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SPDaniel
Level: Powered On

Let's talk about approvals

Dear Microsofties - let's talk about FLOW Approvals,

We were so glad when they first appeared - cause we could finally move away from the freaking SharePoint task lists, and all the problems we had with using them.

 

We finally had something cooler than Nintex, and it was out-of-the-box... and it worked... and it... And it's starting to be a huge disapointment and source of frustration.

 

To be very succint, for the Flow Approval to be really usable, I see three things that we need:

 

  1. We need them to be part of the GRAPH API. It's ridiculous that as an Admin I cannot see how many approvals are hanging and where, also, it's ridiculous that as an Developer I cannot integrate the approval process smoothly in my solutions.
  2. You need to improve the delegation feature - just think of this scenario: people like to go on holidays - what happens to the tasks they get assigned? Also, as an Admin I have no ways (that I am aware of) of grabbing the tasks from a vacationeer and assigning to a poor sob still in the office. Please help us here!
  3. Make these changes part of the basic package - you just broke the approval in Outlook (about that - wtf?), it's hard for us IT professionals to go asking for money for Flow licenses from our management.


All these topics have been addressed on this forum multiple times.

 

Here:

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/Approvals-v2-Delegate-approvals/idc-p/297054#M14816

 

and here:

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/Use-Graph-API-to-list-and-take-action-on-approvals/id...

 

and in many other posts.

 

For us to continue pushing these features in our organizations - we kinda need to know if these features are ever going to happen.

Them being flagged as under-review or planned for years - does not really help us. 


Best wishes,
Daniel

3 REPLIES 3
Super User
Super User

Re: Let's talk about approvals

1) If you go to the Sent tab in the Approvals section of the Flow site you can see all the approvals that you sent that are still pending. There are also ways to build a PowerApps app that pulls a list of ALL pending approvals in the Tenant form CDS.

2) You can use the Get Mail Tips action to check if a user has set their out of Office message and send the approval to someone else if they have. Do that and you won't need to reassign the approval.

3) Other than the PowerApp using CDS to get a list of Approvals that you didn't send these functions are all part of the basic package.



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Community Support Team
Community Support Team

Re: Let's talk about approvals

Hi @SPDaniel ,

 

About the new feature requests, the status of requests have been changed to Planned and Under Review, which means that these features will be taken into consideration and released in future releases.

 

Please check the doc on What’s new for more details:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/microsoft-flow/planned-...

 

Best regards,

Mabel          

 

Community Support Team _ Mabel Mao
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
SPDaniel
Level: Powered On

Re: Let's talk about approvals

@Pstork1 - (1) you can indeed view the approvals you sent out in the UI - but thats really not what I am after. We are talking about IT Admins here that work in organizations with hundreds - thousands of users. That is really not an option. The CDS approach comes closer - but again, building those apps is a pain, and it adds a new layer of complexity (and costs) on top of the platform. Managing the approvals should not be more complex than building the business tools we need. 

 

Also - CDS is NOT a solution for better integration into our custom solutions. Graph API would fit perfectly in the bigger Microsoft productivity story. 

 

(2) indeed, in a small organization, mail tips can be a solution - but in real life, people dont always set oof messages, they are caught up in unexpected absences, they leave the company.

When we have to manage thousands of users, we cannot really use the OOF as a delegation trigger. Its not realistic.

Plus, and this is a big thing, what happens with business flows when one of the approvers leaves the company?

(3) the licensing costs are part of the problem - but if we have to bring in a dynamics guy to build our solutions around CDS, thats also a cost factor - maintaining power apps, and all that together changes the parameters immensely. 

And the big thing here - we need solutions, not hacks and workarounds. 

 

@v-yamao-msft  - don't get me wrong, we appreciate the openess and the readiness to collaborate on part of Microsoft. (full disclosure: i spent 10 years in microsoft)

But... when you flag a feature we need as Planned - we start to develop our solutions appropriately. All our custom solutions that use Approval are designed in such a manner that we can integrate GraphAPI approvals into them. When two years down the line these features are not yet present - we start to be unsecure about this strategy (and we post sad stuff on the support forums). I know we cannot get a definitive timeline - but still... yeards, months, decades...

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