Can I lock my template based on an electronic signature?

Using Permission Rules, layouts in FCS Express can be locked based on the presence or absence of an electronic signature.

Using Permission Rules to Lock a Layout

In this example, we will create an example Permission Rule that locks the layout when it is Signed and leaves it unlocked if the signature is Unsigned or Never Signed.

To create a new Permission Rule, open the Quality tab and select Permission Rules. Click on the plus icon to Create a new Rule and name it appropriately. For this example, the Rule is named "Lock When Signed".

Enter the Rule Description.  For this example, the description reads This rule will lock the template when its signature is Signed.  To unlock this template, the template will need to be Unsigned or Never Signed.

In this example, the template will need to be either Never Signed or Unsigned to be in an unlocked state.

After creating the rule and the rule description, there are 2 parts to complete this process:

  1. The creation of the custom token that will define the condition in which this rule will be enabled,
  2. and, the selection of the Actions Secured by this Rule.

First, create the custom token.

The custom token will define whether the condition of an Unsigned or Never Signed signature is present in this template.

In this example, we will create a custom token called Signature Check.

Within this custom token, we will use IF THEN ELSE logic to define our condition.

In this example, we are evaluating whether the signature being used is returning either Never Signed or Unsigned.

Signature tokens can be inserted into the string with a right-click.

Since the signature tokens are text outputs, it is important to make sure that FCS Express evaluates those tokens as Text.  Make sure to right-click on each signature token and select Result Type > Text.

In layman's terms, this statement will return:

  • a 0 if the signature status is Never Signed or Unsigned,
  • or, a 1 if the signature status is Signed.

In FCS Express-speak, a 0 equals False.  A -1 equals True.

We will use the output from this condition in the Rule Formula to either lock or unlock the template.

Now that the custom token defining the condition has been created, we can select the Actions Secure by this Rule and we can define the Rule Formula.

This image shows how this example would look:

Under the Actions secured by this Rule, Layout Operations, Security Operations, and Permission Rule Operations are unchecked.

All other actions are checked.

By leaving the Security Operations and Permission Rule Operations unchecked, we are allowing electronic signatures and Permission Rules to be added, removed, or edited. This will enable the Permission Rules to be edited as needed even when the template is locked, and electronic signatures to be added or removed at any time.

The Rule formula is a conditional statement that evaluates to true or false. When the formula evaluates to true, the Actions secured by this rule will be locked. When false, no Actions will be locked.

For this example, we will base the Rule Formula on a formula that is built into FCS Express, IsFalse.

The user can simply type into the Rule Formula field =IsFalse( followed by the custom token that was created earlier and then close the statement with a ).

IsFalse will output a True value if the condition that is presented in the parenthesis is False, or 0.

Once this Permission Rule is in place, and the template has a signature that is in a Signed state, specific actions cannot be performed until the document is Unsigned.

Using this example Permission Rule, if a user attempts to move a gate after signing:

Or, if a user attempts to delete a 2D plot:

FCS Express will output the messages above as a result.

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