Introduction to the Workflow User Groups

Posted by: Kevin Fons onAugust 2, 2017

Workflow User Groups can be a valuable tool that offers quite a bit of flexibility and functionality in the approval process for Workflows in NAV. A Workflow User Group is a list of users to approve requests generated by a Workflow. The Approval user setup including the direct approver or specific dollar limits are not used in the Workflow User Group approval method.

In this blog, we will create a Workflow and demonstrate three types of user groups. We will refer to these as; ‘All Approve in Sequence order’, ‘All Approve in No Sequence order’ and ‘Only One Approval required’.

In this example, we will be creating a Workflow for Purchase Order approval. We will then show you how to set up the three different User Group types listed above.

Create the Workflow User Group for ‘All Approve in Sequence order’

We will start with the ‘All Approve in Sequence order’ scenario. When a Purchasing Agent creates a Purchase Order (PO), we want the Purchasing Manager to review the approval request and then if approved have the CFO review and approve the request. First, we will create a New Workflow User Group called POAPPROVE and add the Purchasing Manager and the CFO as approvers. The sequence numbers assigned are the order for each approver, the Purchasing Manager is first and the CFO is second.

Note: If it does not allow you to add the approver's names, you may need to verify that they are listed in the Approval User Setup page.

  Workflow User Group Setup for the ‘All Approve in Sequence order’

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Create the Workflow

Next, we will create a new Workflow from the standard NAV Purchase Order Approval Workflow Template. 

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The ‘Then Response’ on the first event (Approval of purchase document requested) needs to be changed to specify an approver type of Workflow User Group and select the newly created Workflow User Group POAPPROVE.

Since our Workflow User Group was setup with the users having a sequence of 1 and 2, the approval is sent in sequence order from the first approver (Purchasing Manager – Sequence 1) to the second approver (CFO – Sequence 2) upon approval by the first user. When each user approves the request, a request is sent to the next user in the group based on the sequence number. When all users in the Workflow User Group have approved their request, the Purchase Order is released. If the request is rejected the Workflow will exit and the document will not be released.

  PO Approval Workflow from stock Template

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Change the Workflow response to specify the approval type of Workflow User     Group.

To Change, drill down into ‘Add record restriction’ and select ‘Create an approval     request for the record using ...’.

Modify per the diagram below.

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Now you can Enable the Workflow.

Create the Workflow User Group for ‘All Approve in No Sequence order’

What if you want to send the approval request to all users in the group at the same time vs from one to the next? All you need to do is to set the sequence number on the Workflow users in the Workflow User Group to the same number. Then when the approval request is created, entries will be generated and sent to both the Purchasing Manager and the CFO at the same time. All users in the Workflow User Group are still required to approve the request for the PO before it will be released. If the request is rejected by anyone in the User Group, the Workflow process will end and the document will not be released.

  Workflow User Group Setup for the ' All Approve in No Sequence order’

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Create the Workflow User Group for ‘Only One Approval required’

This final scenario is where the Company wants the PO to be approved by ANY of the approvers in the Workflow User Group, requiring only one approval. This is used many times when the second approver is a backup or if both approvers have equal authority for approval.

We will set the Workflow User Group sequence the same as in the prior example but make a change to the Workflow.

We need to change the condition on the second line of the Workflow steps from Pending = 0 to Always and delete the line with the condition of Pending >0. The Pending = 0 line is the line which releases the PO after all the approvers have approved the request in our prior example and by setting this to Always it will release the PO if any of the approvers approve the request. The Pending > 0 line was used to hold the release until all approvers have approved the request in the first two examples.

  Adjusted Workflow for ‘Only One Approval required’

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Additional Notes: Request to Approve Page vs Notification (Best Practice)

When Workflows are being used and a large number of approval requests are generated to e-mail or to the internal NAV notification process this may become overwhelming. I recommend using the Requests to Approve page. The page puts all the controls you need in one place. You can accept, reject, delegate, add comments and open the document directly from the page.

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We hope this has helped you understand the advantage of Workflow User Groups and the three different types discussed in this blog.

Senior Application Consultant