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Larkhill-9267 avatar image
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Larkhill-9267 asked ·

Using Adobe Sign REST API from Access VBA

Can anyone help with using the Adobe Sign REST API from Access VBA either using the MSXML library or if there are any .net objects out there that can be called from VBA


I have fair experience as an Access DB Developer working with VBA so comfortable building the structure to produce the PDF Docs and store information regarding their progress. I have (after some dogged determination) managed to use the MSXML library in the past to send out SMS Texts via Twilio REST API, so have a little experience there, but I know nothing of .NET. - I have seen .NET mentioned on this platform in regard of its use with Adobe Sign but would not know where to start with creating .Net applications myself.

I can't find anything on the web to help give me a start I basically want to:

  • Send out a document via Adobe Sign for a single signatory

  • Hold any Document ID associated with that document

  • Periodically check on the status of the document regarding whether signed etc

  • Send Reminders for signature

  • Download the signed document and Audit Report



Thank you in anticipation af a chink of light

office-access-dev
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AlbertKallal-4360 avatar image
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AlbertKallal-4360 answered ·

Ok, here is the issue and problem.

If you just had to make a few calls - get say weather, or say do a calls for a SMS like you did?

Then I am a "big" fan of using MSXML. It is nice, and if the structures and data is not too complex, then you can make a REST call or even a SOAP call.

The problem with EchoSign (or whatever they are calling these days)?

You have a nice "list" of things to do, and I think hand coding out the calls from Access would be quite hard.

And they do have a WSDL for their signing software. (at least when I looked at and used it with Access about 7 years ago they did). Now most of the industry has moved towards REST (as opposed to SOAP calls). However, the API's to Echo sign are a bit on the complex side. Because there is "some" complexity here, then I do suggest writing the interface in .net, and then exposing the .net code you write as a OBJECT to Access/VBA code.

So for a few REST calls? Sure, MSXML is the way to go. And if you take the XML headers (the get and post headers they provide), you could perhaps cobble this together in Access.

However, because they provide WSDL's (if you choose to use soap) and they provide the documentaiton for .net code, then building up what you need and want is OH SO much less work and efforts in .net.

So, you write the bits and parts in .net, and then expose a "inter-op" object from .net for use in VBA.

Now, unfortantly the above thus assumes you have familiarity with .net, and more so have on occasion used .net code from Access. Both of these things are not all that hard, but of course if you not done this in the past, then you have a good deal of learning.

So, now you having to:
Trade the time and effort of using MSXML + 100% VBA.
vs
Learning .net, using existing published API's they have for EchoSign and writing out what you need. If you have the .net skills part, then without question that's the way to go. It much less work if you done this in the past in .net.

Edit: I just checked their side - SOAP + WSDL's was depreciated mid last year. So in the 7 years since I done this,, they dropped the exact path I was suggestion! (SOAP + WSDL's).

So, it is now REST calls all the way.

So, this being REST calls now? Well, that certainly bodes well here. This would thus suggest that using MSXML for this might not be all that bad. I was lazy, and had WSDL's (they will generate the vb.net code for you - so it rather easy to do things this way).

Given that they are now REST calls? Well, that means two things:
You have a lot of parameters that are part of the URL (just like any web url that has parameters).

And then you have often some "headers" that you have to setup.

Because their is a LOT of parameters, then I would probably want to build a header builder routine.

You can google VBA REST calls - you get lots of hits.

I don't have a active Adobe developer account anymore - so I can't really take a stab at how much work this will be in VBA. But, you certainly can cobble this together in VBA.

As noted, if they still supported SOAP - then without question .net would and was the way to go. But , now without WSDL's to generate your .net code, and Adobe dropping SOAP support, then this will be quite a bit of work - (in .net or VBA).

I don't have more to offer then above. I started typing this, since I built a Adobe interface to Access/VBA using SOAP, but now that "easy road has been removed as a option.

I not attempted to code out a complex rest interface in .net or VBA, and I don't think the work is now much different in terms of using VBA or .net. But without a SOAP option, then you have to code this out - and that's going to be quite a bit of work.

Sorry I can't help much more, but no one else jumped in - so at least now you know you CAN code this out - it just a question of getting up to speed in making REST calls from MSXML. Google around - perhaps some samples exist for signing from VBA. I don't know what code samples they now provide, since as noted, it been about 7-8 years ago since I did this (in .net).

Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP 2003-2017)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I am now trawling the Internet for any examples of making the REST calls from MSXML.
I have managed to find some great little VBA Routines for parsing JSON strings and a really good Guide to using the Docusign API so I may try with that instead of Adobe Sign.
So for now I will bumble my way along, taking one xml REST call at a time
Kind regards

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Larkhill-9267 avatar image
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Larkhill-9267 answered ·

A little update here - After days and days of trawling the internet, days of muddling through new (to me) concepts and generally feeling up to the armpits wading in treacle, I have realised that no-one seems daft enough to use the Docusign REST API from deep within an Access Database

But finally using MSXML in Access VBA and the DocuSign REST API, I today managed to:

Initiate an authorisation to DocuSign,
Created an ‘Envelope’ and added a pdf document,
Sent it to myself as a signature request,

Then oustide in the real world I Received a notification in my email, followed the link and electronically 'Signed' as requested


Back in VBA I 'GOT' the information that showed the document had been signed via MSXML and the REST API.

I found the Rest API Guide V2 Docusign (that's sometime after I was using the V1)
Online I have found out what JSON is and found and used JSON validators, Multiline to Single line JSON converters, rountines to shuffle JSON into a dictionary

Ive also found great little code snippets to convert a document to Base64 - who would of thought you'd need that!!!

But I did it - me, who is pretty low down the scale of geekdom

Now I am sure we are very early stages here and I am also sure that my code will be full of holes and lacking finesse - for I know not why I use some of it. But thankyou Albert -for taking the time to write such a long response to my original plea. It just gave me the courage to give it a go.

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As noted, you might not find a access specific example. However, be from a Android phone, from .net code, or whatever? They all work quite much the same. This whole process is not really limited to Access.

As noted, MSXML is a great choice in Access. Today we see more JSON then xml (when I did my signing app).
But the overall concepts are still the same ideas.

And when I started typing my answer? I had not checked the status of using SOAP calls. As noted, they dropped soap support just mid last year. Fortunately, we not using the Adobe singing system anymore.

Since so many solutions now use JSON? Then of course dealing with JSON data in VBA now becomes a valued skill. My last few goes at web services were in .net - and thus I used JSON and not xml anymore.

So as noted, these technologies are quite neutral - and thus are not really VBA specific. You might be using JavaScript, or PHP - it don't matter a whole lot.

However, VBA examples of REST calls are certainly lacking.


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