A process definition serves as the framework for your approval process, providing options for setting up key objects like entry criteria, email templates, and approval summary pages. 

Entry criteria is used to define the conditions that must be met before an object record is routed through the approval process. For instance, you may want to specify that a certain approval process for agreements is only used when there is a discount given of greater than 10%. 

While everyone may have a Salesforce dashboard set up to display outstanding tasks, having email templates associated with the approval process ensures that people are notified outside of Salesforce when they are required to approve an item, helping ensure the approval process does not stall.

Approval summary pages contain the information and action items that enable a record to be reviewed and approval actions to be taken. The default summary pages provide sufficient information for Agreements, Opportunities, Quote/Proposals, Proposal Line Items, and Term exceptions; however, the pages can be configured to provide whatever details are needed.

You can do the following using the Approval Processes tab:

To create a rule based approval process

  1. From the main menu, select Apttus Approvals Setup and click the Approval Processes tab. A list of all active and inactive approval processes are displayed.

  2. Set up a new rule based approval process.

  3. Select the Entry Criteria which indicates when the approval process starts.

  4. To override the default approval summary page and my approvals page, enter the approval summary visualforce page name and the my approvals visualforce page where the approver indicates whether they approve or reject the item and click Next. You can leave these fields blank to use the default pages. There is no auto-lookup available for this, you must enter the exact name of the page to change the setting. The default pages are OpportunityApprovalSummary, AgreementApprovalSummary, QuoteApprovalSummary, QuoteLineItemApprovalSummary, and AgreementTermExApprovalSummary.

  5. Specify the Backup Admin User. From Backup Admin Approver Settings, search and select a user who can act as the backup admin for a specific process and click Next. If an approver is deleted or is inactive, an approval request is sent by default to a backup admin. If you do not select one, the global backup admin user is used.

  6. Click Save.

A rule based approval process is created.

To create an ad-hoc approval process

  1. From the main menu, select Apttus Approvals Setup and click the Approval Processes tab. A list of all active and inactive approval processes are displayed.
  2. Set up a new adhoc approval process.

  3. Specify Consolidation Settings.

  4. Select Custom Email Notification Templates.

  5. Specify the Backup Admin User. From Backup Admin Approver Settings, search and select a user who can act as the backup admin for a specific process. If an approver is deleted or is inactive, an approval request is sent by default to a backup admin. If you do not select a backup admin, the global backup admin user is used.

  6. Select Comment settings.

  7. Set up fields to be displayed on the My Approvals page.

  8. Set up Auto re-approval settings.

  9. Click Save.

An adhoc approval process is created.

Setting Up a Rule Based Approval Process

  1. Click Create Approval Process.
  2. Use Manage Approval Processes for to select one of the following objects for which the approval is triggered and click Create New Approval Process.
    • Agreement
    • Agreement Line Item
    • Agreement Term Exception
    • Line Item
    • Opportunity
    • Product Configuration
    • Proposal Line Item
    • Quote
    • Quote/Proposal
  3. Select Rule Driven Process to create rule based approval process. Specify entry criteria which when satisfied, triggers the approval process. For example, you can trigger an approval for all agreements having a Total Agreement value more than 5000 dollars.
  4. Type a mandatory Process Name and provide a Description for the approval process.
  5. Click Next.

Setting Up an Ad-hoc Approval Process

  1. From the main menu, select Apttus Approvals Setup, select Approval Processes.
  2. Use Manage Approval Processes for to select one of the following objects for which the approval is triggered and click Create New Approval Process.
    • Agreement
    • Agreement Line Item
    • Agreement Term Exception
    • Line Item
    • Opportunity
    • Product Configuration
    • Proposal Line Item
    • Quote
    • Quote/Proposal
  3. Select Adhoc Process to create your own approval process with the ability to select approvers/reviewers and decide their sequence of actions while viewing the object record.
  4. Type a mandatory Process Name and provide a Description for the approval process.
  5. Click Next.

Specifying Consolidation Settings

Consolidation applies to scenarios when a user is responsible for multiple approval items for a single document. In this scenario, you can use the Consolidated Notification and Approvals options to avoid sending separate approval notifications to the approver for each approval item. Consolidated Notification is the capability to send single approval email notifications to the approver for all the header or line item approvals, when all the approval items become available for approval. This enables approvers to review all their approval items for a document as a whole, rather than revisiting the same document multiple times. When all the items become available, the system changes the status of all the approval items to Assigned and then you are allowed to independently Approve or Reject the assigned approval items. You can navigate to the My Approvals page (provides the list of all the approval items for the user for that document) in the application to take approval actions. From the My Approvals page, you can selectively approve or reject assigned approval items.

The Consolidate Notifications check box when selected, enables the assignee to receive single consolidated assignment notification for all approval items. An approver then has the flexibility to approve or reject all or subset of the assigned requests. An assignee also receives consolidated e-mail notifications for cancellation and notify only requests. If an approver is defined for notify only steps, a consolidated notification email is sent after all the notify only steps are available. If an approval is cancelled, and the user is an assignee for multiple steps, the user receives a consolidated cancellation notification.

Email Approvals: In case of email approvals for consolidated notifications, when you approve or reject an approval using email, all the items that require approval are Approved or Rejected simultaneously. Email approval does not enable you to approve or reject individual approval items. You can then either respond to the email approval notification to approve or reject all the items assigned to the user or can navigate to the "My Approvals" page (provide the list of all the approval items for the user for that document) in the application to take approval actions. Within the application, from "My Approvals" page, user can selectively approve or reject assigned approval items. System will consolidate the approval requests as per the behavior specified above and send single notification for all the approval items that require approval from a given user when all the items become available, rather than sending separate notification for each approval item. The Consolidate Approvals check box when selected, enables the assignee to receive single consolidated assignment notification for all approval items. An approver can then either Approve All or Reject All the requests that require their approval.

  1. To bundle multiple approvals into a single approval action, select Consolidate Approvals. Consolidated Approvals only works when Consolidated Notifications is selected.
  2. To bundle multiple notifications into a single notification both via email and in Salesforce, select Consolidate Notifications. Consolidated Notifications can work independently.
  3. To continue the approval process even when the approver rejects an approval request, select Continue Pending Approvals on a Reject. The Continue on Reject flag means “Continue to assign all approval requests in the chain as if all requests before it were approved regardless of whether they were or not." This flag at the approval process level does not have any effect on the flag at sub process (Process Rule) level. This flag at the approval process level and at sub process level do not necessarily have to be the same.
  4. Click Next.

For more details and scenarios, see Consolidated Approvals, for more details.

Specifying the Custom Notification Email Templates

Specify the Custom Notification templates that are used when an approval request is sent to an approver or a reviewer via an email and click Next. You can specify the following email templates or leave the fields empty to use the default templates:

Custom Notification TemplatesDescription
Assignment Email TemplateThis is used for emails that are sent to someone who has been assigned a task, based on the approval workflow process. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Assignment).
Reassignment Email TemplateWhen an existing task is reassigned to someone else, this is used for the email sent to that person.. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Reassignment).
Cancellation Email TemplateThis is used to notify people when an approval process has been cancelled. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Cancellation).
NotifyOnly Email TemplateThis is used when the Notify Only option is selected in one of the steps. The recipient of this email does not have any action items. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Notify Only).
Reminder Email TemplateThis is used when reminders are set up. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Reminder).
Escalation Email TemplateThis is used when auto-escalation is enabled and an outstanding approval task has reached the point where it is auto-escalated. The default is Apttus Agreement Approval Notification (Escalation).
If you submit approvals with attachments, the email templates you use need to be custom templates.

Select Comment Settings

Submission comments are comments made by the person submitting the request at runtime and can be specified at the process or step level. When enabled at process level, the user can enter a comment that applies to the entire process when the request is submitted for approval. When enabled at step level, the user can enter from one to three comments for each step that step comments are enabled for when the request is submitted for approval. Submission comment labels specified below should be the actual name of the custom label and cannot contain spaces. At runtime the value in the custom labels is resolved as the label used for the comment. Submission comment labels are defined at the process header level but can be enabled for each step individually.

  1. To customized comment that applies to the approval process or step when the request is submitted for approval, select Submission Comments Enabled.
  2. To enable mandatory comments while approving an Approval process, select Approval Comments. This flag impacts an Approval on Run time, Approval Summary page as well as Approval dashboard. When the Approval comment flag at process level is enabled, an approver has to add comments while approving an approval request.
  3. To enable rejection comments in an approval, select Rejection Comments. These comments can be entered by the submitter or an approver while approving or rejecting the request.
  4. Click Save.

Selecting an Entry Criteria

If your approval process is a Rule-based process, specify entry criteria for the approval process. When the Entry Criteria is met, the approval process is triggered for an object record. You must ensure you select an appropriate operator for the field value, as there is no validation of operator-value combinations. If no criteria is selected, all records will require approval once the approval process has been activated.

  1. Select the fields and operators to create your expression:

    OptionDescription
    FieldThe fields available are related to the Business Object, or a Child Filter if one is selected. If you have defined Search Filter Approvals as Entry Criteria on your Line Item or Child object, all the corresponding fields of your Child object are populated here.
    OperatorCommon sense needs to be applied when selecting operators. For instance a field value for Approval Stage cannot be greater than another field.If you select in or not in, the Value list will become a multi-select list and you can choose multiple values, if applicable. For example if the field is Approval Status, you could select multiple values associated with it, such as Not Submitted and Pending Approval. Ensure that you set a sequence number for the entry criteria to view the values.
    ValueThe value that is compared against Field to determine if the expression is true or false.

    You can add another line to the expression and make it an AND relationship, where each line must be true. You can change the combination to OR and AND relationships between each of the lines of the expression.

  2. Click Next.

Setting Up Display Fields for preview and My Approvals Page

Select fields to display for preview and My Approvals pages. A maximum of six fields are allowed per step.

  1. Header Display Field lists the fields that appear in the approval request header. From Header Display Field, select a field that appears on the My Approvals page of the record.

  2. Select display fields from the Unselected Items list and move to Selected Items list to be displayed on the My Approvals Page. To add more sections to the Approvals Summary Page, click Add Section.
  3. Click Next.

Setting Up Auto Re-approval Settings

  1. To set auto re-approval for the Approval process, select Enable auto re-approval.
  2. To enable deletion of previously approved requests before the request is auto-approved., select Allow approved requests to be deleted.
  3. Click Next.