Understanding Approval Framework

Why do we need Approval process?

In our day to day life, we work on various tasks which are part of a larger process. These processes involve several steps and people working together. For example – approval of a promotion in HR, approval of journals, vouchers, expense, assets etc in FSCM.

PeopleSoft provides approval functionality to facilitate this type of multiuser processes also known as Approval Framework. It enables us to automatically trigger workflow notifications to inform the next approvers and takes care of complete Approval process.

There are many PeopleSoft applications that are delivered with predefined approval process. However, there could be more organization specific requirements where we might need to design end to end Approval processes along with front end components for data input and user interactions. For that purpose we can use Approval Workflow Engine.

What is Approval Framework (or Approval Workflow Engine)?

"The Approval Framework is the engine that provides capabilities for creating, running and managing approval processes."

Technically, the engine uses a series of database objects combined with application component configuration settings to determine how to process approvals using workflow.

Approval workflows are triggered when requesters submit a transaction, such as a promotion. The application hands the transaction over to the Approval Framework, which finds the appropriate approval process definition and launches the approval workflow. A set of approvers then carry out tasks related to the transaction.

Define Approvals Framework Process Flow

Approval Framework (also known as Approval Workflow Engine) is comparatively easier than standard PeopleSoft workflow. Approval Workflow Engine (AWE) has reduced the amount of coding required to configure Approval Workflows. Hence, it enables the functional users to configure the workflow themselves once the initial development was done by a developer.

Approval Framework design process involve following users:

  • Application Developer

Application developers register information with the Approval Framework by using the Register Transactions page. This page integrates application with the Approval Framework by registering an application and describes its components, event handler, and records.

  • Functional business analysts

Functional business analysts define the approval process definition for an application transaction. The approval process definition includes setting up approval stages, paths, steps, recipients, and notifications for each approval process ID. They are also responsible to define user list definitions, email template definitions, and transaction configuration settings.

  • End Users

End users create transactions and then use an approval process with approvers and reviewers within an approval flow. Using this process, the different end users can approve or deny requests, monitor transaction statuses, and audit approvals.

On high level, we can define following activities that are required for end to end configurations for a new Approval Workflow Engine. Discussion of these configurations and setups will be the main focus of this course.