Working with approval workflows

Please note that the installation of Workflow Accelerator is mandatory in addition to Process Manager. The approval workflow functionality can only be activated if Workflow Accelerator was successfully installed. Please follow the instructions in the Workflow Accelerator administrators manual.

Approval workflows enable you to control validation of diagrams before publishing. Approval workflows ensure that decision makers and BPM experts review and approve the quality and factual correctness of a diagram before it is published in Collaboration Hub or deployed to a workflow execution system, like Workflow Accelerator.

Approval workflows make sure that diagrams have been approved by a list of users before they are published in Collaboration Hub.

Approval workflows can be configured to automatically publish an approved diagram to Collaboration Hub, or to send rejected diagrams back for editing. In the explorer, a rejected diagram is marked with a red X, an approved diagram with a green check mark and a published diagram with a globe icon.

If you want to configure approval workflows, read more at Managing approval workflows and contact your workspace administrator to receive the corresponding license.

Workflow Accelerator is much more than just a tool to approve diagrams. You can automate all kinds of other processes as well. If you are interested in a Workflow Accelerator subscription, contact

Start an approval workflow

In this section, you will learn how to start an approval workflow for diagrams.

You can start approval workflows for diagrams of all types.

  1. To start an approval workflow, select the diagram you want to have approved in the explorer.
  2. In the menu bar select Share and then Start approval workflow. The corresponding dialog box will open.
  3. Click the link to open the workflow instance in Workflow Accelerator.
    Sample: Jane Doe needs to approve the diagram.
  4. In case there is more than one approval workflow for your workspace, select the approval workflow you want to start from the drop-down menu and then click Start.
  5. You receive a message that the approval workflow has been started successfully. This hint dialog also contains a link to the appropriate workflow instance.

If the diagram is approved, you can see that the approval status of the diagram has been updated in the explorer.

Processing an approval task

This section describes how you work as a recipient of an approval workflow task.

As soon as a modeler requests an approval from you, you will receive an email with a link to the case in Workflow Accelerator.

  1. Click the link to open the approval task. The approval task opens in Workflow Accelerator.
  2. Check whether the corresponding diagram fulfills your requirements.
  3. Click the Show comments link to open the diagram in the commenting view.
  4. Click the Compare revisions link to get a better overview over recent changes via the Comparing revisions tool.
  5. Open the explorer to access further functions:
    • To open the diagram again, double-click it or select it and click Show comments, then Compare revisions/diagrams.
    • To check whether a diagram complies with modeling conventions, select Modeling conventions (XLSX).

      The report is especially helpful when you conduct a formal approval with focus on BPMN quality.

    • To point a colleague to a diagram, select the diagram you want to share and select Invite to Collaboration Hub.
    • Start approval workflow triggers a new approval workflow case for the selected diagram.
    • To get an overview of all pending approval workflows, you can either click Show started approval WFs or Open approval task list in the upper panel.

      Show started approval WFs provides a basic overview in the explorer, whereas Open approval task list opens a more detailed, filterable view in Workflow Accelerator.

  6. Once you have finished the review, go back to the approval case in Workflow Accelerator to approve or reject the change.

    In the explorer, a rejected diagram is marked with a red X, an approved diagram with a green check mark, and a published diagram with a globe icon:

Processing open approval tasks

  1. In the menu bar, select Share and then Open approval task list.

    You will be redirected to your Workflow Accelerator workspace. Here you can see your tasks:

  2. Click a task to open it.
  3. Click the corresponding buttons to complete the task.
  4. In the menu bar, select Share, then Show started approval WFs. A dialog with an overview of running (and completed) approval workflows opens.
    • If you have selected a diagram before opening the dialog, all approval workflows for this diagram will be displayed.
    • If you have selected a folder, all approval workflows for diagrams in the selected folder will be displayed.
    • If you haven't selected anything, all approval workflows of the folder that is open will be displayed.
  5. Optionally, you can activate the check box Show completed approval workflows to include completed workflows in the list.

    The entries are sorted by creation date. Approval requests that are in progress are shown first, followed by completed approval requests.