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Approvals in Microsoft Teams enables everyone, from frontline workers to corporate headquarters employees, to easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from your hub for teamwork. Approvals in Teams is currently rolling out and should be generally available by mid-January. Once the Approvals apps is automatically installed, you can seamlessly:

 

Create an approval request
You can quickly start an approval flow in Microsoft Teams from a chat or a channel conversation. You can also create an approval from the Approvals app. Simply fill in the name of the request, who needs to approve it, any additional information, and add an attachment if needed. Additionally, you can create custom responses to tailor your request to the needs of your business.

 

Approve or reject a request
Once an approval is submitted, approvers are notified. They can quickly review the details of the request and any files included in the approval. If the request was submitted in a chat or a channel, an approvals card will be displayed with all the relevant actions you can take.

 

Track and manage your approvals
You can see and manage all your approvals from one place, the Approvals app in Teams. Each request is displayed along with key details such as the status, source, requestor, and approvers. You can also select a specific approval to see some more information and track progress.

 

Bring all your approvals in one place
Approvals in Teams is built on top of Power Platform so you can bring all your approval flows across the company together in one place using the simple workflow and extensibility capabilities of Power Automate.

  1. From the Power Automate design studio, you can create a new flow and select a trigger such as a system driven event from one of our 350+ connectors including the Azure DevOps and ServiceNow connectors that were recently updated to easily be plugged into the Approvals App in Teams.
  2. Add a workflow step to create a Start and Wait Approval by using the Approvals block as an action and fill in the relevant approval details like approvers, attachments, etc. By adding this step, you will automatically start seeing approval status updates and notifications directly in Teams via the Approvals hub.
  3. Add a condition to monitor whether the request was approved or denied to complete the next step in your workflow.

 

Capture electronic signatures (Coming soon)
There may be times when you need something approved and recorded with more formal attestation, and adding signatures to the approval process is necessary. We’re working closely with key partners to allow you to create an electronic signature approval using Adobe Sign, DocuSign, and other 3rd party providers natively within the Approval app. Simply choose your electronic signature provider and add the details. Once submitted, signers are notified with an email and can easily review and sign. Approvals will keep track of the entire workflow right in context within Teams.

 

Resources
Get the most out of approvals in Microsoft Teams using these resources:

44 Comments
Senior Member

This is something really cool! Thanks for making it available :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

New Contributor

Brilliant! Any inbuilt options surrounding reminders for pending requests?

Occasional Contributor

Great, Will it support markdown in the approval details?

Regular Visitor

This is awesome! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Visitor

Great! When will be the function of capturing electronic signatures available?

Microsoft

Yes to reminders and markdown, both are currently in the backlog. ESign is being worked on as well and should go into our preview rings soon.

Occasional Visitor

@farhazmsft Awesome! IMHO Approvals Tab should be removed from Power Automate App and give room to Buttons (only available from Mobile).

Senior Member

Where within Microsoft's cloud enterprise entities are these approvals stored.  Our organization would need the ability to run report on all approval activity in order to adopt this useful functionality (particularly if reminders do get added).

Occasional Contributor

This is awesome.. Thanks 

 

 

But why is the file attached in approval request in a channel gets stored in personal OneDrive? Shouldn't it be stored in the channel folder for consistency?

 

I understand it gets stored in OneDrive when the request is from a person/group chat.

Contributor

This is great. but a few questions:

1. Is there any chance we can get the multiple approver to approve  in order. Just like how Adobe sign does.

2. Is there any way to prove a particular document is approved? Audit report?

 

Thanks

Ryan

Senior Member

This is a highly anticipated feature - thank you!

 

HOWEVER, why is the attached file stored in a users personal OneDrive folder? As long as i keep the same file name, i can modify the file as I like DURING and AFTER the approval process. I tested this! :facepalm:

I do not even see the possibility to get a hash value or access the file via PowerAutomate in order to send an email to all approvers for documentation/backup purposes. If i did my research right, this is in no way auditing-proof. :cry:

 

Furthermore, a generated protocoll file would be highly appreciated.

 

Thanks Stephan

Contributor

@Henrik, I just tested and markdown does not appear to be supported yet. You can see the difference in a basic approval flow from Power Automate: 
2021-01-14 16_40_44-Approvals _ Microsoft Teams.png2021-01-14 16_43_44-Mail - Bynum Hoekstra - Outlook.png

New Contributor

Great to see this arrive in Teams. I had an in-depth play with it yesterday.

When creating an approval via Power Automate, approvals only appear as a notification in Teams if someone has used the app before. Otherwise they only get it via email. Speaking of, our preference would be to not email and only notify via Teams. Is there any way to control that either at an admin or user level? And can we have approvals notify those in Teams without having to open approvals first?

Frequent Visitor

This is great but I only see the option to send files for approvals in my Approvals app. Is there anyway to send a link to a Teams SharePoint stored file? I would have hoped this would be native since it is a "Teams" app.

Frequent Visitor

@Jin Chen yes there is an audit log see the section on it here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoftteams/approval-admin

 

It is in Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Center though, not sure if it is a license or permissions issue for me so I have not actually seen it.

Occasional Visitor

Been waiting for this release, however is there a way to download the approval and/or receive an email confirmation of the approval so that it can be stored on a shared file location rather than on the Sender/Receivers personal Microsoft Teams? The approval process may only be between 2 people however the approval itself is required to be reviewed at a later stage by other parties.

Occasional Contributor

Great release however I wish for something a little more functionality available from the teams gui.

 

Being able to add:

 

  • Multiple attachments and notes related to each attachment
  • Alternative approval Processes (for example; I'm the manager, I receive the invoice personally, I want to use approvals to send my finance team the invoice with my approval, then they just accept to confirm they have received it and the audit trail is there).
  • If the approver needs more info, they should be able to contact the sender via the process, like in Planner, you can have a comments section where you can comment back and forth first before accepting/rejecting
  • Approval Deadlines - So that approver gets notifed more regulary to ensure they approve the request
  • Out of Office Notification - If the approver is away when you add them to the request it displays their OOO message, so you can clearly see if they are away or not so you may try someone else
  • Email notification option - Not only notify the approver on teams but also via email with a link which takes them to the teams app to appove.
  • Categorisation - break approvals down by categories (invoices approval, document approval, price deduction approval). So its easier to see when reviewing.

Stuff like this.. thoughts?

Occasional Visitor
  • Does it have API to send approval requests from custom apps?
  • Are real-time notifications supported?
Occasional Contributor

Hi

As a resident "super user" in my organisation, I have written a number of Approval Flows in Power Automate for other users' benefit.

 

In this new Teams Approval feature, I am now seeing every approval request created by my Flows... and it's driving me insane. 

 

How can I turn this off, or at least differentiate between those approval requests generated by me and those generated by Flows I have written?

Frequent Visitor

So, I am able to "attach" Excel files to requests, but it keeps saying that a link could not be created when I try to "attach" Word files.

 

Attaching apparently moves the file into a new Approval folder on your OneDrive and then attaches a link to it. No idea why it work find for Excel files and then fail to make the attachment link for Word files.

Occasional Visitor

@Geoffers 

 

The in-app notifications can be disabled using the following:

  • Open Teams
  • Go to the Activity tab
  • Click the Settings gear
  • Scroll down to Approvals; click Edit
  • Customize to your liking. To completely disable in-app approvals, change every value to "Off".

I really think these should have been disabled by default, or at least allow you to choose whether they should be enabled in a per-flow basis from Power Automate. My users are getting duplicate notifications now (email and Teams), and I had to send instructions to all 50 on how to turn these off.

Microsoft

That's awesome, love it.

Occasional Visitor

This is great! Any timeline on when approvals will support SharePoint rather than uploaded documents? It would also be great to assign approval parameters to each individual so that all involved can see status in real time. 

Senior Member

Awesome!

But I can't choose approvals type, because there is not selection field in my approvals daialog. 

Occasional Contributor

Thanks very much to @ell10706 for the helpful answer.

Can it send to email too when we submit request to manager?

Occasional Visitor

This is a great feature but I need to disable it for my company. I have seen (above) how to disable it for the individual users but that does not help me.

 

Thank you

Frequent Visitor

@JaydeeVA 

Half way down the page here may give you what you need for global disabling: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/approval-admin

 

Occasional Contributor

A few things...

 

- The approvals should be available and accessible just like the List app what can be accessed via the M365 App Launcher so you don’t have to go to Teams all the time to use it, besides, file attached to it gets stored in OneDrive. 

- There should be some clear guidance on how to do and keep track of auditing with these approvals

 

- There should be some suggestions / recommendations for the best way to share these approvals as in corporate settings approvals get shared time to time 

 

Thanks

 

Occasional Visitor

Can you add the ability to include hyperlinks? At present when you add a website or URL the approver cannot click it which is a pain when its a very long link. Not everyone uses files when requesting approvals as somethings a process can involve a cloud based file or website. Thank you!

Occasional Visitor

Hi 

@Bynum HoekstraIs there any workaround regarding that markdown issue?

 

sany98_0-1611157781331.png

 

Contributor

@sany98, it looks like @farhazmsft says that it's on their backlog for the future: Approvals in Microsoft Teams, Now Generally Available - Microsoft Tech Community

Valued Contributor

i think this feature is not completed yet, as we have the following "Custom Responses - Wait for all responses" which attach a file to the notifications ,as follow:-

 

attachment.png

 

but the notification which get sent to MS teams (unlike the email notification) will not include the attachment .. is there a way to fix this? is we can not fix this.. then can we disable MS Flows from sending approvals notifications to MS Teams?

Microsoft

@john john put the attachment link / url in the "item link" field and then it will show. Will flag the other issue you pointed out and get it sorted, thanks!

Valued Contributor

@farhazmsftsimply our customer is not happy with getting approval notifications through Ms Teams.. so is there a way to disable them? i found this setting is this fine to turn this off, as follow:-

 

nofill.png

Senior Member

Great! However, please, please, please add a History view in Teams! I can only see Received and Sent, whereas in the Power Automate Approval Centre there is the History view which keeps the whole thing nice and tidy. Without that in Teams the list quickly becomes a mess.

Occasional Visitor

This may have been mentioned already but a hyperlink does not activate in Comments section.  We want to be able to send a SP link to a document and not have to attach it.   I like this function but need the hyperlink to work.

 
 
Occasional Contributor

It is available for GCC Tenants? thanks in advance.

Occasional Visitor

If someone rejects the approval, is there a way of re activating it once amendments have been made rather than starting a new approval in order to keep the full version history

 

Occasional Contributor

@farhazmsft is there anything happening on the reassignment front? This one thing I see now that might force users back to the Power Automate Approval Center.
Cheers

Contributor

I've sent an approval to the people in my Team through the channel; however, they cannot open the card to approve or deny; they just reply. What is wrong?

Occasional Contributor

Will this be available to GCC tenants? If yes, what is the timeline for release?

Occasional Visitor

Hi, so the approvals app is great, but something seems to be wrong with it when my users submit approvals via a chat discussion, rather than specifically initiating and viewing approvals on the approvals tab.   All requests show "something went wrong" and only display the details button, until everyone has approved the request, then it seems to be fine.  I suspect this is something wrong with the power-automate portion I was warned about needing to be installed the first time I tried a chat-initiated approval flow, but I don't know where to start.   Any ideas?

Occasional Visitor

Hi, 

 

We really like how the Approvals app in Teams looks and works. However, we do have some questions that we cannot find the answer to.

 

Where are the approvals stored? 

How can one export the audit history for approvals?

Where an admin see all approval flows in the tenant?

 

Kind regards,
johanna