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How do I develop a software similar to DocuSign?

Posted 9 years ago

Hey everyone, This is basically what I want to know. I want to create a software to which I have linked a database with employee details and an image of their digital signature. First and foremost there should be a form to enter new employees and edit/delete existing ones and also an option to upload images of the signatures. To that software can be uploaded any document (.pdf) or image (.jpeg or .png). Once the image is uploaded there should be an option to set a clickable anchor point. Once the anchor point is clicked the user should be prompted with a dialog box which requests a password which is predefined in the database and unique for every employee. Once a correct password is entered an image of the corresponding signature should appear on the document with the anchor point acting as a guide for it's initial position. The user should be able to change the position of the signature so that they can place it exactly on the designated area. Note: This is not a word processing software. No changes can be made using this software to the document uploaded apart from the addition of one or more digital signatures. Please reply for any further information required to help me. This is my first project! Please help me out as much as you can! :)

POSTED BY: Aaron Rodrigo
10 Replies

Sean already gave you some ideas for smaller parts of the project, why don't you pick up one of those?

POSTED BY: Bianca Eifert
Posted 9 years ago

So where should I start then? :)

POSTED BY: Aaron Rodrigo

Well, since you're studying IT, I assume that you know quite a bit about different types of programming languages and paradigms. To compare two specific languages, have you tried looking at their wikipedia articles? They tend to be very detailled.

I didn't mean to imply that Mathematica would be unsuited for a commercial application - there are plenty of companies using Mathematica for all sorts of things. It's just that your initial post sounded a bit as though there's a client or boss in the picture and you're making decisions that are above your paygrade.

Now that you've clarified the academic nature of the project, I see no problem with Mathematica. If you're free to choose any language for this project, and development time is a factor, Mathematica is certainly a good bet, and you'll get to know a beautiful language.

POSTED BY: Bianca Eifert
Posted 9 years ago

I am a student and this is for a project. I have till November to complete this. I've already started working on the design of the UI. Can you please explain to me what Mathematica is and how it differs from a standard programming language like Java? Thanks a lot for all the replies btw.

POSTED BY: Aaron Rodrigo

Hi Aaron,

according to your profile, you're a student. I don't know if this is a project for class or for your thesis, but if you actually want to develop a piece of software that will be used in a company, there are many other things to consider. The best choice of programming language isn't determined just by how suitable it is for your problem, but also by things like existing expertise (developers, IT department / maintenance / support, end users) and costs / preferences / real or perceived pros and cons of certain types of languages (compiled/interpreted, higher/lower level, free/licensed, etc). Also, your program would handle highly sensitive data, so information security would be crucial - crucial to have, and crucial to be able to prove in an audit. Do you have to consider any of these points? (Because all of these considerations are certainly out of the scope of this site.)

On the other hand, if this project is just for fun, or a proof of principle, or a learning experience, or something to be used by fellow students and researchers, then Mathematica is a great choice. Even if you want to sell your program eventually and have to switch technologies for that, Mathematica is still a useful prototyping language. Just don't expect to be selling it within a few months. As far as help from forums goes, stick to Sean's suggestion. You will get the most out of any forum if you have a small, well-defined problem and it's obvious that you've put a lot of work into it already.

POSTED BY: Bianca Eifert

You might consider starting by looking how to use PDFs with Mathematica. Mathematica allows you to Import and Export PDFs programmatically. That sounds like a feasible way to start learning about the tools you will need to create a project like this.

POSTED BY: Sean Clarke
Posted 9 years ago

Okay then. Which language should I use? Which software should I use for the development? I started out with the UI design, is this wise? If not where should I start? Please help me with the work breakdown structure and which part I should isolate and work on. I can create the database but cannot add information as they company for which I am making the software will provide their employee details for entry into the system only once they've accepted the system. Thanks so much for replying. It's really helpful. Also I told them that I cannot base it through email connectivity, and simplified the system further. The functionalities I proposed have been attached below and broken into components. Please go through that and get back to me. Your help is extremely appreciated.

Attachments:
POSTED BY: Aaron Rodrigo

Again, an application this big with this many features is too big to address on a forum.

I would recommend looking at some of the simpler parts of this and trying to implement them. If you have a question, then I would ask the forum about that part.

POSTED BY: Sean Clarke
Posted 9 years ago

Thanks so much for replying! The requirement specification has been attached for you to take a further look at.

Attachments:
POSTED BY: Aaron Rodrigo

This is a very large project. It's too large to even begin talking about on a forum. I would suggest breaking it apart into pieces and work on a simpler piece of it. Maybe you can focus on the database for starters? Or maybe start with how to import and edit a PDF in Mathematica?

POSTED BY: Sean Clarke
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