Backup or Delegate approvers enable you to delegate approval request tasks and help ensure approval processes do not get delayed waiting for someone to make a decision. From the August 2016 release onwards you can add up to three delegate approvers for a single user.

You can also add a custom link to the user layout so you can assign a backup or delegate approver for a user from the page layout itself.

Workflow rules needed to be added to the system to ensure the feature works as expected and that the users you select to be backup or delegate approvers receive delegated approval requests.

Note

  • If the backup approver workflow rule is already set up, do not set up separate workflow rules for a Delegate approver as the object used is same.

  • If the backup approver workflow is not set up and if the customer wants to use the Delegate feature, then set up workflow rules similar to the effective workflow rule for a Backup approver.

  • When choosing users to act as backup or delegate approvers, you can use the Backup/Delegate Approvers tab or the Set Backup/Delegate Approver button, if it has been added to the User page layout to designate a proxy.

  • You can either assign a backup approver or a delegate approver at a time.

  • The delegate approver receives only one email for which they have been set up as a delegate for. The delegate approver does not receive emails about any previous assignments made to the Primary user, however, the delegate approver does have access to approve/reject these records.

  • From the May release onwards:

    The current backup/Delegate approver field Apttus_Approval_Backup_User_c  has been deprecated.

    Any custom backup/delegate field/list should map to the new field Apttus_Approval_DelegateUserIds_c.

To create Set in Effect on Effective Date rule

Build > Create > Workflow & Approvals > Workflow Rules

  1. Click New Rule.
  2. Select the Backup/Delegate Approver object and click Next.
  3. For Rule Name, enterSet In Effect on Effective Dateand for Evaluation Criteria select Created, and any time it's edited to subsequently meet criteria.
  4. Do any one of the following:
    • If you have an existing workflow rule criteria, ensure that you modify the rule. If you do not have rule criteria, ensure that you create one.

      (Backup/Delegate Approver: Effective Date NOT EQUAL to null) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Active EQUALS True) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Delegate EQUALS False)
      CODE
    • For a delegate approver specify the rule criteria as follows and click Save & Next:

      (Backup/Delegate Approver: Effective Date NOT EQUAL to null) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Active EQUALS True) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Delegate EQUALS True)
      CODE
  5. Click Add Time Trigger, select the following and then click Save.

  6. Click Select Existing Action in the Workflow Actions section.
  7. From the Search drop-down list, select Field Update and in the Available Actions list, select Field Update: Set Cancellation Date to Null, Field Update: Set Effective Date to Null, Field Update: Set In Effect Flag To True.
  8. Click to move them to the Selected Actions list and click Save.
  9. From the Specify Workflow Actions page click Done and click Activate from the Workflow Rule Detail section.

The workflow rule is active and helps ensure backup and delegate approver functionality works as expected.

To create Cancel Backup/Delegate User on Expiration Date

Build > Create > Workflow & Approvals > Workflow Rules

We do not recommend that you create a cancellation workflow rule for a delegate user since delegate users must be perpetual.

  1. Click New Rule.
  2. Select Backup/Delegate Approver Object and click Next.
  3. For Rule Name, enterCancel Backup on Expiration Date and for Evaluation Criteria select Created, and any time it's edited to subsequently meet criteria.
  4. Do any one of the following:
    • For a backup approver specify the rule criteria as follows and click Save & Next: 

      (Backup/Delegate Approver: Expiration Date NOT EQUAL to null) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: In Effect EQUALS True) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Delegate EQUALS False)
      CODE

    1. For a delegate approver specify the rule criteria as follows and click Save & Next:

      (Backup/Delegate Approver: Expiration Date NOT EQUAL to null) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: In Effect EQUALS True) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Delegate EQUALS True)
      CODE
  5. Click Add Time Trigger, select the following and then click Save:

  6. Click Select Existing Action, from the Workflow Action section.
  7. From the Search drop-down list, select Field Update and in the Available Actions list, select Field Update: Set Cancellation Date to NOW, Field Update: Set Is Active to False, Field Update: Set Effective Date to Null, Field Update: Set Expiration Date to Null, and Field Update: Set In Effect Flag to False.
  8. Click to move them to the Selected Actions list and click Save.
  9. From the Specify Workflow Actions page click Done and click Activate from the Workflow Rule Detail section.

The workflow rule is active and helps ensure backup approver functionality works as expected.

Associating a Backup Approver or Delegate Approver to a User

There are two ways you would want to associate a backup or delegate approver to a user.

Backup approvers can be set via the Backup/Delegate Approver tab or from a User profile. Once past the initial entry point, the process of associating a backup or delegate approver to a user is the same.

Once you have set the backup or delegate approver for a user, you must always click Deactivate before you begin making changes and must click Activate again for the saved modifications to take effect.

Behavior limitation: If you have a single user acting as the backup approver for multiple users and you have set it up to simultaneously re-assign approvals to those original users, the system may not be able to complete that action.


  1. Click Edit for User Layout.
  2. Create a new Section.
  3. From the Custom Links list, drag and drop Set Backup/Delegate Approver to the Custom Links section of the page.
  4. Click Save.


To add multiple delegate approvers for a User

Build > Customize > Backup/Delegate Approver > Page Layouts

  1. Click Edit  Layout.

  2. From the Visualforce Pages list, drag and drop Delegate Approver to the new section of the page.

  3. Click Save.

The Set Delegate approver VF page is now available in the Custom section.

You can now select a user you want to delegate approval requests for and complete the Associate backup approver to a user task.

Before you associate a backup or delegate approver, ensure that you remove the Backup/Delegate User field from the Backup Approver Layout.

To associate a backup approver

  1. Select the Backup/ Delegate Approvers tab or click and select Backup/Delegate Approvers. - or - If the custom link has been added, you can also complete this task from Administration Setup > Manage Users > Users. Select the user you want to assign a backup approver to and go to the Custom Links section and click Set Backup Approver or Set Delegate Approver and proceed to step 4.
  2. Click New to display the Backup Approver Edit page. By default, Transfer in-flight and Is Active is selected, while In Effect is cleared.
  3. If you are setting a backup user, ensure that the Is Delegate check box is cleared.
  4. Click the lookup icon for Current User to select the user you want to assign a backup approver to.
  5. Click the lookup icon for Backup User to select the user you want to act as the backup approver.
  6. Select Transfer in-flight if you want approval processes already underway to be transferred to the backup approver, otherwise clear the option and only new approval processes can get routed to the backup approver. When you select the Transfer in-flight checkbox for a backup approver, the approval request is available only to the backup user.
  7. Enter the Effective Date and Expiration Date, for the period you want all approvals that are sent to the Current User to be automatically transferred to the Backup Approver. Cancellation Date does not impact and is only used for administrative purposes to flag when someone manually ended the effective period, before the expiration date was reached. It is recommended that you do not specify an Effective date and the Expiration date for a delegate approver.
  8. Click Save.

The user's page is displayed and approval requests will now be delegated to the Backup Approver when the Effective Date is reached. The Activate action occurs automatically on that date. When the Expiration Date is reached, the Deactivate action occurs automatically.

You can create multiple entries for Backup/Delegate records. At a time, only one record is active. Also you can create multiple entries for Backup/Delegate records for different date ranges, as long as the date ranges are non-overlapping. All approval requests are routed to the designated Backup/Delegates during the activated time period(s).

Use Case 1: Multiple entries for Backup/Delegate record for different date ranges

RecordPrimary UserBackup ApproverEffective DateExpiration DateIs Active
1SamJack09/01/201909/30/2019True
2SamBob11/01/201911/30/2019True

Both the records are not activated and are future dated records.If you activate the second record now (i.e current date) the following message dialog appears:Primary user Sam already has a Backup/Delegate that is scheduled. This will activate the new record immediately as well as any ones currently scheduled. Are you sure you want to continue?Click Yes to activate the second record (Sam as the primary user and Bob as the Backup Approver) immediately. The Effective Date is set to the current date with no expiration date.On 09/01/2019, the second record is deactivated and the first record (Sam as the primary user and Jack as the Backup Approver) is activated.On 11/01/2019, the second record (Sam as the primary user and Bob as the Backup Approver) is activated and the first record is deactivated.On 11/30/2019, the second record is also deactivated. 

Use Case 2: Multiple entries for Backup/Delegate record

Sam is a primary user and Jack is a backup approver. This record is activated.Now, when you create a new record where Sam is a primary user and Bob is the backup approver and activate it. The following message dialog appears:Primary user Sam already has a Backup/Delegate that is in effect. This will deactivate the existing record and set the new one in effect. Are you sure you want to continue?Click Yes to activate the new record (Sam as the primary user and Bob as the Backup Approver). The previous record (Sam as the primary user and Jack as the Backup Approver) is deactivated at the same time.


To Create Delegate Approvers

  1. Select the Backup/ Delegate Approvers tab or click and select Backup/Delegate Approvers.
    - or - If the custom link has been added, you can also complete this task from Administration Setup > Manage Users > Users. Select the user you want to assign a delegate approver to and go to the Custom Links section and click  Set Delegate Approver and proceed to step 4.
  2. Click New to display the Backup/Delegate Approver Edit page. By default, Transfer in-flight and Is Active is selected, while In Effect is cleared.
  3. To set a delegate user, select the Is Delegate checkbox. The Suppress Delegate Notification check box appears if you select the Is Delegate check box. Selecting this checkbox enables you to restrict notifications to the delegate user for every approval request assigned to the Primary approver.
  4. Click the lookup icon for Current User to select the user you want to assign a backup approver to.
  5. Click the lookup icon for Delegate Approver 1, Delegate Approver 2, Delegate Approver 3 to select the user you want to act as the delegated approver. The approval request will be routed to the primary approver as well as all the delegate approvers. The delegate approvers can perform all the actions as the primary user
  6. Select Transfer in-flight if you want approval processes already underway to be transferred to the Delegate approver, otherwise clear the option and only new approval processes can get routed to the approver. The Transfer in-flight checkbox is always selected for a delegate approver, the approval request is then available to both the Primary user and the delegate approver.
  7. Enter the Effective Date and Expiration Date, for the period you want all approvals that are sent to the Current User to be automatically transferred to the Backup Approver. Cancellation Date does not impact and is only used for administrative purposes to flag when someone manually ended the effective period before the expiration date was reached. It is recommended that you do not specify an Effective date and the Expiration date for a delegate approver.
  8. Click Save.
  9.  Click Edit Layout and remove the Backup/ Delegate user field. 

When required, you can return to the User Detail page to edit or deactivate the backup or delegate approver. If you want to edit the backup or delegate approver, you must deactivate the backup or delegate approver first, make your changes, and then activate it again. This is required because the Backup or Delegate Action (Activate/Deactivate) initiates workflows and logic required for the Current User/Backup User relationship.


We recommend that you do not select the In-Active, In-Effect, Is Delegate, or Suppress notification checkboxes from the All Records View.

To create an email notification for a delegate user

Build > Create > Workflow & Approvals > Workflow Rules

Create an E-mail template to be associated with the to E-mail notification.

  1. Click New Rule.
  2. Select Backup/Delegate Approver Object and click Next.

  3. For Rule Name, enter Send Notification Delegate and for Evaluation Criteria select Created, and any time it's edited to subsequently meet criteria.

  4. For a delegate approver specify the rule criteria as follows and click Save & Next:

    (Backup/Delegate Approver: In Effect EQUALS True) AND (Backup/Delegate Approver: Is Delegate EQUALS True).

    1. Click Add Time Trigger, select the following and then click Save:
    2. From the Workflow Action related list, click New Email Alert.
    3. Create an e-mail Alert as follows:

    4. From the Specify Workflow Actions page click Done and click Activate from the Workflow Rule Detail section.
    The workflow rule is active and helps ensure delegate approver notification works as expected.

Backup Approver Search Page Configuration

The Backup Approver Search page provided as part of the Apttus Intelligent Approvals package is a custom Visualforce page that needs to be correctly linked to selecting a backup user.Previously the New and Edit buttons displayed the standard Salesforce pages, which could have led to incorrect backup approvers being selected, as approval matrix levels are not considered. This enhancement directs you to the correct Backup Approver page from the User Detail record, as well as when you create new backup approvers or edit existing backup approvers from the Backup Approvals tab.

Previously when you clicked  for backup users in the Backup Approver Details page, a lookup window would be displayed. Now, a new Backup User Search page is displayed.

To configure backup approver search pages

  1. Select the Backup Approvers tab or click All tabs and select Backup/Delegate Approvers.

    Note

    If the backup approvers custom link has been added, you can also complete this task from Administration Setup > Manage Users > Users and select the user you want to assign a backup approver to.

  2. Click New to display the Backup Approver Edit page - or - Click Edit for an existing backup approver to display the same page.
  3. Ensure there is someone in the Current User field and then click  for the Backup User.

A new Backup User Search page is displayed from where you can search by name and then select a valid backup user. Previously, a Lookup pop-up window would be displayed.

To configure actions for Backup Approver Search page

Build > Create > Objects > Backup Approver

  1. Go to Standard Buttons and Links and click Edit beside New.
  2. Select Visualforce Page and select BackupApprover [Apttus_Approval__BackupApprover].
  3. Click Save.
  4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3 for the Edit action.

The Backup User  link now takes you to the custom Apttus Visualforce page (Backup User Search). For existing records, ensure that you remove the Backup/Delegate User field from the Backup Approver Layout.