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Approvals - Multiple Approvers - How to capture all their responses and comments?

I'd like to set up an approval which requires multiple approvers (where the approval must be approve by everyone). Couple questions:

  1. How do I capture their responses, response dates and comments in a SharePoint list if there are two or more approvers? I can't see any option for how to do that.
  2. If there are two approvers what happens if one person approves and the other rejects? I don't have a lot of time for R&D so I'm hoping someone can just tell me so I can just skip to setting up a flow of approvals instead of adding multiple people to one. 

Thanks for reading. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @CP153319,

 

Could you please share more details about your SharePoint list?

Further, could you please show a screenshot of your flow's configuration?

 

For your first question, you could consider take a try to add a Multiple lines of text type column in your SharePoint list to store all approvers' response, response date and comment. I have created a SharePoint list on my side and the data structure of it as below:11.JPG

Note: The Response column is a Multiple lines of text type column in my SharePoint list.

 

I have made a test on my side and please take a try with the following workaround:

  • Add a "When an item is created" trigger, specify Site Address and List Name.
  • Add a Variables-> "Initialize variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Type set to String and Value set to empty.
  • Add a "Start an approval" action, Approval type set to Everyone from the assigned list, specify Assigned to .
  • Add a "Apply to each" action, input parameter set to Responses dynamic content of the "Start an approval" action. Within "Apply to each" action, add a "Compose" action, Inputs field set to following formula:

 

concat('ApproverName: ',item()?['responder']?['displayName'],' ResponseDate: ',item()?['responseDate'],' Comment: ',item()?['comments'],'</br>',variables('AllResponses'))

 

Add a "Set variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Value set to output of the "Compose" action.

 

  • Under "Apply to each" action, add a "Update item" action, specify Site Address and List Name, The Responses field set to AllResponses variable.

Image reference:12.JPG

 

13.JPG

The flow works successfully as below:14.JPG

 

15.JPG

 

 

For your second question, any one of the two approvers reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected. In addition, if first approver reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected and the second approver could not make any response to this approval request.

 

 

Best regards,

Kris

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

View solution in original post

43 REPLIES 43
ScottShearer
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

You can capture responses from the approvers in two ways:

1) Reference the response summary data via dynamic properties.  This method does not include the approver comments

2) Loop through all the responses (Apply to each) and reference the Approver Name, Response and Comments columns

 

If one approver rejects, then the request is rejected and the approval ends at that time.

 

Please post if you have more questions or if this solves your issue.

 

In the Flow below, I update a multiline SharePoint column with the data in the variable at the end of the Flow.

 

ApproverComment1.jpgApproval2.png

 

 

 

If I have answered your question, please mark your post as Solved.
If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up.

Scott
v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @CP153319,

 

Could you please share more details about your SharePoint list?

Further, could you please show a screenshot of your flow's configuration?

 

For your first question, you could consider take a try to add a Multiple lines of text type column in your SharePoint list to store all approvers' response, response date and comment. I have created a SharePoint list on my side and the data structure of it as below:11.JPG

Note: The Response column is a Multiple lines of text type column in my SharePoint list.

 

I have made a test on my side and please take a try with the following workaround:

  • Add a "When an item is created" trigger, specify Site Address and List Name.
  • Add a Variables-> "Initialize variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Type set to String and Value set to empty.
  • Add a "Start an approval" action, Approval type set to Everyone from the assigned list, specify Assigned to .
  • Add a "Apply to each" action, input parameter set to Responses dynamic content of the "Start an approval" action. Within "Apply to each" action, add a "Compose" action, Inputs field set to following formula:

 

concat('ApproverName: ',item()?['responder']?['displayName'],' ResponseDate: ',item()?['responseDate'],' Comment: ',item()?['comments'],'</br>',variables('AllResponses'))

 

Add a "Set variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Value set to output of the "Compose" action.

 

  • Under "Apply to each" action, add a "Update item" action, specify Site Address and List Name, The Responses field set to AllResponses variable.

Image reference:12.JPG

 

13.JPG

The flow works successfully as below:14.JPG

 

15.JPG

 

 

For your second question, any one of the two approvers reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected. In addition, if first approver reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected and the second approver could not make any response to this approval request.

 

 

Best regards,

Kris

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Thank you for taking the time to do that! 

 

I've chosen to take another route, not for design reasons but because I need the flow to keep pushing forward (can't have one person reject and it stops). 

 

I've marked your response as a solution because that would work and I've seen other people asking about that type of solution. 

 

Thanks

Hi,

 

I have about 8 approvers. I observed that the "Responses"Column in the SharePoint List doesnt hold any data until all 8 of them have approved.

 

Is there a way to make the responses update as the users are approving the item? Thats what I really need. I need to know who has approved/rejected and who hasn't any


@v-xida-msft wrote:

Hi @CP153319,

 

Could you please share more details about your SharePoint list?

Further, could you please show a screenshot of your flow's configuration?

 

For your first question, you could consider take a try to add a Multiple lines of text type column in your SharePoint list to store all approvers' response, response date and comment. I have created a SharePoint list on my side and the data structure of it as below:11.JPG

Note: The Response column is a Multiple lines of text type column in my SharePoint list.

 

I have made a test on my side and please take a try with the following workaround:

  • Add a "When an item is created" trigger, specify Site Address and List Name.
  • Add a Variables-> "Initialize variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Type set to String and Value set to empty.
  • Add a "Start an approval" action, Approval type set to Everyone from the assigned list, specify Assigned to .
  • Add a "Apply to each" action, input parameter set to Responses dynamic content of the "Start an approval" action. Within "Apply to each" action, add a "Compose" action, Inputs field set to following formula:

 

concat('ApproverName: ',item()?['responder']?['displayName'],' ResponseDate: ',item()?['responseDate'],' Comment: ',item()?['comments'],'</br>',variables('AllResponses'))

 

Add a "Set variable" action, Name set to AllResponses, Value set to output of the "Compose" action.

 

  • Under "Apply to each" action, add a "Update item" action, specify Site Address and List Name, The Responses field set to AllResponses variable.

Image reference:12.JPG

 

13.JPG

The flow works successfully as below:14.JPG

 

15.JPG

 

 

For your second question, any one of the two approvers reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected. In addition, if first approver reject the approval request, the whole approval request would be as rejected and the second approver could not make any response to this approval request.

 

 

Best regards,

Kris



per time. 

 

Your suggestion will be most appreciated. Or am i missing out something u have explained above?

 

Regards

I got everything to work, which was great, however I can't seem to get the responses on seperate lines.  Is there a way to do this.  My form is created from a custom list in PowerApps, it looks like that is the only difference.  It's like the concat string doesn't understand </br>. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Thanks for posting this solution. I'm trying to do something like this and realised this too. My issue is that I'm calling in my approvers from a mult-person field and it puts the whole approval into a 'for each' loop. Is it still possible to capture the complete responses and act on them similar to this example?

Anonymous
Not applicable

How would you adjust the formula if I want to have all the response names, date, and outcome in separate fields? Not concatenated in the one field. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Also for some reason I am getting all responses concatenated on one line entry in my SP list but then another line for one other approver - can't figure out how or why that is happening? 

Anonymous
Not applicable

I have tried this method, but every time I get to the "Update Item" portion it asks for a list name. However, I need this to say Folder Name. How can I work around this?

Anonymous
Not applicable

The 'Update Item' action is for SharePoint lists and as such wont have a 'Folder' option. Are you trying to update a document or something?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Yes, I am trying to create a flow for multidepartmental approval workflows. In our process at least 3 to 4 managers have to sign off on the document for Standard Operating Procedures, Policies, etc.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi,

 Try using the SharePoint 'Update File Properties' action in that case and you'll be able to update the item you're running the approval on. If I've mis-understood this then you might want to share an image of your flow so we can better understand what you're trying to do.

Thanks,

Jason.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Below is where I keep getting stuck. I want to choose who to email at the time of the approval request. I don't want the request to be automated because I need to review the formatting prior to the approval start. I will manually trigger the approval. I need to select the managers who will do the approval at the time of the request, because each document has different requirements, especially SOPs, Policies, etc.

 

I am not certain if I need the "Initialize Variable" component.I am not certain if I need the "Initialize Variable" component.

 

start and wait for an approval.JPG

start and wait for an approval4.JPG    start and wait for an approval5.JPG

Here is the flow overview.

start and wait for an approval2.JPG

You could create a column in your document Library called "Approval Type" and make it a "Choice" column where you can pick which type of approval the document requires. Then, in your flow, initialize a variable for this choice column and then run a switch on it where you have a separate approval for each choice. You can then send the approvals to the right people.

Anonymous
Not applicable

But this feature is already built into sharepoint as a feature of document validation. It would not appropriately track document validation if I created a separate column.

You said:

 

 I need to select the managers who will do the approval at the time of the request, because each document has different requirements, especially SOPs, Policies, etc.

 

If you add a column with the names of these different types of approvals you can do what I suggested. Then you don't have to manually do anything. You'd have a choice column with the choices "Policy 1, Policy 2, SOP 1, SOP 2 etc, etc" and then run a switch off of that where you can do a separate approval for each with the names of the approvers in them. 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Thank you. I think I am beginning to understand what you are talking about. However, I don't think I have the knowledge level to implement what you are suggesting without further help.

Each document type is stored in its own document library so I would not have to initiate based off the document type. However, I believe I could implement the same strategy using the managers names in the columns. I could plug in those persons who will always be required to sign off and then code so the column is referenced for the variable signers. If you have time to give me an example of how this would be implemented, I would be grateful. If not I understand.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Thanks for sharing the Flow image - a little better/easier to understand now. Not sure on the 'For each' on the left as I'm not sure how the compose information is then going into the update file properties - if its doing what you need it to do then fair enough.

 

For the condition on the right - using the variable 'AllResponses' is incorrect. There is a dynamic content option called 'Outcome' that captures whether or not all of the responses are Approve or Rejected. A good practice/test of what is being captured following the approval is to output every dynamic content option to a multi-line field somewhere until you're comfortable on what is being passed through.

 

Going back to the original question on a folder name being available in the options to update the file, I think this is no longer relevant and you're using the Update File Properties action correctly.

 

As another has suggested, a choice field to capture the type of document being reviewed for it to then route to the appropriate manager would be a better approach - the last thing you want to do is manually decide on anything and interact with it to route to the right place. What if you're on holiday for example - how does anything get approved then? The world still spins in your absence... Smiley Happy

Anonymous
Not applicable

P.S. I have a similar system for SOPs and approvers - I created a custom list that I look up for a name depending on a department and then choose an approver name in that list for the approval in the current library. That list of approvers can then change as required when people come and go without having to edit the flow each time.

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