Approval Workflow but with Expiration, is that possible?

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Hi everyone!

I'm trying to come up with an approval work flow but the approval should be on or before a deadline. After the deadline, the approver should not be able to approve anymore. I tried auto lock rows but the approver is still able to submit approval beyond the deadline using the VIEW REQUEST button in the old email sent by Smartsheet, and the approval data gets into the database even when the whole row was already locked.

Does anyone know of any alternative set-up for this?

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  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Hi @Chrisjohn France Juguan 

    Hope you are fine, Unfortunately, this feature is not currently available. it's a good idea and you can submit Smartsheet Product Enhancement Requests using this form.

    and you can play around by adding another automation to reset the approval cell to blank if the date is passed the deadline by using Change cell value workflows

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  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Hi @Chrisjohn France Juguan

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Unfortunately, it's not possible at the moment, but it's an excellent idea!

    Please submit an Enhancement Request when you have a moment

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic day!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Chrisjohn France Juguan
    edited 08/25/21
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    Thank you @Bassam Khalil & @Andrée Starå for the confirmation.

    Just want to share then my alternative resolution that I did to achieve what I wanted:


    As my resolution, I decided to make two columns in my main database for the Approval status and a dummy file where I can auto dump all those that expired.

    In my main database, here are my two columns

    1. Temporary status (this is where the automated approval is placed. this row is hidden)

    2. Final Status (this is the official status containing a column formula: a combined if, index and match formula that refers to a dummy file* to copy the "EXPIRED" status from the dummy file to the final status column of the main database if this particular request is found in the dummy file, otherwise, the formula copies/refers to the Temporary status into the final status if it's not EXPIRED, such as "APPROVED", "REJECTED" or "PENDING")


    But first, I created another dummy file. Then in the main database, I made an auto copy rows going to the dummy file for all expired status. For the database to identify which are expired, I made an automation to auto fill data "EXPIRED" into the Temporary status column if the date is reached. Note also that I have a row ID column for me to easily find expired requests in the dummy file.


    In this way, even if the approver approves a request beyond the deadline (approval placed in the Temporary Status column), the Final status column will not revert back to APPROVED from EXPIRED. I just added an automated notification saying that his approval beyond the deadline is void to set expectations.


    my actual formula in the Final Status column:

    =IFERROR(IF(INDEX({Dummy file to capture expired requests Approval}, MATCH([Row ID]@row, {Dummy file to capture expired requests Approval}, 0), 0) = "EXPIRED", "EXPIRED", Approval@row), Approval@row)

  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Chrisjohn France Juguan

    You can test what you did in actual exercise to know all issues about it, but now another solution came to my mind, try to create another sheet for Expired approval requests and in your main sheet design a workflow to move each row that expired to that sheet and in the expired sheet design a work flow to send notification if the status of approval changed to approved to inform the stakeholders that this row is expired.

    in this way you will keep all expired request archived and you will not need to fill your original database with expired requests.

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    bassam.khalil2009@gmail.com

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  • @Bassam Khalil

    Will try that out. I think auto move to the other file will disable them to access the approval link given that the row is no longer in the database. Great idea! Thank you!

  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Chrisjohn France Juguan 

    You are welcome and i will be happy to help you any time.

    PMP Certified

    bassam.khalil2009@gmail.com

    ☑️ Are you satisfied with my answer to your question? Please help the Community by marking it as an ( Accepted Answer), and I will be grateful for your "Vote Up" or "Insightful"

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Chrisjohn France Juguan

    You're more than welcome!

    Thanks for sharing!

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E:andree@workbold.com | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.