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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Different models of approval workflows - First response applies

We have received a number of questions regarding different approval models. Workbox does not offer any predefined workflow models, but allows you to create a workflow that completely suits your needs. We have defined some sample approval workflows that might help you get an idea how to define your own approval workflow.


In this and following posts I will focus on 4 most common ones:
  1. First response applies
  2. One approval (2nd post)
  3. All must approve (2nd post)
  4. Vote (3rd post)
Below I will show you how to implement each of these scenarios on any list.

For every scenario there is a workflow definition file for you to download and use. It will help you understand how the workflow is configured.

I have used a list with content approval turned on, to give you the idea when item is accepted or rejected. In the final approving or rejecting action I have used “approve/reject item” activity. This is just an example of what you can do in the approval actions and it is not required for the workflow to work properly. 

1) First response applies 
This scenario is really simple - decision of the first approver counts. This means if anyone approves - the item is approved. If anyone rejects - the item is rejected. 

Download the workflow definition
In this scenario all you have to do is:
  1. Create a role "Approvers" and add selected users (you can use users, domain groups or SharePoint groups). You can also add users later on with the activity "Add to role".
  2. Create a state "Waiting for approval".
  3. Add two actions "Approve" and "Reject", that lead to where you want, for example to the ending state.
  4. Assign the "Approvers" role to both actions.
  5. In the “Approve” action add “Approve/reject item” activity and set it to approve the current item.
  6. Copy the activity to clipboard.
  7. Open the “Reject” action and drag the activity from the clipboard. Change approval status to “Reject”
What's going to happen:
  1. Workflow enters the "Waiting for approval" state
  2. Members of "Approvers" role have 2 actions "Approve" and "Reject"
  3. After anyone from the approvers launches the action, workflow exits the "Waiting for approval" state and item approval status is set to either approved or rejected.
Next post (one approval, all must approve)