SeamlessDocs Consumes APIs to Enhance Document Workflow

Mark Boyd
Aug. 07 2014, 12:00PM EDT

New York startup SeamlessDocs is committed to using its proprietary technology to manage a government or enterprise electronic document workflow. But even with its focus on its own tech, this Code for America Accelerator alum still consumes external APIs in order to allow better integration of its service into its customers’ document infrastructure. Founders Jonathon Ende and Chachi Camejo explained to ProgrammableWeb how APIs fit into their product delivery.

“SeamlessDocs can convert any form or PDF into a fillable, smart cloud doc. We specialize in working with enterprise and governments in helping make their paperwork paperless,” says CEO Ende.

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SeamlessDocs uses its own proprietary technology to convert documents from PDF format into XML and reserves the use of APIs to integration tasks on the consuming side. Ende explains:

SeamlessDocs relies prevalently on proprietary technology, including our ability to convert any PDF into XML, field detection technology as well as e-signature technology. We currently utilize system APIs to help enable our email deliverability as well as the Braintree API to receive payment.

Because we essentially convert any doc into a web page, we can sync very easily with any API. This includes both the ability to post data to a document or form or the ability to sync data and docs collected to any platform. Currently, data and docs can be synced with Box, GDrive or Dropbox with just a couple of clicks, but with just a little configuration we can sync with any third party (either inbound or outbound).

To avoid security issues with using APIs to manage government documents, SeamlessDocs relies on its own tech:

There are many challenges in creating a secure and data-consistent environment across many browsers, users and touch points. Due to our ability to parse granular information and data of every document and form, we have the ability with utmost certainty to ensure that no data is ever tampered [with] or modified. We use proprietary cryptographic technology and processes to verify that the doc sent is the doc completed and that all data and documents are secure.

Once a traditional PDF is downloaded, it is impossible to know what is done to the document. A SeamlessDocs never needs to be downloaded, so we can, with a granular level of tracking, verification and auditing, ensure that it is the most secure way on the web to exchange a document.

SeamlessDocs is hoping to demonstrate its value to local governments as a participant in this year’s Code for America Accelerator program.

“The Code for America Accelerator aims to foster civic innovation and to accelerate the civic marketplace,” says Dharmishta Rood, Accelerator manager at Code for America. “The companies selected in this year’s Accelerator represent some of today’s most promising civic startups upending the civic tech landscape. All are creating new technology solutions that are already helping governments efficiently solve community and government needs.”

As part of this, SeamlessDocs will be learning how to clarify its unique value proposition. On the face of it, SeamlessDocs may appear to be another e-signature service, perhaps one focused specifically on government needs. But Ende explains that this is only a small part of the startup’s overall service:

SeamlessDocs looks at the e-signature as a small feature of our offering. We consider ourselves a modern replacement to the PDF. We can go to a government with 1,000 PDF forms and convert them all into online smart versions with automated databases and workflow, while other e-signature providers can just help get a doc signed. We can do everything, from simple signing and contract approval to more complicated doc conversion and workflow.

This article is part of a series running this week profiling how this year’s class of Code for America’s Accelerator startups uses APIs in civic tech products. So far, other articles have covered AmigoCloud and MuniRent.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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