Next Approver stage
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In the Next Approver stage, the approval server determines to whom the request must be routed next and creates the appropriate electronic signature lines. Depending on the process type and the rules it contains, the approval server can automatically determine the next approver, or allow the current approver to select the next approver. If the next approver is a role, more than one individual can be eligible to sign one signature line. In this case, the first role member who responds determines the outcome for that signature line. See Defining roles.
Rule types used in the Next Approver stage include:
- Prep Get Next Approver
- Get Next Approver
- Parameterized Get Next Approver
- Validate Approver
Get next approver automatically
To cause the approval server to determine the next approver, you use Prep Get Next Approver and Get Next Approver rules.
Prep Get Next Approver rules
A Prep Get Next Approver rule gathers information to be used by Get Next Approver rules. (In the rule name, "prep" is an abbreviation for "prepare.") In BMC Remedy AR System workflow terms, Prep Get Next Approver rules use a Set Field action to place values in certain fields. The Overdue Prep Get Next rule in the Lunch Scheduler sample application is an example of a Prep Get Next Approver rule. To create a Prep Get Next Approver rule, see Defining Prep Get Next Approver rules.
Get Next Approver rules
Get Next Approver rules are the heart of approval processing. They route requests to the next valid approver and create a signature line for each required approver. When configuring an approval process, the process administrator defines a list of valid approvers. Get Next Approver rules use this approver data to determine who is next in the approver list and to create signature lines for each approver.
The sample applications contain the following examples of Get Next Approver rules, in each type of process where these rules are used:
- Cost Get Next Approver, in the Management Cost Authorization process (a Parent-Child process)
- Level Get Next Level, in the Major Account Level Approval process (a Level process)
- Overdue Assign Approvers, in the Special Overdue Approval process (a Rule-Based process)
To create a Get Next Approver rule, see Defining Get Next Approver rules.
Get next approver manually
For some approval processes, it is appropriate to allow requesters or approvers to specify the next approver, or to add an approver at another level. In this case, the approval server identifies the next approver based on what the user enters.
Several situations allow approvers to designate additional approvers. These are:
- An Ad Hoc process, which requires all approvers to be added by the users, as described in Ad Hoc process.
- An ad hoc override, in which you configure the process to allow approvers to alter the predetermined routing. This is controlled by the Allow Ad Hoc Next Approver? field on the Basic tab of the Process Definition form. See Creating a process.
- A Parameterized Get Next Approver rule, which works together with the preview feature and an application command to pass run-time variables to the approval server.
When the process allows users to add approvers, use a Validate Approver rule to verify the added approver against a list of valid approvers.
Parameterized Get Next Approver rules
A Parameterized Get Next Approver rule enables approvers to add another approver anywhere in the approval hierarchy (not necessarily the next approver) at runtime. This rule type works together with the preview feature, and uses the Add-PGNA-Values application command to provide variables to the approval server. See Setting user preferences.
The Parameterized Get Next Approver rule works exactly like a Get Next Approver rule, with the following exceptions:
- Run-time variables can be part of the qualification and Set Fields operations.
- Approvers can be added to any level, not just the next level.
After any Get Next Approver rules are executed, the server executes all Parameterized Get Next Approver rules. If a Parameterized Get Next Approver rule exists, but the current record does not have any parameters, the rule is skipped.
To create a Parameterized Get Next Approver rule, see Defining Parameterized Get Next Approver rules.
Validate Approver rules
The approval server uses Validate Approver rules to protect against inappropriate ad hoc assignments. If the test to validate the approver fails, the user assigning the invalid approver receives an error and must correct it before the request can proceed.
The Issue Validate Approvers rule in the Get Agreement sample application is an example of Validate Approver rules. To create a Validate Approver rule, see Defining Validate Approver rules.
The following figure illustrates how rules and ad hoc approver entries are used in the Next Approver stage of an approval process.
Get Next Approver rules
(Click the image to expand it.)
Process administrators should set up notifications to indicate when an erroneous ad hoc selection is waiting for correction.