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Approval Central

The Approval Central form, which acts as the approval server console, appears when you log in to BMC Remedy AR System and click the Approval Central link on the home page. This link is localized.

Tip

The localized link is visible only if the Localize Server option is enabled on the Advanced tab of the AR System Administration: Server Information form. See Setting performance and security options.

Note

The Approval Central view is not supported on 7.0.01 or earlier versions of AR System clients. When Approval Central is opened in version 7.0.01 of BMC Remedy Mid Tier, a warning message is displayed and the counts against the links in the left pane are not displayed.

Approvers use Approval Central to respond to approval requests, and to access request details. Requesters use it to access More Information requests sent to them. See Processing approval requests.

Approval Central enables you to quickly review the approval requests awaiting your attention. These could be direct requests or requests for which you act as an alternate approver. You can approve, reject, hold, or view the details of a pending request by using the appropriate buttons provided in the form. You can act on single or multiple requests at one time without opening each request individually.

You can reassign a pending request only if the Can Reassign option for the corresponding approval process is set to Yes in AP:Process Definition.

When you open Approval Central, the Pending Approvals table appears by default, and it displays requests that have the Pending, Hold, or More Information status.

The left pane contains two sections: Summary and Actions. Clicking a link in these sections displays a corresponding panel in the right pane. 

Summary

The links in this section correspond to pre-defined searches. A table in the corresponding panel on the right displays the search results. See Approval Search Result table.

Fields on Approval Central — Summary section

Field Description
Pending Approvals

Click to view the requests that await your approval. Such requests are in the Pending state. The following links are displayed under the Pending Approval link:

  • Needs Attention
  • Past Due
  • Due Soon

For more information, see Pending Approvals table.

Needs Attention Click to view the requests for which a question or answer is directed at you. Such requests are in the More Information state. The Need Attention Approvals panel displays a table with the columns: From, To, Action Date, Description, Application, Request, and Status.
Past Due Click to view the requests whose Action Date has passed. The Past Due Approvals table displays requests having the Pending, Hold, or More Information status. For more information about the Action Date, see step 5 and step 6 of the To enter signature escalations section.
Due Soon Click to view the requests whose Action Date is approaching. The Due Soon Approvals table displays requests having the Pending, Hold, or More Information status. A Process Administrator configures, through AP:Administration, the time factor that decides whether an approval request falls under the Due Soon category. For more information, see step 5 of the To enter signature escalations section.
My Approval History Click to view the requests that you approved or rejected, and requests that have the Error status. This is a pre-defined search, the results of which appear on the right pane in the My Approvals History table. Requests displayed in this table have the Approved, Rejected, or Error status. A Process Administrator configures the number of history items to display. See AP-Admin-ServerSettings form. The Rejected by Others link is displayed under My Approval History.
Rejected by Others Click to view the requests that you approved earlier, but are rejected by an approver further in the approval sequence. This is a pre-defined search, the results of which appear on the right pane in the Approvals Rejected by Others panel.

Approval requests that need attention

When you click the Needs Attention link in the Summary section of the left pane, a table of questions and answers posted to you appears in the right pane.

The table contains the columns: From, To, Action Date, Application, Request, and Status, which display the corresponding information for each request.

You can perform one of the following actions on any selected request in this table:

  • Click Respond to answer the corresponding question. The AP:More Information form opens in Modify mode.
  • Click View to open the corresponding question-answer thread. The AP:More Information form opens in Display mode.

After you respond to a question or view the answer to a question you raised, the state of the request changes from More Information to Pending.

Actions

Field on Approval Central — Actions section

Field Description
My Alternate Approvers Click this link to open the AP:Alternate form in New mode. For more information, see AP-Alternate form.


The right pane displays the appropriate panels when you click the link in the Summary or the Actions sections in the left pane. You can expand or collapse these panels using the arrow icon next to the panel title.

Pending Approvals table

In the right pane, the Pending Approval table displays requests with the Pending, Hold, and More Information, status.

Some rows might have a bell icon displayed in the first untitled column, indicating that the corresponding request is Urgent.

The second untitled column contains check boxes that you can use to select the corresponding requests. Use the check boxes to select multiple requests on which you want to perform similar actions or use the check box in the table header to select all the requests.

Clicking on a row without using the corresponding check box, will select that row and deselect everything else. To select or deselect all the requests in this table, select the check box in the table header. See Working with multiple pending requests.

Note

  • When you click Approve, Reject, or Hold, the status of the selected requests changes. These modified requests continue to appear in the Pending Approvals table until the table is refreshed, or until you navigate to another page or link.
  • When you click a row-level icon without explicitly selecting the row, the row gets selected first. To execute any row-level action, the row must be selected first.

Fields on Approval Central — Approval Search Result table

Field Description
Action Date The date on or before which, if you do not act upon the request, either you receive a notification that it is still outstanding, or the state of the request is changed automatically. This is applicable only to those requests where Notification:Still Outstanding, or Automatic Action, or both are configured in the corresponding AP:Process Definition form. The Action Date is calculated as the least of these two values, if both are specified. See Signature Escalations tabs and step 5 of the To enter signature escalations section.
Summary

The description associated with the Request ID (Application ID). This value is populated from field 14506 on AP:Detail that contains the Description value for the associated application request. When you hover over this field, a tool tip displays the information mapped in the Tooltip Configuration tab of AP:Form. This additional information helps you take a quick decision about the request.

Note

This tool tip appears only if the appropriate setting is done on the Tooltip Configuration tab of AP:Form. See AP:Form form.

Requester The name of the requestor. This information is obtained from the three-way join form for the related application.
Acting As The name of the approver to whom the request is originally assigned. This field contains a value only if you are the alternate approver for the original request assignee.
Priority The priority of the approval request that is stored in the corresponding AP:Detail record. The possible values are: Urgent, Normal, and Low.
Application The application name associated with the request. For example: SRM, Change Management. This name is provided by the application itself.
Status The current state of the request. The possible values are: Pending, Approved, Rejected, Cancelled, Hold, More Information, Error, and Closed.
Approve icon Click to approve the selected request.
Reject icon Click to reject the selected request. If rejection justification is mandatory, but the Justification For Action field is empty, a dialog box prompts you to enter a reason for rejecting the request. See Rejection justification for approval requests.
Hold icon

Click to put the selected request on hold.

In case of approval generated by a Process Designer process, the Hold option is not supported for SRM and Change requests.

Reassign icon

Click to reassign the selected request to another person. If Can Reassign is set to Yes for the corresponding process, the AP:Reassign dialog box prompts you to enter the name of an approver; otherwise an error is displayed. For more information, see Reassigning approval requests.

In case of approval generated by a Process Designer process, the Reassign option is not supported for Service Request Management (SRM) and Change requests.

Note

The AP:Reassign dialog box appears only once, which means that all the selected requests are assigned to the same person. Validation for the user name entered in the dialog box is not provided out-of-the-box.

Approval Details icon

Click to open the AP:Show-Detail form, which displays the details of the highlighted approval request and enables you to take further action. When you click the Approval Details icon on the Approval Central form, you can view the approval process either as a sequence diagram or a table. Considering the end of life for Adobe Flash, BMC recommends that you view the approval process, as a table as shown in the following figure:


Note

When you click the Approval Details icon on the Approval Central form, if the AP:Show-Detail form does not load the sequence diagram, the following error message appears: Error during loading document. To fix the issue, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Visualizer Module Registration form.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Select the BMC Remedy Approval Server record that has an attachment of the Approval_0.jar file.
  4. Delete the attachment and add the Approval_0.jar file again.
  5. Restart BMC Remedy Mid Tier
  6. Stop the running Apache Tomcat service.
  7. From the BMC Remedy Mid Tier Install folder, delete the contents in the PluginCache folder.
  8. Start the Tomcat service and open the Approval Central form.
  9. Select a request and click the Approval Details icon.
    You can see the sequence diagram without errors.

For more information, see Working with request details.

View Questions and Responses icon

Click to display all the questions and responses, if any, for the selected request. If there is no question for the selected request, the following pop-up message is displayed:

No Questions Present
Preferences Click to set the preferences to display items in this table. You can choose to display or hide a column, set the refresh interval, and reset or save the display settings.
Refresh Click to refresh the contents of the table.
Justification For Action

Enter some meaningful text in this field to be recorded as a justification for your action, and click Reject. An entry is added to the Activity Log table. If you click any other action button, this field is ignored. For information about how your input is processed, see Rejection justification for approval requests.

Approval Search

Enables you to specify criteria for searching through approval requests. Select or enter field values in this section of the form to search for requests and display the results in the Search Results table.

Approval search on Approval Central

(Click the image to expand it.)

Quick search

Select an approval status from the Show list to search for requests with the selected status. The default status is Pending. After you select a value for this field, the Search Results table is refreshed.

To filter your search results further, you can enter a search string in the text box, and click the Search icon. The approval server finds all the requests with the selected status, that also contain any of the specified words in a field, instead of matching a string of characters. This search action tries to match the search string to the data present for the Summary, Application, and the Requestor fields for the requests.

Advanced search

You can also use Advanced Search to specify a detailed search criteria.

Note

When you enable Advanced Search, the quick search is disabled.


Fields on Approval Central — Approval Search section

Field Description
Application Select an application from the list of available applications. Select the name of the approval request form from the list to search for approval requests related to that form.
Process Select a process. If you select an application, only the processes belonging to that application appear in this menu.
Acting As

Select a value from the list to search for requests with the selected type of approver authority. The default is Myself. If you choose All and perform a search, the resulting list contains the same requests that appear when you click the Pending Approvals link.

Note

The Acting As field cannot be blank.

User

Contains the name of the current user or the user on whose behalf you are acting as alternate or performing an override.

  • If Acting As is set to Myself or Global Override, BMC Remedy AR System populates this field with the name of the current user.
  • If Acting As is set to Alternate or Override, you must enter the AR System name of the user for whom you are acting as an alternate, or performing an override.
Approval Status Select an approval status from the list to search for requests with the selected status. The default is Pending.
Requester Type all or part of a requester's BMC Remedy AR System full name to search for approval requests from that requester. The search results display the requests created by this requester only if you have the correct privileges on the corresponding requests.
Summary Enter one or more words in the summary that you want to search for.
Action Date Select the Action Date. See Signature Escalations tabs and step 5 of the To enter signature escalations section.
Priority Select the priority. This is the priority of the approval request and not that of the application request.
Modified Date Select the date on which the requests you want to search for were last modified.
Search Click to perform the search after you specify all the required criteria.
Clear All Click to clear all the search fields.
Request-ID Type the Request ID to search for approval requests.

Approval Search Result table

The Approval Search Result table is displayed in the right pane. The contents of the table change according to the links you click in the left pane, or the advanced search criteria.

Some rows might have a bell icon displayed in the first untitled column, indicating that the corresponding request is Urgent.

The second untitled column contains check boxes that you can use to select the corresponding requests. Use the check boxes to select multiple requests on which you want to perform similar actions.

Clicking on a row without using the corresponding check box selects that row and deselect everything else. To select or deselect all the requests in this table, select the check box in the table header. See Working with multiple pending requests.

Note

When you click Approve, Reject, or Hold, the status of the selected requests changes. These modified requests continue to appear in the Pending Approvals table until the table is refreshed, or until you navigate to another page or link.



Fields on Approval Central — Approval Search Result table

Field Description
Action Date The date on or before which, if you do not act upon the request, either you receive a notification that it is still outstanding, or the state of the request is changed automatically. This is applicable only to those requests where Notification:Still Outstanding, or Automatic Action, or both are configured in the corresponding AP:Process Definition form. The Action Date is calculated as the least of these two values, if both are specified. See Signature Escalations tabs and step 5 of the To enter signature escalations section.
Summary

The description associated with the Request ID (Application ID). This value is populated from field 14506 on AP:Detail that contains the Description value for the associated application request. When you hover over this field, a tool tip displays the information mapped in the Tooltip Configuration tab of AP:Form. This additional information helps you make decisions about the request.

Note

This tool tip appears only if the appropriate setting is done on the Tooltip Configuration tab of AP:Form. See AP:Form form.

Requester The name of the requestor. This information is obtained from the three-way join form for the related application.
Acting As The name of the approver to whom the request is originally assigned. This field contains a value only if you are the alternate approver for the original request assignee.
Priority The priority of the approval request that is stored in the corresponding AP:Detail record. The possible values are: Urgent, Normal, and Low.
Application The application name associated with the request. For example: SRM, Change Management. This name is provided by the application itself.
Status The current state of the request. The possible values are: Pending, Approved, Rejected, Cancelled, Hold, More Information, Error, and Closed.
Approve icon Click to approve the selected request.
Reject icon

Click to reject the selected request. If rejection justification is mandatory, but the Justification For Action field is empty, a dialog box prompts you to enter a reason for rejecting the request. See Rejection justification for approval requests.

Hold icon Click to put the selected request on hold.
Reassign icon

Click to reassign the selected request to another person. If Can Reassign is set to Yes for the corresponding process, the AP:Reassign dialog box prompts you to enter the name of an approver; otherwise an error is displayed. For more information, see Reassigning approval requests.

Note

The AP:Reassign dialog box appears only once, which means that all the selected requests are assigned to the same person. Validation for the user name entered in the dialog box is not provided out-of-the-box.

Approval Details icon Click to open the AP:Show-Detail form, which displays the details of the highlighted approval request and enables you to take further action. For more information, see Working with request details.
View Questions and Responses icon

Click to display all the questions and responses, if any, for the selected request. If there are no questions for the selected request, the following pop-up message is displayed:

No Questions Present
Preferences Click to set the preferences to display items in this table. You can choose to display or hide a column, set the refresh interval, and reset or save the display settings.
Justification For Action

Enter some meaningful text in this field to be recorded as a justification for your action, and click Reject. An entry is added to the Activity Log table. If you click any other action button, this field is ignored. For information about how your input is processed, see Rejection justification for approval requests.

Working with multiple pending requests

To select a single row in the Approval Requests table, click anywhere on the row; its check box is selected and those of other rows are unselected. To select multiple requests, use the corresponding check boxes. To select all the requests in this table, select the check box in the table header. However, at a time only one row appears highlighted (regardless of the status of its check box).

Note

Multiple row selection does not work for requests of the Needs Attention category.



You can now select multiple requests and change the status. When you click the appropriate action button, a guide runs through the individual requests and performs the actions. If one or more of the associated processes require passwords, you are prompted to provide them once, before the action is performed.

Setting display preferences on Approval Central

Use the Preferences menu to set display preferences for the tables on this screen as follows:

  • Add Column — Use to select a column to be displayed.
  • Remove Column — Use to select a column to be hidden.
  • Set Refresh Interval — Click to open a dialog box that allows you to specify the duration (in minutes) after which the table is automatically refreshed.
  • Reset — Click to revert any changes you made to the appearance of the table, or the refresh interval.
  • Save — Click to save any changes you made to the appearance of the table or the refresh interval. These changes are saved only for the current session and are not persistent, which means they are not retained when you log out and log in again.

Action buttons

You can select one or more requests on Approval Central and click the appropriate buttons to perform the desired actions. The buttons are disabled only if there are no requests to be selected.

Selecting one or more requests enables all the action buttons regardless of the status of the request. If a certain action can not be performed on a selected request, one of the following occurs:

  • Clicking the action button has no effect. For example, if you select a request that is on hold, clicking the Hold button will have no effect.
  • Clicking the action button displays an error message and the request remains unchanged. For example, if you select an request with the Approved, Rejected, or Error status and click either Approve, Reject, Hold, or Reassign, the following error message is displayed:
    Select atleast one row with appropriate status to perform the buttonLabelaction. (ARERR errorNumber)

    Action buttons to operate on selected requests

    Field Description
    Approve Selected Click to approve the selected requests. If other approvers are required, BMC Remedy AR System routes the requests to the respective next approvers. If no further approvers are required, the request statuses change to Approved, and the approval process is done.
    Reject Selected

    Click to reject the selected requests. If rejection justification is mandatory, but the Justification For Action field is empty, a dialog box prompts you to enter a reason for rejecting the request. The same comment is applied to all the selected requests. See Rejection justification for approval requests.

    Hold Selected Click to put the selected requests on hold. The request statuses change to Hold until any further action is performed on them.

Request Details

The Request Details section displays all the data related to an approval request. This data is fetched from the AP:Show-Detail form. For more information, see AP:Show-Detail form.

For information about the approval request details, see AP:Detail form.

Fields on Approval Central — Request Details section

Field Description
Request ID

Displays the application ID (the request ID or any other ID in the application) as a link. Click the link to display the relevant application form.

Note

If you upgrade from an earlier version of the BMC Remedy Approval Server to 7.5.00 or later, this link displays the correct application ID for newly created requests. The application ID might not be accurate for requests that were created before upgrading. To specify the value for this link, the process administrator must map the Application Request ID field on the Advanced tab of AP:Form to the appropriate field on the application form. See AP:Form form.

Activity Log Displays the activity log (Questions, Comments, and other information) associated with the Request ID. Click View Activity Summary to view all the activities related to the current request in a report format.


When you click any of the Approve, Reject, or Hold, or Reassign icons, a dialog box prompts you to enter your password. The statuses of the selected requests are changed only if you provide a valid password, otherwise an error message is displayed.

More Information

The More Information section enables you to add questions or comments to the current request in a table.

More Information section on Approval Central

(Click the image to expand it.)



To modify or delete questions or comments associated with the current request, you must go to the Activity Log tab on the AP:Show-Detail form.

For more information, see Activity Log tab.

Fields on Approval Central — More Information section

Field Description
Type This drop-down list enables you to specify whether you are creating a comment or a question.
Question To

Select a name from the user list or enter the AR System login name of the person to whom you want to raise a question. This field is enabled only if you select Question from the Type drop-down list. Using the Question To field, an approver can ask questions to the requestor or any other person who belongs to the same group as the approver.

Note

The approval server does not have any way to know where a particular user's details are stored. (The consuming applications are responsible to validate the login name.) The source of a user could be any form other than the User form that the BMC Remedy AR System provides, for example, the user information could be retrieved from an LDAP server.

Question / Summary This field is labeled as Question when you choose to add a question to the approval request; enter the question here. It is labeled as Summary when you choose to add a comment; enter the brief comment here.
Response / Notes This field is labeled as Response when you view a question about the approval request; the corresponding response appears here. It is labeled as Notes when you choose to add a comment; enter the detailed comment here.
Save Click to save a new comment or question.

Note

When using Google Chrome in a Chinese locale, several fields on the Approval Central form show garbled characters.

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