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Anonymous
Not applicable

Approval Flow - Revisions and Records

I am trying to put together (either building from scratch, or using/adapting a Template Flow) an approval workflow that gives a status to a specific version / revision of a document. In other words, when a document author pushes that document into the approval workflow, the specific version that they put into that Flow is the one that is reviewed and approved by the person assigned to it. There should be a record created, so someone can trace which revision of the document was sent for review and either approved or rejected. If the document is revised later, any approval / comments / rejections are not associated with the new revision -- just the version that was originally pushed into the Flow. This must be a common desire!

 

Referring to the following template as an example, "Request manager approval for a selected file" -- I'm not sure what I'm looking for in these approval flows, to help me identify that this is built into the process. As far as I can tell, and based on my experience trying the ultra-simple "Request sign-off" Flow, the sign-off status is applied to the document rather than the revision, and there isn't a very accessible record of the approval (you have to dive into the Flow dashboard to find details of the sign-off record.

 

Can anyone advise what I'm looking for in the Flow Templates, or point to a blog that can help me achieve what I'm looking for?

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Accepted Solutions

Hi @Anonymous , the only way I can think of to effectively freeze the file would be to check it out. So when a document is sent for approval, it is checked out by the Flow, which means that no one else can save changes to it. When you access the file, you will see the last checked in version i.e. the one which was sent for approval.

 

It's not the cleanest solution, but it might do the job. Just remember to check the file back in once you have finished your approval!

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Gristy
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

each time you modify a document it will increment the version, so you may need to resort to two library.

 

i.e. when the flow starts, copy the document to a new library with a metadata field for SourceVersion and then other metadata fields to record the approval history. This way you can have a record of which document got which approval.

Anonymous
Not applicable

I want to avoid creating copies of documents / files -- surely that's also a common best-practice principle? I guess I would rather a record is made, including the date and version number of the document when it was approved -- because SharePoint is keeping revision history for the file already.

Gristy
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

Maybe you could keep them in document sets and create a version remotely of the doc set

Hi @Anonymous , the only way I can think of to effectively freeze the file would be to check it out. So when a document is sent for approval, it is checked out by the Flow, which means that no one else can save changes to it. When you access the file, you will see the last checked in version i.e. the one which was sent for approval.

 

It's not the cleanest solution, but it might do the job. Just remember to check the file back in once you have finished your approval!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Matt,
That's not a bad idea, from what I know about check-in/chrck-out; but you don't seem to think it's a nice solution? It solves many problems if it can be included into the flow (automated) and can allow a Major Version upgrade during the approval process.

But overall, considering how stumped people seem to be, perhaps I am not communicating this correctly. This REALLY MUST BE a common business process.
1. Develop doc.
2. Send doc to chosen team member for approval.
3. Approval given, possibly with comment.
4. Record of approval or rejection and comment is associated with the version of the doc that was reviewed, such that there is auditability.
5. Further doc development (start again at 1.).

Someone must have made an efficient flow for this. I'm shocked I can't easily find a template to achieve this.
Gristy
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

Don't worry you are being logical, i just do not think it is thought of as deeply as you are.

 

You could grab the File Content in the flow, and then overwrite the version with that File Content as the approved one with the updated metadata, however anyone modifying in between will lose their work in a older version. The Check In/Out sounds like a good solution without needing to maintain duplicated published versions.

v-alzhan-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @Anonymous ,

 

Have your problem been solved?  If yes, please go ahead and mark the post as solved by clicking “Accept as Solution” so that this thread will be marked for other users to easily identify!

 

Best Regards,

Alice

 

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

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