Signhere to sign procurement documents: go or no go?

A client with SAP recently faced the need for a new solution to sign procurement documents electronically using eID or Itsme. Their old solution no longer met current security requirements. They decided to go with Signhere, and I was involved in the implementation and integration with SAP. An interesting experience!

The customer needed a user-friendly tool to sign documents with certified ID verification for procurement documents.

The old solution did no longer meet today’s security requirements. To sign a procurement document, you had to insert your eID into the eID card reader of your workstation. The solution was based on Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and used Adobe Acrobat and plug-ins.

As IE was phased out, the customer had to choose a new browser as their default and a new tool for signing. The customer opted for Chrome as the default browser in the company. However, that was not compatible with the existing solution based on Adobe Acrobat. The customer found a good alternative in Signhere.

Some changes had to be made to integrate the new tool with the existing implementation. The workflow for signing the purchase orders underwent a few changes.

The approval flow had to remain the same, however. The document is handled in custom development in SAP. The people involved approve the content on a Chrome screen. The last person in the approval chain signs the document in Signhere.


This is how the integration with Chrome and Signhere works:

· When the approval workflow starts, the system checks whether a previous version of the document already exists in Signhere. If so, this version is removed. Sometimes a document that is already in Signhere still undergoes significant changes. The idea is that a significant change triggers a new approval flow.

  • If the highest level in the approval chain -1 agrees with the document’s content, it is transferred to Signhere.
  • The top-level in the approval chain then receives a work item in his/her inbox with two options: go to Signhere now, or decide to do so later. If you press the <go to Signhere> button, the system will show you a small process description of the subsequent actions in Signhere.
  • If you select <go to Signhere>, Signhere opens the document to be signed. The user must scroll through the entire document to ensure he/she has thoroughly checked it before signing. The reject button can be used without scrolling through the whole document.
  • If the user decides to sign the document, he/she must confirm Signhere’s terms and conditions by ticking a checkbox. Only then does the <Start signing> button appear. When the user presses the button, a pop-up gives him/her a choice between 2 options: sign with Itsme or via your eID.
  • The workflow waits for feedback from Signhere about whether the document has been signed or rejected.
  • A signed document is saved. A rejected document enters a new cycle for adjustments and approval. In both cases, the document is removed from Signhere, so it can not contain different versions of the same document.

I implemented document signing with Signhere via eID or manually in the test environment. In the production environment, signing is possible with Itsme or eID.



My conclusion is simple. You can sleep on both ears when you consider implementing Signhere to sign your SAP PDF purchase orders. You have several options such as eID, Itsme, or just using your mouse or touchpad.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and questions!

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