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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. 

43 REPLIES 43
Anonymous
Not applicable

Awesome, I would like to do that. How do I set that up? I know how to create a list, a choice column, and a referenced Managed Metadata. But I don't know how to connect the them or how to reference that in the "Assigned to" box. I also don't know how to output the data into a multi-line field you referenced. I am a little tech savvy, but not an IT professional; just so you know my level of experience.

 


@Anonymous wrote:

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.


 

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

To connect the list of approvers to your document library you just need a Flow that 'Gets items' from the approvers list and updates the current document if the approver fields are blank. I've had to put a delay into it to retry the update if the file is locked for editing (a simple 'Do until' action until the approver name is not empty).

 

For the 'Get Items' action to look at the approvers list, you would need to put a 'Filter Query' in the advanced options, for example:

 

Title eq 'Service Desk'

 

Logically thinking there might only be one entry in the list that has the name(s) of people who would be those approvers.

 

As for outputting all the captured 'Approval' information - simply create a new column (call it what you want) but specify it as a multi-line column. In the flow, after the approval, simply update/create a list entry with the multi-line field in it with all the Dynamic Content you want to see from the Approval action - you might see a lot of garbage, but it helps see the information coming out of the action. The only way is to test the flow run and expand the 'Approval' action - the data is all captured there too, but not so easy to read maybe - it's what your most comfortable in reading out examining really...

 

Jason.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @CP153319 

 

Could you be so kind to print the flow to set up this different approval based on the field "approval type"?  I've tried but it is not working....

 

thank you! 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hello @Anonymous,

After getting the opportunity for some training from my database administrator, I am much clearer on this subject. The first thing we needed to do was to create custom columns as the above people suggested. 

In my test library, I created a column called "Edit Type" (in your case "Approval Type") and made it as a choice menu within the column options. I also created a column called "Approver" as my approvers change depending on the document.

1.JPG

What this did for me in the flow was create dynamic content which I could reference in my approvals.

 

 

I then went to my flow creation and started with a blank flow. I placed my trigger as "When a file is created or modified (properties only)". My IT person then suggested using a switch control; I entered the newly available dynamic content based on my columns called "Edit Type Value". I was then able to tell the flow which path to take, based on which choice someone made; in my case they could choose either minor or major update.

2.JPG

 

For the minor case1 I told to send me an email with the below format.

3.JPG

For the Major case 2, I told the flow to look at the approver column. If the Approver column was a certain file type, and fit another custom parameter (in this case contained a semicolon) then the flow select YES - which I then had it  start and wait for an approval. If those parameters were not met, it was to select NO and send me another email.

 

4.JPG

If neither of my specified cases fit the switch parameters, I just told the flow to send me an email.

5.JPG

 

My biggest confusion was how to set custom dynamic content, and the column creation does that for you. So if you create a column called "approval type", microsoft flow will automatically create dynamic content labelled "Approval Type" and "Approval Type Value". Then you can utilize it anywhere in that flow to reference that specific column for that specific Document library. 

 

You would have to create the custom column in each library where approvals are necessary.

 

I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Well done @Anonymous - looks and sounds like you've made some excellent progress, and learning new things as you go along. Keep going! Well done.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @Anonymous   

 

thanks a lot!  After setting a specific parameter in my office 365 account and library that I was working on, the dinamic content "approval type value" was released and I could make it! 

 

your flow is very interesting and helpful for others uses .. I might use in the future!

 

thanks again for your spending your time!

Anonymous
Not applicable

@Anonymous @Anonymous Thanks both of you! I appreciate your feedback also!

Thank you Scott! this worked beautifully though i would like to make it look better. Also if you want the response to show up as soon as one of the approvers makes them you need to put the update action inside of the loop

Hi @v-xida-msft 

I'm in France and I trie to use your solution. My flow is OK but the formula doesn't work (tag <br>).

 

2019-11-27_10h56_44.png

Maybe the version of Flow or formula isn't the same between US and France. 

Could you help me about this problem. 

 

Thanks

Best regards

Camille

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Bonjour Camille, ça va?

 When you say the formula doesn't work, do you mean the 'concat' function in the compose action? If so, try by deleting and carefully re-type the single quotes ' in the formula as these will often get replaced/changed to the wrong type of quote format that the application wont recognise.

 

Jason.

Yep it's this formula : 

 

concat('Valideur : ',item()?['responder']?['displayName'],' - Commentaires : ',item()?['comments'],'<br>',variables('AllResponses'))

 

I think that it's the quot <br> wich wrong. The information "Responder" or "Comments" are OK but in my SharePoint list the comments dont appear like this : 

2019-11-27_11h50_59.png

 

I tried to delete or shift the single quote ' but an error message appears saying that the formula is not valid

I tried all three forms of balise </br> <br> <br/> but none of them work like I want.

Anonymous
Not applicable

@CamilleB - I've checked a workflow of mine doing this previously and I found a simpler option that is clearer to understand. Instead of composing the responses all within the same expression line, I broke it down - the first one into HTML output, and the second to join them all together. The example below shows the correct formatting of the line break also - hope that helps!

 

ComposeApprovalResponses.png

 

The expression I'm using is:

 

join(outputs('Format_Approver_Response'),'')

Anonymous
Not applicable

Also note in the expression - the join is on the custom name from the previous 'Compose' action - ie: it is bespoke to what I've named the action - if that's not instantly clear what is going on? 😉

2019-11-27_13h10_46.png

This is my flow (in french sorry), i repeat this 3 times because i have 3 approvers. 

So i tried your solution but i cannot because i have successive approval and i use string in the "Initialize the variable".

 

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

@CamilleB - thanks - are you saying you're repeating that loop 3 times? If there's a reason to do that, then thats fine, but in my Flow/Automate I've parsed all of the users email addresses into a variable, and used that variable in the approval. It's more efficient than running around the same task 3 times.

 

The names are little hard to understand, but I think I can get the action icons. I can't see what's inside the 'Do Until' loops, so it's hard to give an answer that will help I'm afraid. The one thing I can see that you're not doing is any kind of condition on approve or reject - is that lower through the Flow?

 

Sorry if this doesn't help much.

Can I copy and paste that cancate formula? Or to be do any modification?
Anonymous
Not applicable

Deleted

How did you manage to not get the process interrupted because of 1 rejection. I have the same need to gather all responses but still get each person's approval regardless of one or more rejection? Thank you.

Tasark
Advocate I
Advocate I

Regarding Multiple Approvers,  I am after assistance with the following:

 

I have created many forms that have a supporting Power Automate approval workflow. I know how to Get User Profile, Get Manager, etc. and have the form flow through the organisational structure.

 

Question.

1. I have forms that require multiple levels of Manager approval through to the General Manager. If I have a Approval Automation that requires three levels of approval and goes to a Manager to approve, then an Executive Manager, then the General Manager, how do I manage a flow that starts higher up the organisational chart? The automation wants to send to the next Manager, but the approval may have started higher up the Org chart and will send the approval multiple times to the GM.

 

Example:

User Submits Form - Goes to Manager - Goes to Exec Manager - Goes to GM.  This employee is 3 steps from the GM and the automation has 3 approval steps.  This works.

 

Manager Submits Form - Goes to their Manager (Exec Mgr), Goes to GM and then Goes to GM again.  This Manager is 2 steps from the GM, but the automation has 3 Start an Approval steps.

 

Thank you, Jeff

Anonymous
Not applicable

Awesome! Thank you so much for this solution! ❤️

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