We're continuing with the Workflow User Setup window used to assign approvers in the new Workflow 2.0 feature found in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2.
In part 1 of this blog series, we talked about the selection type of 'People and Groups'.
In this blog, we're still using the same scenario of setting up the new Workflow 2.0 functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, whether it be a Purchase Order Approval, Purchase Requisition Approval, Payroll Timecard Approval or Project Timesheet Approval workflow type.
For this example, we're using the Purchase Requisition Approval workflow type, with a domain name of 'CONTOSO' and Active Directory users: CONTOSO\USER_A, CONTOSO\USER_B, CONTOSO\USER_C, and CONTOSO\USER_D.
To select an approver for this first step of the Purchase Requisition Approval workflow, we click on the lookup/magnifying glass button next to the 'Assign To' field, which opens the Workflow User Setup window.
In the Workflow User Setup window, for the 'Selection Type' field, we now choose the 'Hierarchy' option, which then enables a 'Start From' and 'Assign To' field as well.
How the Hierarchy selection type works is, when a batch or document is submitted for approval through Workflow 2.0, to find the approver to which it'll assign to, it will first look at the 'Start From' field to find out what is listed there, then once the functionality finds that, it will then look at the 'Assign To' field to find what is selected there. By using the two values, Workflow 2.0 will know where to assign the batch or document to, for approval, for this first step.
Each step in a specific workflow type can be setup with different approvers and selections in this window, for example, while we're using Hierarchy for step 1, we may be using People and Groups for step 2 and so on.
For the 'Start From' field, there are the following options:
>>Workflow originator - this option means that when a batch or document is submitted through Workflow for approval, when it looks to find what approver to assign it to, it will start with the Windows user account that the user was logged onto the machine as, while they were accessing Dynamics GP 2013 R2, and created/submitted the batch or document for approval.
***NOTE: In order to have the Windows account that we're logged onto the system on while submitting a requisition for approval, (The Workflow Originator), be the approver for that same requisition, in the Workflow Maintenance window, we must have the 'Allow originator to be an approver' option marked, otherwise instead of making the Workflow Originator the approver, it will default to the manager of the overall Workflow type, in this case Purchase Requisition Approval.
This is true regardless of which Workflow role is selected, and in any case where the user account submitting the document or batch for approval is also going to be the approver of those same documents/batches.
>>Workflow manager - this option means that when a batch or document is submitted through Workflow for approval, when it looks to find what approver to assign it to, it will start with the specified manager for the workflow type being used. In our example, for the Purchase Requisition Approval type, we would click on the 'Purchase Requisition Approval' in the Workflow Maintenance window, to see the manager selected. Here you can see we have USER_D as the manager of the Purchase Requisition Approval workflow type.
>>Alternate final approver - When you choose to create a new workflow, in this case for Purchase Requisition Approval, a window will open where you can enter the name of the workflow, select options and what to do when a task is overdue, as well as activate the workflow. Under the list of 'Options' on this window is an option to 'Use alternate final approver', which uses the same Workflow User Setup window we're discussing. If you have a Windows user account listed in this field, you can select this option to have the workflow start with, when attempting to find the approver to send the document or batch to. In this screenshot, I have USER_D selected for my alternate final approver, for the Purchase Requisition Approval workflow I have setup.
>>Requested by - After setting up and activating the Purchase Requisition Approval workflow type, requisitions are then created and submitted for approval via the Purchase Requisition Entry window (Transactions > Purchasing > Purchase Requisitions). In this window, on the header part at the top, there is a 'Requested By' field as well as another 'Requested By' field in the Line section of the window, which is considered the Line Requested By. Because this field is populated by the GP account you're logged into Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 as, the application again will look at the Windows user account you're logged onto the machine as, then go into Active Directory and find the Direct Manager, Skip Level Manager or Number of Levels manager accordingly.
>>Line requested by - This option is the same as the 'Requested By' option.
>>Lastly, when using either the 'Project Timesheet Approval' or 'Payroll Timecard Approval' workflow types, there is also an option to use 'Employee' under the Hierarchy selection in the 'Start From' field and also under the Workflow Role selection, as the role. With this option, you can set the project timesheet or payroll timecard to be sent to the employee's direct manager, skip-level manager or use the number of levels to skip multiple managers to get to a specific manager for approval. Using 'Employee' for the Workflow Role would send the timesheet/timecard to the actual Employee/Windows user account for approval, again granted that the option to allow the originator to be the approver is marked, otherwise it'll default to the employee's manager.
***NOTE: We currently have a known issue with the 'Payroll Timecard Approval' and Project 'Timesheet Approval' types in Workflow 2.0, where the issue is when specifying the approver for a workflow step and choosing the Employee's direct manager, this is not working correctly. What we're seeing is that these workflows default back to the manager of the workflow itself, as listed in the Workflow Maintenance window. The current work-around is, as long as users are submitting their own timecards, the approver should be changed to use 'Workflow Originator' / 'Direct Manager', by using this, the workflow will look at the Windows user account being used, then look in Active Directory for that user's actual manager to assign the timecard or timesheet to for approval.
Let's take a look at an example of how the 'Hierarchy' selection type for approver works in Workflow 2.0. For an example, let's say we have the following setup in Active Directory:
User_A, who's manager is setup to be User_B
User_B, who's manager is setup to be User_C
User_C, who's manager is setup to be User_D
While logged into Windows as User_A, we're going to create and submit a requisition through Dynamics GP 2013 R2 / Workflow 2.0.
For the approver, we're going to setup the Workflow User Setup window to use 'Hierarchy' for the Selection Type, 'Workflow Originator' for the Start From value and then 'Direct Manager' for the Assign To value.
With this setup, since User_A will be considered the creator or originator of the submitted requisition, the requisition will be assigned to User_A's direct manager for approval, which is User_B, as per Active Directory.
If 'Skip Level Manager' was setup for the Assign To value, then it would've skipped User_A's manager and gone onto that manager's manager, which is User_C.
Lastly, if 'Number of Levels' was chosen as the Assign To value, and we chose '3' for the number of levels, approval of the requisition would be assigned to the third level of manager, which in our example, would be User_D.
The Assign To values of 'Direct Manager', 'Skip Level Manager' and 'Number of Levels', work the same regardless of what is selected for the Start From value, as long as Hierarchy is chosen for the Selection Type.
This covers the Windows User Setup window and using 'Hierarchy' for the Start From value. The next and last of the three blogs regarding this window will be on using 'Workflow Role' for the Start From value.
Do you know if the issue in the PTE approval has been fixed within 2015R2 ? Also, what would be the simplest way to mimic the approval hierarchy that is setup in GP2010 today in PDK between the employee and the Supervisor/Manager ? often this may not match what is entered in the AD domain hierarchy... on the other side, I don't want to create a PTE Work-flow for each and every employee... this would be ridiculous..
Thanks in advance for your input.
Is there a limit to the number of GP workflow approval steps?
Hello CJ, We don't have any maximum number of Workflow steps that you can have for approval using Workflow 2.0 functionality. We've seen customers with a couple hundred, but we haven't actually tested to find what the maximum would be, if any.
When setting up a workflow, is it possible to have the employee select who they are submitting to at that time? ie. If a person has 4 roles and each role submits to a different person.