This documentation supports the 21.05 version of Action Request System.
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Approval roles

An approval requires a process for people to acknowledge, approve, or reject an approval request. This section contains information about the concepts that process administrators must understand to configure and maintain approval processes for Approval Server

Three roles are involved in the approval process: those requesting approval (requesters), those approving requests (approvers and alternate approvers), and process administrators who set up and modify the Approval Server  configuration.

Most approval processes are transparent to requesters, who therefore do not need a thorough understanding of Approval Server . This document is primarily written for approvers and process administrators.


Requesters are people who want something to be approved. Requesters work with an application that starts an approval process by entering an approval request. Approval requests are routed to all required approvers according to the rules of the approval process.

Approval Server  allows requesters to enter approval requests, check the status of their requests, and responds to More Information requests.


Approvers are people who have the authority to approve, reject, reassign, hold, or provide questions and comments for a request in a approval process.

The process administrator configures approvers for each process, so that each request has a specified approver list. Different requesters can have different approver lists for the same process.

An approver list specifies the exact list of signatures required for a request. A signature can come from an individual or from a business role containing multiple individuals, such as department managers. Approval Server  allows you to work with any combination of individuals and roles to create the approver list for each process

Approvers review outstanding requests that are assigned to them, and to take action on those requests. Approver actions are performed using Approval Central, which is the Approval Server  console. (For more information, see Approval Central.) The actions approvers can take include:

  • Approving
  • Rejecting
  • Reassigning
  • Holding
  • Requesting and responding to More Information Requests
  • Checking status

Approvers have access to the details of the request being processed as well as to the request history. The history includes a list of all approvers who have responded to the request, and the actions they took. Also, any comments that have been entered by other approvers are available for review.

If approvers need to obtain more information before approving a request, they can send a More Information request to any  AR System user. A More Information request is separate from the approval request, but remains associated with it.

Alternate approvers

When an approver will not be available, such as during a business trip or vacation, the approver can define an alternate approver who has the same authority within an approval process. An alternate is someone who substitutes for the approver and acts with the approver's authority and privileges for a duration of their choice.

Approvers can to set up any number of alternates. Each alternate can be set up to substitute within one or more approval processes.

Process administrators

The process administrator is a user who has permission to carry out design and administration tasks in Approval Server . Process administrators perform the following tasks:

  • Designing the approval process to generate approval signature data when  AR System  workflow needs to be authorized
  • Connecting Approval Server  forms to workflow to accomplish the designed approval process
    This includes configuring routing, and creating the list of authorized approvers. See also Adding approvals to an application.
  • Overriding a process, or parts of a process, when circumstances arise that must be handled outside of established workflow.
    See Overriding approvals.
  • Granting limited authority to specified users, allowing them to configure a process to override a process, or both
  • Designating alternates for any approver
  • Creating and deleting other process administrators as needed
  • Other process administrators can have full or limited authority. A process administrator with limited authority can perform the following activities:
    • Acting as an administrator to manage only specific processes that are assigned by a process administrator with full authority
    • Acting as an override-only administrator to approve or reject requests regardless of the approver list for the assigned processes

Process administrator actions are performed by using the AP:Administration form.

The first process administrator must be set up by the AR System  administrator, but others can be set up by an existing process administrator. 

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