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eSignature Documentation

Start using Digital Signature Services (DSS)

1. What is DSS?

1.1 Purpose of the service

DSS (Digital Signature Services) is an open-source software library for electronic signature creation and validation. DSS supports the creation and verification of interoperable and secure electronic signatures in line with European legislation. In particular, DSS aims to follow the eIDAS Regulation and related standards closely.

DSS can be re-used in an IT solution for electronic signatures to ensure that signatures are created and verified in line with European legislation and standards. DSS allows re-use in a variety of different ways: in an applet, in a stand-alone application or in a server application. DSS can also be used as a reference implementation for IT solutions which do not directly re-use it. Demos are also available to assist the use of DSS as a reference implementation. DSS was developed by Nowina Solutions and is maintained up-to-date via new releases.

1.2 Users of the service

The CEF eSignature DSS service is intended for Service Providers active in the implementation of e-signature solutions.

1.3 Benefits of the service 

CEF eSignature's DSS open-source library delivers the following benefits to its users:

  • Open-source software under LGPL 2.1, a non-viral open source license;
  • Written in Java, guaranteeing portability on numerous platforms;
  • Interoperability of the e-signatures;
  • Supports both e-signatures and e-seals;
  • Validation of countersignatures and multiple signatures;
  • A flexible library, that can be:
    • Reused in different topologies: in an applet, as a stand-alone application, server-based, or any combination;
    • Used in its entirety or on a module-by-module basis;
    • Adapted to numerous usages via configuration files or extension points;
  • Alignment with the eIDAS Regulation and related standards;
  • Supports EU standards on:
    • Signature formats and packaging methods;
    • Signature validation procedures;
  • Validation relying on Member States' trusted lists:
    • Status of trust service providers/trust service, compensation of information, path validation.