Approval Server concepts
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 BMC Remedy Approval Server.
In this topic:
An approval process is a set of rules and procedures, based on data, that enforce processes and workflow to require the appropriate people to review, approve, and reject requests.
- A process must have rules to make sure all required approvals occur, no erroneous approvals occur, and sufficient authority is present to enable approval.
- A process must have procedures to route an approved request to the next approver, to stop routing a rejected request, and to notify a person when a response is required.
Every approval requires a process to obtain appropriate signatures. Business processes often require the signatures of several people in one or more operational groups. Business processes also need to allow for alternate approvers to cover days when the regular approvers are unavailable.
A given request might require one simple approval process, or several processes that work with each other. Often the appearance of a single operation involves multiple approvals. Some requests must follow a process, but can be approved automatically based on certain criteria.
In Approval Server, an approval process is the set of rules and forms that generate data to authorize specific BMC Remedy AR System workflow. An approval process consists of definitions for the operation itself, rules that define what happens at each specific stage in the process, and a place to store signatures. While process administrators need to understand these rules, they are transparent to approvers. The types of rules and how they interact are described under Approval rules.
The data generated by an approval process, such as the type of approval, approver signatures, requests for more information, and time stamps for audit trails, is stored in the detail record and other supporting forms. This enables you to track the approval process for auditing or troubleshooting purposes. For more information about data, see Approval data and audit.
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 BMC Remedy 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:
- 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 BMC Remedy AR System user. A More Information request is separate from the approval request, but remains associated with it.
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.
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:
- Defining Approval Server processes and rules
- Overriding the normal flow of a process when an emergency situation requires it
- Granting limited authority to specified users, allowing them to configure a process to override a process, or both
- Designating alternates for any approver
Process administrator actions are performed by using the AP:Administration form.
Approval Server process administrator is not the same as the BMC Remedy AR System administrator. See Approval data and forms for an explanation of the process administrator's responsibilities.
The following topics provide information about approval forms, processes, rules, and fields: