Monday, February 7, 2011

SharePoint 2010 Approval workflow, a marvel

Way back our team built a multi stage approval workflow with serial and parallel flow options for MOSS 2007. Recently stumbled upon the SharePoint 2010 approval workflow which eventually showcases all these functionalities right out of the box. This is one of the huge improvement in SharePoint 2010

Lets see what are the configurable parameters it allows us to configure

Accepts multiple users who are in the capacity of approving the content ,seperated by semicolons

Determines in which order the execution goes whether serial or parallel, technically in which order the tasks created to the Approvers

Flow of a Serial workflow

Flow of a Parallel workflow

Expand Groups
If checked and groups entered in approvers section will be expanded and tasks will be created for individual users else only a single task will be created for the whole group. Any user from the group can approve or reject

A comment text which will be sent to the approver via email and approval screen also

Due Date for all Tasks
Final date on which all approvals should be completed

Duration per task
Amount of time for each task is due, works along with Duration Units

Duration Units
You can choose days,months or years in this drop down, works along with Duration per task

Want to keep an additional person in approval loop, this is the place to go

End on First Rejection
Any approver rejects the document, workflow gets stopped and document rejected

End on Document Change
Some author changes the original document while the approval in progress, now the whole workflow gets terminated if the original is modified.

Enable Content Approval
Changes the content approval status of the library based on workflow approval


Ranjani Rajagopalan said...

Hi Aravind,

I am using Out of the box approval workflow, but i am facing below two issues.

1) any user is able to approve the workflow , ie Suppose approver mentioned in workflow is "devsev" , even other user like "ranjani" who uploaded the document to the library is also able to approve the workflow. which is a bug

2) I am required to notify the approver that there is a document that he need to review but there is no option for that.

Please clarify if my understanding is wrong.

Aravind said...


I dont know what version of SharePoint you are using, You need to define the permission levels clearly for content authors and approvers.This will solve your issue#1(ref:

Email notifications are sent to the participants automatically but outgoing email server should be configured properly before this.

Ranjani Rajagopalan said...


I am using Sharepoint 2010. I installed SMTP Server but i am not receiving any notification. sorry ,Can you please explain me abt mail configuration

Aravind said...

Have you configured the incoming/outgoing mail settings in SharePoint with the installed SMTP server ?

Divesh Gupta said...

Hi Aravind,

I am facing a problem setting up a workflow. It is a collect feedback WF that is out of the box in MOSS2010. I have some parallel participants & rest are in a serial order. I want that when a task is created for parallel people, it should move forward even if one of them approves. The others can approve at a later stage but the next user in line gets a task. Please let me know how to do it.


Aravind said...

Hi Divesh

I dont understand "some Parallel participants & rest are in serial order". It is an either or choice, either Parallel or serial. not a combination of both.

Only if all parallel participants provided their feed back then the workflow will move on.

Chaitu Madala said...

@Divesh This might help you..