process exception.
      File The same as the object table being signed or one of the related tables defined in (CMS011).
      Field The specific table field to be validated if the record will be exempted from signature processing.
      Condition Determines the comparison to be performed for the specified value field.
      Value field Specific value to be tested if met to enable exception.

    If there are multiple exceptions created for an e-signature object, the relation between the conditions should be logical to represent the business condition where the e-signature is not required.

E-signature process

  1. Creation of e-signature record

    When changes are made to specific fields that require an e-signature in the program, electronic records are created in 'E-Signature Record. Open' (SES440) with 'Pending' as status. Multiple records are created depending on how many fields for e-signature are changed. The records will be assigned the same unique number series (per panel) called 'E-signature number'.

    Records contain this information:

    Field Description
    Program The e-signature program where changes were made.
    File The file containing the changed field or object.
    Field The changed field or object.
    Old value The old value of the field changed.
    New value The proposed new value of the field.
    Reason The reason for requiring the e-signature.
    Change Date and Time Determines when the changes were made.
    Changed by The user who made the changes in the record.
    Sign date and time Determines when the e-signature record was signed.
    Signatory The user who last signed the record.
    Settings of the e-signature object at time of creation Sign method, Sign strategy, Sign process, and Comment Input.

    When adding or deleting a record in the e-signature program, an electronic record is created in 'E-Signature Record. Open' (SES440) with reason 'Record Creation' or 'Record Deletion'. These records initially get status 'Pending'. Fields 'Old Value' and 'New Value' fields are blank.

  2. Signing of e-signature record

    When clicking Enter in the program, 'E-Signature. Open' (SES450/B) will be displayed. The timing of the display is dependent on the basic option used (for example, add, delete, or change) in addition to the 'Signature Event' setup in 'E-Signature Object. Open' (SES411). Records will be created in (SES450) with 'Pending' as status. Single or multiple records are created depending on the number of fields changed for e-signature.

    When adding a new record, (SES450/B) will be displayed after the record creation panel. Only one line with reason 'Record Creation' will be displayed in the sub file. When deleting a record, (SES450/B) will be displayed after confirmation in Panel D in the e-signature program. Only one line with reason 'Record Deletion' will be displayed in the sub file.

    When updating a record, (SES450/B) will be displayed after the first panel or every panel, depending on the 'Signature Event' setting in 'E-Signature Program. Open' (SES410). Single or multiple fields or objects will be displayed in the sub file, depending on the numbers updated.

    In all cases, 'E-signature number', 'workflow', and 'signatory' will be displayed in the header.

    After reviewing the sub file, 'Process All' under Actions is selected to sign the records. If one or more fields in the panel require signature, a PIN code prompt will be displayed. When the PIN code is provided and specified, the records in (SES440) and (SES450) will be updated with 'Signed' status.

    When signed, date and time of signing and the last signatory will be updated.

    If PIN code is not specified and (SES450) is closed, the record in (SES440) and (SES450) will be updated with 'Rejected' status.

  3. Error logging of e-signature record

    Errors in the signing process will create a record in 'E-Signature Err Log. Open' (SES490). Cancelling or closing (SES450) or the PIN code prompt will trigger the creation of error log in (SES490) with error 'Cancellation'. Entering a wrong PIN code will trigger the creation of error log in (SES490) with error 'Cancellation' or 'Invalid PIN code '.

    In the event when two users make changes to the same record at the same time, only the first signed record will be saved. The second record in (SES440) will be updated with status 'Discarded' and a record in (SES490) is created with error 'Change overruled'.

    When e-signature is cancelled or an error is encountered, no changes are made in the database and the original program and panel will be displayed.

Functional limitations

Only those programs that have the program infrastructure can be enabled to request electronic signature. In order to enable e-signature in other programs, changes should be made according to a template. This should be done prior to setup in (SES410), (SES411), and (SES412).