Get faster results with Approvals in Microsoft Teams

Published Sep 22 2020 08:00 AM 199K Views

 

Whether you need written acknowledgement from your manager, a formal authorization from a diverse group of stakeholders, or an official signature from a customer, getting things approved is part of almost every workflow. However, they can be hard to track and manage when so many systems and people are involved.


Approvals in Microsoft Teams lets you easily create, manage, and share approvals directly from your hub for teamwork. You can quickly start an approval flow from the same place you send a chat, in a channel conversation, or from the Approvals app itself. Just select an approval type, add details, attach files, and choose approvers. Once submitted, approvers are notified and can review and act on the request.


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 info and track its progress.

 

Approvals in Teams was built using the same security and compliance standards that Microsoft customers expect and rely on. Events such as creating a new approval, an approved request, and a rejected request are recorded and can be reviewed in the M365 Compliance center. Additionally, admins can define how the Approvals app is used across the organization from the manage apps page in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

 

 

Capture electronic signatures
There may be times when your workflow needs something beyond just approving or rejecting a request, like getting a signature. Because of this, we’re working closely with key partners to allow you to create an electronic signature approval using Adobe Sign, DocuSign, or 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.

 

 

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.


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 (e.g. a new file is created in a SharePoint Folder or an issue is assigned to you in GitHub). Then, 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. You can also add a condition to monitor whether the request was approved or denied to complete the next step in your workflow, like updating another system of record.


For example, when a specific form is submitted, you can create a flow to act on the request directly from Teams and define what happens after the request is approved (e.g. post a confirmation message in Teams) or rejected (e.g. create a task in Planner).

approvals1.png

 

The approval will automatically show up in Teams:

approvals2.png

 

Approvals in Microsoft Teams will be available soon. For the latest status, refer to the M365 Roadmap. In the meantime, check out our Look Book.

53 Comments
Frequent Contributor

Great feature.

 

With powerautomate the history of approvals in the app.only stay for 30 days

 Is this still the case with the Teams approvals?

 

 how would we track the approvals from a history perspective? 

 

Thanks 

New Contributor

Hi,

 

Will this feature available for external users like customers or partners?

 

Thanks

Senior Member

This looks great, and really fits our requirements moving forward.

It would be great to know who the launch partners for the e-signing element are going to be. We're in budget season right now, and it'd be useful to plan any required subscriptions in advance!

Regular Visitor

Looks amazing, spent the last hour trying to find the app in Teams.  Next time I know to scroll all the way down.  When will this be released. The Roadmap says October CY2020, is that still the case.  

New Contributor

This will be a great feature for organizations. When will this be released to users?

Visitor

Hi guys, since workflows 2010 has been deprecated. This looks like a good alternative to once was a great system. Any idea when this will be released. 

Regular Visitor

Come on Microsoft answer the simple question, when will this be released.  I've been trying to find out for a month and no reply from anyone.  When is the app available.  

Regular Visitor

Maybe if the thread hits a certain number someone will reply. 

Regular Visitor

I don't feel like building everything out in PowerAutomate so looking for this feature to go live since we use Teams to initiate approvals but no automated process and this app is everything we need.  

Regular Visitor

I'm hoping 10 comments is the threshold to get someone to actually reply, we'll see.  

Occasional Visitor

How many approvers in a single approval can it support? Hope to see it rolled out soon.

Occasional Visitor
Approvals.jpg‎Approval in Teams not working‎ 
 
Approvals fail to be created, when you try to add a file attachment. Below is the error I receive as soon as I try to attach a file from my PC. Same goes for Teams web app
 
 
Regular Visitor

@ReemaJ how did you get the app on Teams? 

 

Occasional Visitor

Still not idea when it would be released?

Occasional Visitor

This feature is now available on Teams, probably in fourth week in Oct. The maximum number of emails in the approvers list as I can see is 10. It would be good to have more than that.

Senior Member

@ReemaJ@VenugopalPanchamukhi,

 

How were you able to install the app in Teams?

Occasional Visitor

@VenugopalPanchamukhi  how did you install the app in MS Teams? The app does not appear to me...

Occasional Visitor

This is available to us being in TAP Program

Occasional Visitor

Such an important tool in the belt and hoping to see it roll out in Canada soon. Any update on the timeline? We're into December 2020 now and I haven't seen anything yet!

 

Thanks!

Occasional Visitor

You can see the release date in Office365 roadmap: https://www.microsoft.com/fr-fr/microsoft-365/roadmap?featureid=68724

And you can find more relevant info into your O365 tenant with the associated feature ID (68724)

 

Regular Visitor

Is Microsoft going to give a realistic release date or just keep pushing it back to the next month on the roadmap.  This is the third time it's been bumped that I've seen.  

Regular Visitor

How do you get into the TAP program? 

Occasional Visitor

1. Does anyone know when MS Teams approval will be available for use? 

 

2. Will it be available for all MS licenses or just specific ones?

Microsoft
According to the roadmap, MS Teams Approvals will be released sometime this month: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=Microsoft%20Teams&searchterms=MS%2CTea...
Occasional Visitor

I did notice the most recent update Microsoft made about the January release date, but it has been postponed since 10/2020. My company has big plans to substitute a very costly approvals software by March and I just to know if I should make another plan instead of waiting for the MS Approvals.

Frequent Contributor

I think I have answered my own question on Approvals history. 

 

Looking back at the approvals in the Flow portal / Actions / approvals I see items there dating back over 3 years where I have approved things. 

 

Also from what I understand the messages of approvals are kept in the users chat history  i.e. mailbox for EDiscovery purposes. 

So if I am correct we should be ok. 

 

Regular Visitor

I see Microsoft's approach to this app is to just keep saying every month is the new release date.  I wish I could run project management this way.  Sorry boss we'll go live next month, nope maybe next month.  

Occasional Visitor

Is this Approvals data saved in Common Data Service database ? (Dataverse) Can we integrate or export this information out of that to integrate with other business applications.

 

Occasional Contributor

Approval details when viewed in Teams don't appear to respect formatting and mark-up :(

Frequent Contributor

I see the approval rolled out this morning. But we have some questions here:

1. Is Microsoft going to make approval in sequence?

2. I dont see the way to select approval flow as the video shows

 

Thank you 

Contributor

This showed up in our tenant yesterday. Do we know if we can make the Approval app work with more than one environment? We'd like to try it on our Dev environment in addition to our default Prod environment.

 

Occasional Visitor

I am trying to evaluate the use of Approvals and have a couple of questions: -

1. Where does the data get stored?

2. Is there a workflow function in Approvals? or all the approvers can sign at the same time?

Thanks.

Visitor

It all looks great until the formatting issue happens.

Team's app does not respect markdown language. Why not support HTML instead of markdown? I had so much trouble configuring and testing emails/adaptive cards. This is overall a great feature, but has an ample room for improvement. 

Occasional Contributor

I love this now being part of Teams but is there a way to have it so that it also sends an email and can then be approved either way?

 

This would be really useful for those that are not yet fully onboard with Teams.

Regular Visitor

Is there a way to create a contact list for approvals so I don't have to type each of my team member's name for approval.  I send approvals to the same group of people.  

Occasional Visitor

This is great!  A few things would make it even better.  

 

1. The app needs to allow the addition of groups in the approvers field. 

2. Power Automate needs the ability to push attachments into new approvals that show in the Teams App.  We currently have flows that create approvals from a sharepoint list.  Now people get notice in Teams of the new approval requests, but the attachment is missing.

 

Any plans to make these revisions?

 

Thanks,

 

Garry

Occasional Contributor

Great news but now I am getting lots of approval notifications in Teams because I created a flow in Power Automate based on a SharePoint list, but I am not the one creating the actual requests. Individuals who create the list item should be seeing the notifications, not me?

Will the approval requests be removed after they time out? 

New Contributor

The feature is very nice. However, instead of only having the option of uploading files, it would be great to have the option to send a link to a file from Teams/Sharepoint as well. This way people can look at the existing file and not create another version of the file floating around for approval.

Senior Member

Where is the integration guide for Adobe Sign?  Currently there is no Adobe (or third party) E-sign provider box as shown in the demo video? Bueller? Anyone?

Occasional Visitor

Is there any way to use the approvals app with guest users? we have an external committee that we need to get approvals from, however when we send requests to them they are unable to view the request.  Apps are enabled for guests in admin centre.  We do not want to give this committee a O365 licence just to give an approval.

 

There doesn't seem to be a lot (any) answers in this thread.

Occasional Visitor

I love this app, but I wish there was a way to search for a request title so you can easily find an approval if needed. 

Occasional Contributor

Will this feature be available in GCC tenants. If so, is there a timeline for release?

Occasional Visitor

I'd like to know where the approvals are going to be saved and for how long? I tried to google this but I couldn't find an answer.

Occasional Visitor

Having the option to approve in Outlook would be handy for those who live and breath Outlook rather than Teams.

Visitor

@davehawk If you enable the notification from the Power Automate connector, you should be able to send action card formatted emails to Outlook. I have implemented that for one of my clients recently. You also have another option to use send an email with choices connector since the OOB approval email notification is quite limited in terms of styling/customization. 

Visitor

@nour81 the approvals are saved under "Approvals" area in PowerAutomate's main navigation page. The default expiry time is 30 days, or at least it used to be. You can also control that expiry duration in Power Automate.

Contributor

In Team channel post and approvals what is the limit for number of approvals?  Seems to be 10 is the maximum number you can add.

Senior Member

The documentation suggest you can select an "Approval Type". I don't have that option, has it not been released yet or is it a configuration setting?

Visitor

@christopherbone 
Are you referring to types like:
Approve/Reject - Everyone must approve;
Approve/Reject - First to respond

If so, these are just different connectors. You just need to find the right connector in your Flow. One callout is that if we choose "Everyone must approve," then there's no way of capturing individual responses until everyone responds. 

Senior Member

Thanks @Juhoon , I am referring to the option highlighted in the image below. I do not have this option when creating a new approval. 

christopherbone_0-1617628440490.png

 

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‎Jan 26 2021 11:27 AM
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