We found a decent app for PDF creation & e-signatures that integrates with Tadabase [Community Share]

Over the last year or so we have been looking for 3rd party solutions to handle PDF generation and e-signatures that were reasonably priced and could integrate with Tadabase.

What is it?

Recently, we stumbled upon Crove which handles PDF creation, e-signatures, and document workflow automation. Over the last few months, we have built some workflows with it and our experience has been positive enough that I thought it might be helpful to share with the community.

What does it do?

Besides the basic features that all the platforms like this offer, it has a few unique features:

  1. Most apps handle either PDF generation or e-signature, but this one does both
  2. It supports document creation with inline variables, conditionally show/hide pages, conditionally show/hide paragraphs, calculation fields, and complex expressions with JavaScript
  3. You can use Tadabase pipes to create your PDFs, send them out for signature, and then return them to TB upon completion
  4. Support for it’s own API, inbound and outbound webhooks, Zapier, Make (Integromat), etc

There are lots of apps, why am I writing a post about this one?

In short, because it’s really cheap for what it does.

Although we have been using it for a while, yesterday it launched on a startup accelerator called AppSumo. For those unfamiliar, AppSumo is a SaaS accelerator that helps early stage startups raise capital by selling relatively inexpensive lifetime subscriptions to their apps.

That seems crazy, why would they do that?

Most of the apps on these accelerator programs are really early stage and buying a lifetime subscription is kinda lilke buying a lottery ticket. Some of them go on to become Dropbox or Lemlist, the reality is most of them kind of muddle along and don’t amount to much.

From the startup’s persepective, selling lifetime subscriptions is a better deal than giving up equity to raise capital, and it’s also a good way to quickly grow your userbase and gather product feedback.

What are the downsides?

Crove is a startup and I would characterize it’s status as “beta.” If you need a polished fully mature document automation platform and are willing to pay the freight, stick with Docusign.

If you are the type that likes the idea of spending a one-time fee of $100-200 for a lifetime subscription to a platform, and is ok with the fact that you might encounter the occasional bug; or that a feature you need may still be “on the roadmap,” then Crove is is great value. So far, Crove seems to be headed in the right direction.

What do I, the writer of this post get out of it?

Nothing. I am not an affiliate or anything and what I intended to be a quick PSA about an app somehow turned into a deep dive into the inner-workings of startup accelerators.


This post is too long, what is the TL;DR?

App: Crove
Purpose: Document automation, PDF workflow, e-signature
Deal: Lifetime subscription, multiple tiers, $89+
Link to lifetime deal: https://appsumo.com/products/crove
Link to the actual app website: https://crove.app
Is that an affiliate link? Are you trying to sell me something? No, we just found it useful and felt like sharing it with the community


Final Thought

Building custom pipes is hard, maybe if enough people started using it, @moe might even build a native pipe for it :grin:

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This looks great! I’m going to have to check them out and test them out for myself. :smiley: thanks for sharing, @james!

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