Introducing Modern Approvals in Flow

Since launching Microsoft Flow last year, we’ve heard from many of you about the need for Flow to automate approvals for your business data. This week, we are releasing a suite of new features to streamline your approval processes. You can set up an automated workflow to quickly process requests for vacation, overtime, or travel plans or for documents like budgets, contracts, blog posts, or specifications.

With these new modern approvals experiences, you can quickly and easily create an approval workflow for your data in SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Twitter, Visual Studio Team Services, MailChimp and many others.  As part of the approval process, approvers will receive email notifications about pending approvals, and can view and respond to all approval requests in a brand-new, unified approvals center.


Start an Approval

Let’s imagine that you manage your team’s Twitter account and want to set up an approval process to automate proposed Tweets from your teammates.

You can ask your teammates to enter their proposals in a SharePoint list and create a flow such that whenever a new item is added, you start an approval process with item details. If you approve then post the tweet and notify the creator. If you reject, then email your teammate with your feedback.

The Start an approval action allows you to enter a title and specify the approver. You can also optionally enter details, such as the proposed tweet text, and a link to the list. These fields will be surfaced to the approver in the Approvals Center.

You can also capture the approver’s feedback with the Comments output. In our Twitter approval example, you can email your teammate informing him/her of why the tweet is unsuitable.

Approve a request

When an approval request is assigned to you, you will receive an email notification matching the title, details, and item link described in the Flow.

Clicking on the Approve or Reject buttons will lead you to the Approvals Center. Here you can see all your pending approval items.

Similarly, if you have the Flow Mobile app (available on iOSAndroid, and Windows Mobile coming soon), clicking on Approve or Reject will take you to an approval screen in the app.

And stay tuned for more!

Our goal with these new approval experience is to make it easier for flow authors to create approval based workflows for data in services like SharePoint and Dynamics and for approvers to quickly process their approval requests, but we’re just getting started. In the coming weeks, we will be adding the ability for you to approve and reject directly from your inbox using Outlook’s Actionable Messages, get push notifications whenever an approval request is assigned to you so that you can approve no matter where you are, and view your Sent requests in the Approvals Center. Help us prioritize our backlog and learn more about your approvals’ needs:

Approvals are available in the First Release region and will be available in all geographies by the end of the week.