High Level Description

This page is for listing the content of individual sections that will describe the features on the feature grid.


The cost representation of the range of $ is low cost thru $$$ which is a high cost vendor.


A Monthly or Annual Commitment.

Per User Pricing

Link to the unit pricing of the vendor (Non-API).

Per User Pricing (API)

Link to the unit pricing of the vendor (API).

Per Envelope Pricing

Either a Link to envelope pricing or some other measurement such as unlimited or x envelopes per plan.

Licensing Model

Either per user or per envelope or could be both.

Signer Attachments

Signer attachments is the ability for the signer to add attachments to a signed document such as scanned in death certificates or pictures of their drivers license.


HelloSign - only for Standard + plans.

SignNow - only for Enterprise + plans.

DocuSign - only for Business Pro + plans.

Link to Template (Public)

The link to template feature allows the user to create a template on the vendor’s website and subsequently generate a public link for anyone to click on and sign the document.

This feature is handy for simple documents such as employment applications. Generally limited to 1 signature.

The signer experience is to click on the link and be prompted for their email address. The signer subsequently receives an email with a link to the document.


Foxit - calls Online URL/Link only for the eSign Pro plan.

SignNow - calls Signing link invites. Only for Business Premium+ plans.

OneSpan - calls this FastTrack.

Link to Form

The Link to Form is a simplified system to fill out the form using HTML in contrast to Link to Template(public) which is a fillable PDF experience.


DocuSign - called powerforms. On business pro and enterprise pro.

OneSpan - Accomplished with OneSpan using 3rd parties.

Number of Signers on Public Template

The number of signers allowed to sign on a public template (website)

1,000/mo pricing (API)

1,000 envelopes per month pricing for API version. This is the price range for this vendors for the 1,000/mo pricing for the high level compare. The details for the API pricing is on the API page.

Retention for Signer

How long is the document retained after it is completely signed in the signer’s account.


BlueInk - The Signer’s access to retrieve the signed Documents remains active as well, until the Bundle is deleted. They can access the signed documents through the download link they received via email or SMS. Note that these download links do expire, but in that case, the Signer is given the option to re-send themselves a new download link, to the email or SMS configured on the Bundle.

Retention after account termination

How long is the document retained after it is completely signed and the account holder terminates their account.


BlueInk - Upon Account deletion, all Bundles associated with the Blueink Account are deleted.

Retention Period

How long is the retention period after the document is completely signed inside the account.


BlueInk - By default, Bundles are retained in our platform until they are manually deleted by the Customer. For Enterprise customers, we can configure a different retention schedule, per Customer needs. This is something that needs to set up by our Support team.

Retention Period (Enterpise Plan)

How long is the retention period after the document is completely signed inside the account for the Adobe Enterprise Plan.

Control order of signatures

The order of the signatures for the signing sequence can be assigned in a certain order.


The APi feature is if the vendor supports sending documents via web service.

The SDK feature is if the vendor supplies software libraries that make it easier for developers to use the API. Generally speaking, web service APIs are easy enough to call without an SDK so lack of SDK is not a serious deficiency.

Some vendors have SDKs but they have left them to languish and do not have parity with the API. Therefore, it is important to understand if the vendor website and the API have precisely the same features and then subsequently if the SDK has parity with the API.

The SDK simplifies the access to the API so it is not uncommon for the SDK to have more limited functionality than the API. If the SDK matched the API then it would not be simple to call.

SDK and API Match

An SDK (Software Development Kit) is a collection of tools, libraries, and resources that developers use to build applications for a specific platform or service. An API (Application Programming Interface) defines the methods and protocols that allow different software components or applications to communicate and interact with each other. When using an SDK, it’s important that the SDK’s features and capabilities align with the underlying API it is built upon, ensuring a seamless and effective development experience.

Importance and Context of SDK and API Match:

The match between an SDK and its underlying API is important for several reasons:

  • Consistency: A well-matched SDK and API ensure that the methods and functions provided by the SDK align with the expected behavior of the API, leading to consistent and expected outcomes.
  • Efficiency: An SDK that accurately reflects the capabilities of the API reduces the need for workarounds or custom coding, leading to more efficient development processes.
  • Reliability: A matched SDK and API combination is less likely to result in errors, crashes, or unexpected behavior, enhancing the reliability of the software being developed.
  • Ease of Use: When the SDK and API are well-aligned, developers can use the SDK’s documentation and resources effectively, leading to a smoother development experience.
  • Scalability: Proper alignment between an SDK and API allows for easier scalability of applications, as developers can confidently build on the stable foundation provided by the API.

Applicability of SDK and API Match:

The importance of SDK and API match applies across various software development contexts:

  • Web Development: When building web applications that interact with external services or APIs, using an SDK that matches the API ensures seamless integration.
  • Mobile App Development: SDKs for mobile app development should match the APIs provided by the operating systems (iOS, Android) to ensure optimal functionality and user experience.
  • Third-Party Services: When integrating third-party services via APIs, using an SDK that matches the API ensures consistent behavior and reduces integration challenges.
  • IoT Development: For Internet of Things (IoT) projects, an SDK that matches the communication protocols of the devices’ APIs ensures successful interactions.
  • Platform-Specific Development: Developing software for specific platforms, such as game consoles or embedded systems, requires SDKs that align with the respective APIs.

Context of When SDK and API Match is Important:

  • Rapid Development: In fast-paced development environments, using a matched SDK and API combination saves time by avoiding compatibility issues and reducing debugging efforts.
  • Complex Projects: In complex software projects involving multiple components, using a matched SDK and API combination simplifies the integration process.
  • Integration Projects: When integrating external services or APIs, using a matched SDK ensures smooth communication and minimizes integration challenges.
  • Maintainability: For projects with a long lifecycle, using a matched SDK and API combination enhances maintainability, as updates to the API are likely to be reflected in the SDK.
  • Vendor-Specific Integration: When integrating with APIs provided by specific vendors or services, using a matched SDK ensures accurate communication and feature utilization.

In summary, the match between an SDK and its underlying API is important for consistent, efficient, and reliable software development. It applies to various development contexts and is crucial for ensuring a smooth integration process, a positive developer experience, and the successful implementation of software projects.

API available

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of defined rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate and interact with each other. APIs enable developers to access specific functionalities or data from a service, library, or platform without needing to understand the underlying code.

The availability of APIs is crucial in various contexts, particularly in the realm of software development, integration, and innovation.

Importance and Context: API availability is important for several reasons:

  • Interoperability: APIs facilitate interoperability between different software systems and services. They enable disparate applications to work together seamlessly, regardless of the programming languages or technologies they are built upon. This is particularly important in modern software ecosystems where various services and applications need to collaborate to provide comprehensive solutions.
  • Efficiency and Productivity: APIs save developers time and effort by providing pre-built functions and features. Developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel; they can leverage existing APIs to add complex capabilities to their applications quickly. This accelerates development cycles and allows developers to focus on creating unique value rather than basic functionalities.
  • Innovation: APIs encourage innovation by enabling developers to combine existing technologies in new and creative ways. They empower developers to build on top of established platforms and services, fostering the creation of new products and services that might not have been possible without such integrations.
  • Scalability: APIs allow systems to scale more easily. When a service’s functionality is accessible through an API, other applications can interact with it without needing to understand the underlying complexities. This makes it simpler to scale up a system without significant changes to the internal architecture.
  • Ecosystem Growth: APIs can help build ecosystems around platforms. By providing APIs, companies can encourage third-party developers to create applications that enhance or complement their core services. This can lead to a thriving developer community and a broader user base.

Applicability: API availability applies to a wide range of contexts, including but not limited to:

  • Web Services: APIs are commonly used to provide access to web services and online platforms. For example, social media platforms offer APIs that allow developers to integrate features like sharing, posting, and user authentication into their applications.
  • Mobile Applications: Mobile app developers often use APIs to access device features (such as camera and location), integrate with third-party services (such as payment gateways), and enable interactions with remote servers.
  • Cloud Computing: Cloud service providers offer APIs to allow developers to manage and provision resources in the cloud, from virtual machines to storage and databases.
  • IoT (Internet of Things): IoT devices communicate with each other and with centralized systems using APIs. This enables the collection, analysis, and management of data from a wide range of interconnected devices.
  • Integration: APIs are crucial in enterprise settings for integrating various software systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and more

In summary, API availability is essential for enabling seamless communication and interaction between different software applications and services. It drives interoperability, efficiency, innovation, and scalability in modern software development and technology ecosystems.

API Documentation

A link to the vendor’s API documentation on the web.

Corporation Closes on impromptu Days

This corporation has a policy that will shut down their company for employee “Holidays”. These days may not be aligned with U.S. Holidays so this may affect the support you receive from this company.


HelloSign - Closes about one Friday per Month. This policy was stopped in July of 2023.

Adobe - historically takes entire weeks off, as an example they took The week of July 4th 2023 off as a company wide holiday. During this time they could not onboard new clients or place orders.

SDK available

SDK Availability Importance and Context:

An SDK (Software Development Kit) is a set of tools, libraries, documentation, and resources that developers use to build software applications for a specific platform, framework, or service. The availability of an SDK is crucial for developers as it provides them with the necessary tools and resources to create applications efficiently and effectively.

Importance of SDK Availability:

  1. Development Efficiency: An available SDK streamlines the development process by providing pre-built components, libraries, and documentation, allowing developers to focus on building features rather than starting from scratch.
  2. Consistency: An SDK provides standardized ways of interacting with the platform or service, ensuring consistent behavior and reducing the chances of errors caused by manual coding.
  3. Reduced Learning Curve: SDKs often come with documentation and examples that help developers understand how to use the platform or service’s features without requiring extensive research.
  4. Feature Utilization: An SDK exposes the full capabilities of the platform or service, ensuring that developers can leverage all available features to create rich and functional applications.
  5. Time-to-Market: Availability of an SDK accelerates development, helping developers get their applications to market faster and ahead of competitors.
  6. Community Support: Many SDKs have active developer communities, which means that developers can benefit from shared knowledge, tips, and solutions when working with the SDK.

Context of SDK Availability:

The importance of SDK availability is relevant in various software development contexts:

  1. Mobile App Development: For platforms like iOS and Android, SDKs provide essential tools and libraries to create apps that run seamlessly on these operating systems.
  2. Web Development: SDKs for web development, such as JavaScript libraries and frameworks, empower developers to build interactive and feature-rich web applications.
  3. IoT Development: SDKs tailored for Internet of Things (IoT) enable developers to create applications for smart devices and systems.
  4. Cloud Services: SDKs for cloud platforms allow developers to integrate their applications with cloud services for scalability and functionality.
  5. Game Development: SDKs in the gaming industry provide tools for graphics rendering, physics simulations, multiplayer interactions, and more.

When SDK Availability is Important:

  1. New Projects: When starting a new software project, using an available SDK helps jumpstart development and saves time on building foundational components.
  2. Rapid Prototyping: For quick prototyping and testing of concepts, an available SDK provides a structured framework for experimentation.
  3. Complex Projects: In projects that involve complex features or integrations, using an available SDK can simplify development by offering specialized tools and libraries.
  4. Third-Party Integrations: When integrating with external services or APIs, using a provided SDK ensures compatibility and smoother integration.
  5. Efficiency and Speed: When aiming to bring a product to market quickly, an available SDK accelerates development and reduces time-to-market.

In summary, the availability of an SDK is vital for developers to create applications efficiently and effectively. It applies to various software development contexts and is especially important when looking to streamline development processes, leverage existing tools, and take advantage of the features provided by specific platforms, frameworks, or services.

SDK actively maintained

SDK Actively Maintained Overview:

An SDK (Software Development Kit) is a collection of tools, libraries, and resources that developers use to create software applications for a specific platform or framework. The term “actively maintained” refers to an SDK that is regularly updated, improved, and supported by its developers. An actively maintained SDK receives updates to fix bugs, add new features, and ensure compatibility with the latest technologies and platforms.

Importance and Context of Actively Maintained SDK:

An actively maintained SDK is important for several reasons:

  1. Reliability: Regular updates and bug fixes ensure that the SDK remains stable and reliable, reducing the likelihood of software crashes and errors.
  2. Security: Security vulnerabilities can arise over time. An actively maintained SDK addresses security issues promptly, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.
  3. Compatibility: As technology evolves, an actively maintained SDK ensures compatibility with new operating systems, hardware, and software updates.
  4. Feature Enhancement: Actively maintained SDKs often introduce new features and improvements, enhancing the functionality and capabilities available to developers.
  5. Developer Experience: An SDK that is actively maintained provides a better overall experience for developers by offering up-to-date documentation, support, and resources.
  6. Longevity: Developers invest time and effort in integrating an SDK into their projects. An actively maintained SDK ensures that their investment remains viable and sustainable over the long term.

Applicability of Actively Maintained SDK:

The concept of an actively maintained SDK applies across various software development contexts:

  1. Mobile App Development: SDKs used for building mobile applications, whether for iOS, Android, or other platforms, need to be actively maintained to ensure ongoing support and compatibility.
  2. Web Development: SDKs used for web development, such as JavaScript libraries and frameworks, require active maintenance to adapt to browser updates and changing web standards.
  3. IoT Development: For Internet of Things (IoT) projects, SDKs that interface with hardware components need to be updated to work with new devices and protocols.
  4. Game Development: Game development SDKs require ongoing updates to improve graphics, physics engines, multiplayer capabilities, and other features.
  5. API Integration: SDKs for integrating with third-party services, APIs, and platforms need to be actively maintained to support changes made by the service providers.

Context of When Actively Maintained SDK is Important:

  1. Project Lifespan: For projects with a long lifespan, an actively maintained SDK ensures that the software remains current and functional over the years.
  2. Rapid Technology Changes: In rapidly evolving technology fields, such as mobile app development, using an actively maintained SDK is crucial to keep up with new platforms and features.
  3. Security Concerns: In industries where data security is paramount, using an SDK with regular security updates is essential to prevent breaches.
  4. Third-Party Integration: When integrating third-party services or APIs, using an actively maintained SDK reduces the risk of disruptions due to changes made by service providers.
  5. Large-Scale Projects: For complex software projects, relying on an actively maintained SDK simplifies maintenance and reduces the burden on developers to fix issues.

In summary, an actively maintained SDK is important for maintaining software quality, security, compatibility, and functionality. It applies to various software development contexts where developers rely on SDKs to build applications and systems. Choosing an actively maintained SDK contributes to a positive development experience and ensures the long-term viability of software projects.

Holiday Schedule

These are the days that vendors are closed for normal business. The support hours may or may not align with these holidays.

Live Person Support

Live person support is when there is a live person available by chat to help with any problems or questions.



  1. Chat on website
  2. Assigned account rep
  3. Email Support (ticket number assigned on email) click up now -> hubspot support


  1. Chat via the website is controlled by robots, not a live person.

Embedded Signing

Embedded signing is the ability to put the signing screen within an iframe on the company website so that the signer is the company URL while they are signing and be more comfortable if they are signing a document from that company.

Ingram Micro

Does the ensign vendor have a resale agreement with Ingram Micro.

Page editor

Does the vendor supply a way to create and update the PDFs? All the vendors allow marking fields, this is actually creating a pdf to be signed.

Sales Force Integration

Can the ensign vendor integrate their software with Sales Force.

Corporate Organization

The corporate organization to companies that want to make sure the vendor will be sustained business.

Home Office

Where is the home office of the ensign vendor located.

Stock price trend

A company with an increasing stock price will typically be investing in their product.

Signers Sharing email address

Some vendors require signers to have unique email addresses. This can be an issue when a person shares an email address with their spouse.

This is the ability to handle two signers that share an email address. This happens when a husband and wife are applying for insurance and each one needs to sign.


BlueInk - If in person then the name will be different. The different signers would have a different name and the same email address.

Text Message Signing

  1. Send a link to the user by text message to sign and they click on the link.
  2. Send a message to the user and they respond to the text message to verify phone number
  3. They get a pin by text message and then enter that as a verification.

Selfie before signing

The ensign vendor has software in place to allow a signer to add a selfie before signing a document.

Driver License/ID upload

This feature allows the signer to be forced to upload an image of a DL in order to sign.


BlueInk - Image is not validated automatically. They just believe it is a DL. DL is uploaded to the sender for validation.

Knowledge base

The ensign vendor has a knowledge base where it is a self-serve online library of information about a vendor’s products and services.

User defined access code

The ensign vendor allows a creator of the ensign document to give a signer a access code of their choosing.

Shared Secret

OneSpan - Here is what Shared Secrets are, aka Stagnant Knowledge Based Authentication (S-KBA), Q&A Authentication allows you to present challenge questions to your signer. These are commonly referred to as “shared secrets” since you need to formulate questions based on information you already have on file about your customer, such as the last 4 digits of their social security number or an application ID number. If the signer provides the correct answer, they are verified as the correct recipient of the transaction. This authentication method is ideal to use for transactions such as renewing an insurance claim or an electronic fund transfer.

SMS Pin before signing

The ensign vendor sends a signer a system generated SMS pin before signing the document.

Bulk Upload

This feature is to allow a user to upload a single document and a spreadsheet of email addresses and then send all the documents en masse.


SignNow - only for Business Premium + plans.

HelloSign - only for Standard + plans.

Adobe - only for Pro + plans.

DocuSign - only for Business Pro + plans.

In Person Signing

This feature allows the signer to sign “in person”. Some venders support this directly and other support it by embedded signing (which requires coding).


Foxit - only for eSign Pro plan (min. 2 users).

SignNow - with a different number of signers.

HelloSign - only for Standard + plans.

DocuSign - only for Standard + plans.

In person signing (mobile)

This is the same as In person signing, but in addition: some vendors augment security by verifying the user on their personal device during the signing process.


Does this vendor support Notary Public signing.

3rd Party Notary

Does this vendor support Notary Public signing by a 3rd party.

In Person Notary

Does this vendor support in person Notary Public signing.

Delegate Access

Can a person delegate access to a document that they send.


Foxit - calls Signer Delegation.

DocuSign - calls Delegated signing.

Master Account

The vendor allows a top level administrator for each client to give or remove access and privileges to different sub level account holders

Is there a way for a master account to see all activity on one screen while logged into the all activity under the single billing account.

Professional Services

Does the vendor supply professional services for setting up signing. Is the service by partners or by the vendor themselves.

Professional services by partners

Does the vendor supply professional services for setting up signing by partners.


Allows the company to add color and logos for the page that the signer sees when they sign.


Foxit - only for eSign Pro plan.

SignNow - only for Enterprise + plans.

HelloSign - only for Standard + plans.

Adobe - only for Pro + plans.

DocuSign - only for Standard + plans.

White Label

White Label is similar to Branding but will totally hide the ensign vendors logo so the signer will only see the senders branding.

Data Residency

The location(s) / country where the ensign data resides.


DropboxSign - Dropbox Sign has data infrastructures in both the U.S. and Europe. The European data infrastructure allows companies to store their at-rest or completed documents exclusively in Europe. All documents stored In Dropbox Sign are encrypted and protected.

Adobe - Link

Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)

A qualified electronic signature (QES) can be considered equivalent to a handwritten signature in the European Union (EU) with the use of a qualified digital certificate that is issued and managed by a qualified Trust Service Provider (TSP) in compliance with eIDAS.


Adobe - Link

Marketing at End of Signature

For example, at the end of signing a document, DocuSign sends a marketing message to try to get you to buy DocuSign.



Template Gallery


Signature versus Envelope Pricing


Annual Limits versus Monthly Limits




Handy Links


Mark Fields as PII




Configure with Adobe Fillable Form