Announcing SharePoint page approvals

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Microsoft

We are happy to announce that we will be releasing SharePoint page approvals to Targeted Release. We expect to start the rollout of this feature to all Targeted Release tenants by end of July 2018.

 

Rollout status

Current rollout status:

 

  • July 31st, 2018 - Deployed to 10% of Targeted Release tenants
  • August 3rd, 2018 - Deployed to 50% of Targeted Release tenants
  • August 6th, 2018 - Deployed to 100% of Targeted Release tenants
  • January 8th, 2019 - Deployed to all tenants in SharePoint Online

 

Documentation:

1. Configure page approval

2. Page approval flow

 

Known issues

  1. If the page is checked-out by another user and you (the author in this case) submit the page for approval, the page will not notify and proceed with the approval. The flow will run and send an email indicating to the author indicating an error occurred in publishing the page. 

  2. If you have only major versions enabled for the Site Pages library, submit for approval will result in int he following error:
    • Could not complete that action: The type of data at position 0 is different than the one expected.

  3. There an issue with the Flow service for the UK region. Any existing UK tenants created before March 2018 will work while it affects only new tenants created after March 2018. We expect to have this resolved by end of September if everything goes according to the plan. See this thread for more information.

Good news is that these will be fixed soon are fixed!

 

If you have any feedback, please make sure you discuss here!

 

Configure page approval

Site owners can configure page approval to add to the standard publishing process for a site. After adding page approval flow, new and updated pages will be not be published directly. Instead, only the completion of the approval flow will make changes visible to all readers of the site.

 

A site owner can configure page approval flow from the Flow menu of a pages library.

 

Create page approval flowCreate page approval flow

 

Submit page for approval

Once the page approval is configured, authors will be able to submit page for approval. The publish button will be replaced by a submit for approval button.

 

Submit page for approvalSubmit page for approval

 

The page will be published once the page is approved. Rejecting a page will put that page back to draft status.

 

Approve page

Approvers will get an email regarding the page approval request. They can either approve the page directly in the email (in email clients that support actionable messages) or open the page from the email to review and approve the page in SharePoint.

 

Approve pageApprove page

 

Customizing the page approval flow

Since page approvals use Microsoft Flow behind the scenes, the page approval flow is available to site owners to modify and add any custom business process items in the flow. After creating the flow, the site owner can click on Flows -> See your flows in the pages library to find the page approval flow.

 

For example, The default approval type is set to ‘anyone can approve’. Site owners can modify the flow and change the approval type to ‘everyone must approve’ if that is the requirement.

 

Change approval typeChange approval type

 

 

62 Replies
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Would love some info about
- how can you tell if page approval is in place on the site pages library

- how can you remove a page approval flow

 

I configured a Page Approval Flow; 

Then I deleted the Flow (from Flow);

it took a while (hours) - but finally removed it

Now, I see it again … not sure what is happening.
Any insight?

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@Karen McCauley wrote:

Would love some info about
- how can you tell if page approval is in place on the site pages library

- how can you remove a page approval flow

 

I configured a Page Approval Flow; 

Then I deleted the Flow (from Flow);

it took a while (hours) - but finally removed it

Now, I see it again … not sure what is happening.
Any insight?


You can tell if page approval is enabled by:

- You should see Approval Status column in the library

- Navigate to Library settings->Versioning settings and you will see Content approvals turned on

 

To remove a page approval flow:

- You can delete or turn off the flow in Flow website

- However, note that even though you delete the flow, page approval is still turned on and SharePoint will fall back to non-Flow approvals since the Flow is no longer available. 

 

To completely turn off page approvals for a Site Pages library:

Navigate to Library settings->Versioning settings and turn off Content approvals

 

Hope that helps.

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I tried to turn off the page approval flow by turning off content approval and deleting the flow.  But when I turn content approval back on, it just shows configure page approval flow.  This is a real problem for me, because I need approvals on this page, but the page approval flow only works for me since I'm the only one on targeted release.  Any suggestions on how I can get a standard flow in there for page approvals until the page approval has full release?

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I just created a separate custom Flow on the library and it works just as well as the out of the box page approval flow really. More work of course, but gets the job done.
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@Carol DeMuth @Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran

 

Ditto, It is difficult to extol  the benefits of moving from on premises toOffice 365/SharePoint Online, to the business when something as basic as an approval workflow doesn't work ;-(  

 

 Do we have an exact eta of when the 'fix' is going to be rolled out to 1)FR and 2) standard tenants? Fix in this instance doen't mean telling my client to shell out for one or more Microsoft Flow P1 licenses.

Approval Flow not working.PNG#

 

Ironically, tomorrow I am meeting somebody to discuss building an OOTB SharePoint 2007 approval workflow for them #thisworksnowinuk.

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@Daniel Westerdale wrote:

@Carol DeMuth @Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran

 

Ditto, It is difficult to extol  the benefits of moving from on premises toOffice 365/SharePoint Online, to the business when something as basic as an approval workflow doesn't work ;-(  

 

 Do we have an exact eta of when the 'fix' is going to be rolled out to 1)FR and 2) standard tenants? Fix in this instance doen't mean telling my client to shell out for one or more Microsoft Flow P1 licenses.

#

 

Ironically, tomorrow I am meeting somebody to discuss building an OOTB SharePoint 2007 approval workflow for them #thisworksnowinuk.


We are aware of this issue of approvals not working in the new tenants created since March 2018 in the UK region and the Approvals team is working on it. We hope to have it working soon. That said, today, the page approvals feature is available to First Release (Targeted Release) tenants.

 

Thanks!

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@Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran wrote:

@Daniel Westerdale wrote:

@Carol DeMuth @Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran

 

Ditto, It is difficult to extol  the benefits of moving from on premises toOffice 365/SharePoint Online, to the business when something as basic as an approval workflow doesn't work ;-(  

 

 Do we have an exact eta of when the 'fix' is going to be rolled out to 1)FR and 2) standard tenants? Fix in this instance doen't mean telling my client to shell out for one or more Microsoft Flow P1 licenses.

#

 

Ironically, tomorrow I am meeting somebody to discuss building an OOTB SharePoint 2007 approval workflow for them #thisworksnowinuk.


We are aware of this issue of approvals not working in the new tenants created since March 2018 in the UK region and the Approvals team is working on it. We hope to have it working soon. That said, today, the page approvals feature is available to First Release (Targeted Release) tenants.

 

Thanks!


Thanks for the update.   Incidently, I saw this error yesterday evering so maybe the fix is being rolled out our FR dev tenant

 

The request failed. Error code: 'XrmInstanceProvisioningIncomplete'. Error Message: 'A Common Data Service database for this environment has not completed provisioning or does not support approvals. A database administrator must save a Flow using approvals in order to complete provisioning.'.

 

 

 

In the interim, I guess we have number of options to present to the business:

 

  • Use Emails with Actions ( tried this with one of the Flow Ambassedors on Friday)
  • Build 2013 or 2010 style workflows if these can work against modern lists. 
  • Invest in Nintex Workflow Cloud, Skybow.  or whatever.

 

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In the interim, I guess we have number of options to present to the business:

 

  • Use Emails with Actions ( tried this with one of the Flow Ambassedors on Friday)
  • Build 2013 or 2010 style workflows if these can work against modern lists. 
  • Invest in Nintex Workflow Cloud, Skybow.  or whatever.

 


Just to be clear, the page approval feature is only available for SharePoint modern pages. You can either the default SharePoint based approval (with no options to customize) or use Microsoft Flow that will allow you to customize the approval flow. The page approvals also provide direct integration with the SharePoint UX for submitting a page for approval and reviewing the approvals. 

 

As mentioned earlier, this is a widespread issue with the Flow Approvals platform and will be fixed soon so customers can start using approvals, not just in page approvals but also in any other flow they build.  

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HI @Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran, how far is this now through deployment, any date for completion of non FR tenants/users?

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Thanks this is now working in my Tenancy. This morning the 23 October I was able to create a CDS in my default environment!
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Hello,

We're experiencing the issue where the creator of the approval flow (myself) can see Submit for Approval but other users just see Publish and the flow does not work. I've created the flow using the built in Configure Page Approval Flow from the drop-down inside the library and only added an approver. No other customization has been done.

 

Is there an issue with Flow that's causing this or have I done something wrong? Do I need to add users anywhere in flow? The users trying to submit pages for approval do have Flow for Office 365 enabled on their Office 365 accounts. Does this feature require purchasing an actual Flow license package?

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@Marc Laflamme wrote:

Hello,

We're experiencing the issue where the creator of the approval flow (myself) can see Submit for Approval but other users just see Publish and the flow does not work. I've created the flow using the built in Configure Page Approval Flow from the drop-down inside the library and only added an approver. No other customization has been done.

 

Is there an issue with Flow that's causing this or have I done something wrong? Do I need to add users anywhere in flow? The users trying to submit pages for approval do have Flow for Office 365 enabled on their Office 365 accounts. Does this feature require purchasing an actual Flow license package?


I fixed that issue - I misread the rollout (Targeted release, not standard release). All users leveraging this feature have been moved to Targeted. However, we're now experiencing a new issue. I'll post a new conversation.

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@Steven Collier wrote:

HI @Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran, how far is this now through deployment, any date for completion of non FR tenants/users?


We are close! :)

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Hi all,

 

After announcing our rollout plans, I am happy to announce that the feature is now 100% rolled out to all tenants in Office 365. 

 

We can't wait to hear more feedback! Keep us posted on what you think about the feature and any questions you might have!

 

Thanks,

Chaks

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Hi all,

 

After announcing our rollout plans, I am happy to announce that the feature is now 100% rolled out to all tenants in Office 365. 

 

We can't wait to hear more feedback! Keep us posted on what you think about the feature and any questions you might have!

 

Thanks,

Chaks

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Hi,

 

This is a really great feature and it works perfectly in the browser, but... Is it true that it doesn't work when creating a "post" from the SharePoint app? I was setting this up for a customer, but the approval flow is not triggered when creating pages from the app.

 

Do you know of any workaround to make this work ?

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Yes, this does not work when creating a post from the SharePoint app. The recommended workaround is to switch to a desktop browser and continue submitting that page for approval.
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Okay, is it going to at some point and if so, when is the eta?
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@Chakkaradeep (Chaks) Chinnakonda Chandran 

 

Hello,

 

I'm having an intermittent issue with SharePoint approvals and was wondering if you could help?

 

When I click 'Submit' for approval 50% of the time it doesn't automatically refresh and change to 'Review' approvals. I have to manually CTRL+F5 the page and Submit for approval a second time.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thank you.

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I have filled out all of the fields but the Create button remains disabled? Are there any other settings that control when this feature?