Approval Flow

Approval flows are used when a form needs to be reviewed and approved by a user once it is submitted by the initiator, and/or when a form needs to be filled out by multiple users. For example, a field trip request form is initiated by a teacher, and then goes to the school nurse who indicates any medical needs of students on the trip, and finally the principal reviews and approves the form. An approval flow can be used so that the school nurse is alerted to do his/her part of the form once it is submitted by the teacher, and the principal is alerted to review and approve the form once it is submitted by the school nurse. 

The following must be completed in order for the approval flow to function:

  • Fields on the form must be assigned a Field Name.
  • The Can Edit field in the Form Settings must have all profiles who will use the form selected.
  • The Can Edit field in Common Properties for each field on the form must have the profile(s) assigned who can edit the specific field.
  • The form must be tagged for SIS.

When the preference "Receive Email When Forms Require Your Attention" is enabled in My Preferences, you will receive email alerts. The form approver receives an email alert with a link to the form that is pending approval. The form requester receives an email alert when a form is approved, denied, or sent back to originator. The email when a form is approved or denied contains a link to the History tab of the form. The email when a form is sent back to originator contains a link to the form where changes can be made and the form re-submitted.

Adding an Approval Flow for a Form

1. In the Setup menu, click Approval Flow.

2. Select the form for which you want to set up an approval flow in the Flow Type pull-down.

3. To add a direction node or approval node to the flow, click the Add Direction Node (sign post) or Add Approval Nodes (people) icons at the top of the screen. 

Approval flows are created using approval nodes and direction nodes, which are connected to each other. Approval nodes (people icon) represent the user or group of users in the workflow. Direction nodes (sign post icon) identifies the field in the form that will trigger the workflow.

An approval flow should start with a direction node.

4. To name an approval node, click the node. Then, enter the Group Name at the top of the screen. 

The Group Name may be the name of the profile, but does not need to match the name of the profile in order to function.

5. To set the criteria that will alert the approval group, click the direction node preceding the approval node. 

6. Select the field in the Property pull-down that will trigger the alert. These are the fields that were set up on the form in Setup > Form Builder. 

7. Select the Operator (=, >, >=, <, <=, or !=)

8. Enter the field Value that will trigger the alert. 

For check box fields, enter a Y or N in the Value field. For dropdown or radio group fields, enter the value of field choice. The field values were set up in the field options on the form in the Form Builder.  

9. To connect two nodes, click the Connect Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the first node and the second node. 

10. To disconnect two nodes, click the Disconnect Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the first node and second node. 

11. To move a node, click the Move Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click and drag the node to the desired place on the screen. 

12. To delete a node, click the Delete Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the node to delete. 

13. In the confirmation message, click OK

Changes to the approval flow are auto-saved.

Assigning a User to an Approval Group

The users who belong to each approval group are set in the Approval Permissions tab of the Approval Flow screen.

1. Click the Approval Permissions tab.

2. In the User pull-down, select the user to assign to the approval group.

3. Select the Approval Group.

4. Press Enter.

The entry is auto-saved.

Leave the asterisks in the field columns unless the form is only sent to the user for approval if a certain value is selected on a field on the form. The field value that triggers the form to be sent to that user is entered in the appropriate field column. See Approval Scenario 3 for an example.

If fields on the form were set to be editable only by specific user profiles in the Form Builder, ensure the users assigned to the approval group have the appropriate user profile so that they can complete their section of the form.

Approval Flow Scenario 1

In this scenario, the form is filled out by a staff member and is submitted to an approval group. For example, a School Accident Form is filled out by a school staff member and is submitted to the school nurse for approval.

In the Approval Flows tab, this approval flow begins with an empty direction node connected to an approval group named "School Nurse."

In the Approval Permissions tab, the appropriate users are assigned to the approval group.

In this scenario, the asterisks are left in the field columns because regardless of the field value entered, the form needs to go to the nurse.

Approval Flow Scenario 2

In this scenario, the form is filled out by a staff member and depending on an option selected on the form, the form is sent to either one person or another. For example, a teacher submits a form requesting support in the classroom. If the teacher selects "Yes" for "Counselor Needed," the form goes to the counselor, and then to the school administrator. If the teacher selects "No," the form goes straight to the school administrator.

In the Form Builder, the field that will trigger the form to go to either the counselor or the principal is identified. The field has a Field Name and the field values are noted.

In the Approvals Flows tab on the Approval Flow screen, the flow begins with two direction nodes. The Property for each direction node is the Field Name from the form. For the first direction node, the Value is set to equal 1. This is the value for the Yes option for the form field. The second direction node Value is set to equal 2, the value for the No option for the form field.

An approval group named "Counselor" and an approval group named "Principal" is added to the flow. Connect nodes are used to connect the direction nodes and approval groups. For this flow, if the value for the counselor_needed field is 1, the form goes to the counselor and then the principal for approval. If the value for the counselor_needed field is 2, the form goes to the principal for approval.

In the Approval Permissions tab, the appropriate users are assigned to the Counselor and Principal approval groups. In this example, there are two counselors, and either one can approve the form.

In this scenario, the asterisks are left in the field columns.

Approval Flow Scenario 3

This scenario is the same as scenario 2, except the form will go to a designated counselor based on the grade level selected on the form.

In the Approval Flows tab, the approval flow is set up the same as in scenario 2.

In the Approval Permissions tab, the appropriate users are assigned to the Counselor and Principal approval groups. There are two counselors. Whether the form goes to one counselor or the other for approval will be based on the option selected in the grade_level field on the form. The 9th/10th grade option has a value of 1, and the 11th/12th grade option has a value of 2.

Setting Up an Approval Substitute

If an approver will not be available for a length of time, an approval substitute can be designated to approve or deny forms on the approver's behalf.

1. Click the Approval Substitutes tab.

2. In the User pull-down, select the user who is the substitute.  

3. In the Substitute for pull-down, select the approver the substitute is subbing for.

4. Select a Start Date and an End Date.

5. Press Enter to add the line.

Assigning the Form to a User Profile

In order for a user to be able to access the forms in the Forms menu, the user's profile must have permissions for each appropriate form set in Profiles. This should be done after the approval flow for the form has been completed, since once the profile has permission to the form, it is now available for use.

1. In the Users menu, click Profiles.

2. In the Permission Type pull-down, select Menu.

3. Select the Role.

4. Select the Profiles.

5. Click Submit.

6. Scroll down to the Forms section.

Profiles - Google Chrome

7. Select View and Edit for each form the user will have access to.

8. Select View all history for a form if the user will be able to view all the forms submitted by other users.

9. Select View all history direct links for a form if the user will be able to view and edit forms they have the direct link to.

10. Click Save.

Completing Forms and Approving/Denying Forms

For more information on completing forms, viewing draft forms, mass printing forms, viewing form history, approving or denying form requests, or viewing approval history in SIS, please see Forms.