Documentum Upgrade: Impact on e-Signatures

As TSG continues to help clients upgrade their Documentum environments to 6.5, support for e-Signatures has required special attention on several of our projects.  We thought we’d share a few of our lessons learned below.

Lesson Learned #1: Customization is Required to Support e-Signatures on Linux and HP-UX Platforms

e-Signatures are NOT supported by EMC on Linux and HP-UX platforms – a serious limitation for many customers.  The good news is that it is only the manifestation of the PDF e-Signature page that does not work on these platforms; all functionality related to verification and auditing of an e-Signature works as expected.  Furthermore, the method used to generate the PDF e-Signature page is designed by EMC to be customizable.  We easily implemented a custom method that leveraged iText, an OpenSource PDF manipulation library, to generate the e-Signature PDF pages from the captured signature data and Signature Page Template.  iText (http://www.itext.com) is Java based and works great on any Operating System platform!

Lesson Learned #2: e-Signatures May Become Invalid After Migrating to New Hardware

When we migrated a Documentum repository to new hardware, we learned that all existing e-Signatures became ‘invalid’ as a result of the move.  Luckily, the e-Signature audit logs were completely in tact, so existing signatures could still be viewed and referenced according to regulatory requirements.  New signatures however could not be added to any document that had a pre-upgrade e-Signature on it – users would receive the following error when they tried to signoff: [DM_SYSOBJECT_E_ESIGN_PREEXISTING_SIGNATURE_INVALID].   To overcome this issue, we had to implement a work around that involved removing the dm_sig_source PDF rendition for a document and updating the event_name audit field on the pre-upgrade e-Signature audit entries.

For more information, check out the following links:

Planning Guide for Documentum Upgrade

Pharma Documentum Upgrade Challenges and How to Avoid Them