Within many of our applications, you'll be able to include workflow approval at a folder level. By enabling workflow, content published to an application must go through the approval process before it will be published and available to staff.
In This Article
Workflows are added at the folder level. As you create sub-folders, you can have the sub-folders inherit the same workflow process from the parent folder, or change it as desired. To create workflows within the application:
- Navigate to the desired folder where the workflow will need to go
- Hover over the Admin icon > click Edit This Folder
- Click 'assign' beside workflow (this may say 'view' if workflow is already enabled on this folder)
- Click 'Add Stage' > select the type of workflow you want to create:
- Approval Stage - This stage is used when an action needs to be taken or requires sign-off
- Send Notifications - This stage is used for customized email notifications to be sent out to the targeted user(s) or Group. This stage won't count towards the approval process as it's only meant to notify the desired recipients.
- After selecting Approval Stage, choose your decision type:
- Single Decision - There can be one user or a number of users identified as an approval manager but only one needs to approve in this stage. All approval managers listed in this stage will receive a notification.
- All Managers ANY ORDER - Multiple approval managers are listed and will receive a notification that an item requires their approval. The approval managers may approve independently of each other.
- All Managers IN ORDER - Multiple approval managers are listed and all must approve the item. As the approval managers are listed within a specific order, the first approval manager on the list will receive a notification, once they approve the item, the next approval manager will be notified and so on. This will be done until the item is approved by all approval managers.
- Once you have selected the decision type, it's time to add the Approval Manager(s) to the stage.
Note: You can have as many approval stages as necessary within the workflow of the folder. Once an item has been fully approved, it will now be considered 'published' and visible to users that have permission to access the folder.
Approval Manager and Notification Recipient Options
Each workflow stage, depending on the Stage Type, can contain one or more approval managers or email notification recipients.
These are the available approval manager and notification recipient options:
- Submitting User - This refers to the user adding the item to the application.
- User - Presents a dropdown that allows you to select and add users as approval managers or email recipients to your workflow stage.
- Group - Presents a dropdown that lets you select and add a group of users as approval managers or email recipients to your workflow stage. This approval manager Group option is deactivated when the decision type is set to All Managers IN ORDER. There can only be one Group per stage.
- Supervisor - Adds the immediate supervisor of the submitting user listed within their profile to your workflow stage. If the user has no supervisor, this portion of the workflow will be skipped.
- External Emails - Notification Stages also provide an additional External Emails option. This option allows you to define a list of email addresses, separated by semicolons, which should receive an email notification once an item is added to the folder. Note that this feature assumes the email notification is being sent to a user who doesn’t have access to the intranet; therefore the submitting user's email address will be used for the email's From: address to leave the recipient with a channel for back-and-forth communication.
Are your Send Notification stage emails not getting through? Check out our Email Notification Issues article.
Clicking the Advanced Options tab allows you to add additional Approval Options, enable or disable site alerts for the approval or notification stages, add additional approval managers to the stage, and customize wording of workflow emails.
- Admin Approval Override - selecting this box allows administrators to approve on behalf of another approval manager (this is only possible for Super Admins by default).
- Include Edit Approval - Workflow will be restarted for items edited within this folder.
- Automatic Approval - streamlines the approval process for single stage workflows by automatically approving the submission when the person submitting is also the approval manager.
- Restart Entire Workflow on Decline - selecting this box means that when a response is declined by an Approval Manager, returned to the submitting user and resubmitted, it's sent to the start of the workflow process (used when conditional workflow stages are used in the form, as the changes may trigger additional workflow criteria) rather than the default setting of the same position in the workflow.
- Edit Notes Required - Requires the user editing the item to include a comment when saving these changes.
- Allow Only Approve / Decline - This option removes the ability for approval managers to 'Reject' an item.
In addition to the email alerts, turning on this feature will result in a site alert appearing in the my profile area for form responses requiring approval.
Additional Approval Managers That Can Be Added to a Stage
These options further refine the approval process.
- Submitting User’s Supervisor - Allows approval managers to, optionally, pull the submitting user’s immediate supervisor directly in to their workflow stage. After being added, the submitting user’s supervisor will be required to approve the submitted form response regardless of the approval stage Decision Type.
- Approval Managers from Other Stages in the Same Workflow - Allows approval managers to, optionally, pull approval managers from other workflow stages. Once pulled in, the additional approval manager will need to approve the submitted form response in order for it to move on to the next workflow stage.
- Approval Manager’s Supervisor - Allows an approval manager to escalate the approval for a form to their own immediate supervisor. Once added, the supervisor can escalate the form approval to their immediate supervisor and simply approve the form.
- Specific Users/Groups - Allows form creators to add specific users or groups of users as additional approval manager options to their workflow stage. Approval managers can, optionally, pull any of the optional users into their workflow stage.
This section allows you to customize the content in the many types of outgoing email notifications for each step of the approval process. Click the desired notification type to begin modifying the email content.
- After clicking on Workflow Emails to reveal all the email types, on the right you'll see a link for how to reference form fields; this populates the email notifications with key information related to the item being edited (e.g. title of the item, who is submitting the item for approval, etc.)
When a submission is made which has an Approval Stage, it's automatically entered into an approval process, where Approval Managers (either a user or group) must take action. The Approval Managers receive an alert in their Dashboard that a submission was made, with a link to the submission, which shows This Item is Pending Your Approval box.
When that box is expanded, the status of the submission is shown. Clicking on approval history (1) shows all current and future approval stages. Options for current actions (2) are shown on the right side of the box, and are described below.
The Approval Stage options are:
Used when the item submitted for approval is completed as needed. Approval Managers will have the option to add an approval message prior to completing the approval process.
Used when the item doesn't meet certain criteria and requires the submitting user to make further changes before approval. Approval Managers have the option to add a decline reason after selecting this option. There are two types of decline processes available:
- when declined, the response is sent back to the submitting user and upon resubmission continues from the same stage in the workflow; this is the default setting
- when declined, the response is sent back to the submitting user and upon resubmission sends it to the start of the workflow process (used when conditional workflow stages are used in the form, as the changes may trigger additional workflow criteria); this setting must be selected under Advanced Options, as described earlier in this article
Used when the submitted response either was done in error, or wouldn't be approved regardless of any changes made. Approval Managers have the option to add a reject reason after selecting this option. This setting can be disabled under Advanced Options, as described earlier in this article
Reset Pending Workflows
If workflows change for any reason, you can click the button Reset Pending Workflows, located at both the top and bottom of the Workflow tab.
Note that workflows are attached when users click Submit. When you Reset Pending Workflows, the user will receive an email notification that they need to resubmit, and their submission will appear as pending until they resubmit the form and the new workflow is attached.
This will not impact previous approved submissions, only what is pending.
Delete Workflow or Approval Manager
Of course, sometimes you'll need to delete a Workflow or Approval Manager, which can be done very simply.
To delete a Workflow, near the top of the Edit Workflow screen click Delete Workflow, and click Yes to confirm.
To delete an Approval Manager, mouse over the name, and on the right side of your page click the small red icon to remove the Approval Manager. Note that if this was your only Approval Manager, you'll also need to delete the associated workflow (i.e. without an Approval Manager there can be no workflow).
After making any changes in Edit Workflow, be sure to click Save at the bottom of the page before leaving.