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Struggling with Your Approval Process? Workflow User Groups Can Help.

08-27-2020 12:20 Kevin Fons Dynamics 365 BC | NAV

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If you find yourself scrambling to get items that need approval to the right person, at the right time, and in the right order, setting up Workflow User Groups in Business Central or NAV can be a big help! Find out how easy it is to get started in this tutorial guide.

Published by Innovia Consulting

Workflow User Groups help you streamline your approval process and make sure nothing gets missed! Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central / NAV’s Workflow User Groups feature creates a list of users authorized to approve requests generated by business rules you define. 

In this article, we will create a Workflow for Purchase Order approval and demonstrate three types of user groups: All Approve in Sequence Order, All Approve in No Sequence Order, and Only One Approval required.

Create the Workflow User Group for All Approve in Sequence Order

We will start with the All Approve in Sequence Order scenario. When a Purchasing Agent creates a Purchase Order (PO), we want the Purchasing Manager to review the approval request and then, if it is approved, have the CFO approve it.

First, we create a New Workflow User Group called POAPPROVE. We add the Purchasing Manager and the CFO as approvers. The sequence numbers assigned are the order in which approvers must review the PO; the Purchasing Manager is first, and the CFO is second.

Note: If it does not allow you to add the approvers’ names, you may need to verify that they are listed in the Approval User Setup page.

Purchase Order Approval Group

Create the Workflow

Next, we create a new Workflow from the standard BC/NAV Purchase Order Approval Workflow template. 

Workflow Templates

The “Then Response” on the first event (Approval of a purchase document is requested) needs to be changed to specify an approver type of Workflow User Group and select the newly created Workflow User Group POAPPROVE.

Since our Workflow User Group was set up with the users having a sequence of 1 and 2, the approval is sent in sequence order from the first approver (Purchasing Manager – Sequence 1) to the second approver (CFO – Sequence 2) upon approval by the first user. When each user approves the request, a request is sent to the next user in the group based on the sequence number. When all users in the Workflow User Group have approved the request, the Purchase Order is released. If the request is rejected the Workflow will exit and the document will not be released.

All Approve
  1. Change the Workflow response to specify the approval type of Workflow User Group.
  2. To Change, drill down into ‘Add record restriction’ and select ‘Create an approval request for the record using ...’
  3. Modify as shown below.

Edit - Workflow ResponsesNow you can enable the workflow.

Create the Workflow User Group for All Approve in No Sequence Order

What if you want to send the approval request to all users in the group at the same time? All you need to do is to set the sequence number on the Workflow users in the Workflow User Group to the same number: 1. Then when the approval request is created, entries will be generated and sent to both the Purchasing Manager and the CFO at the same time.

All users in the Workflow User Group are still required to approve the request for the PO to be released. If the request is rejected by anyone in the User Group, the Workflow will end, and the document will not be released.

Workflow User Group

Create the Workflow User Group for Only One Approval required

This final scenario is where the Company wants the PO to be approved by ANY of the approvers in the Workflow User Group, requiring only one approval for the PO to be released. This is often used when the second approver is a backup or if both approvers have equal authority for approval.

We will set the Workflow User Group sequence the same as in the prior example but make a change to the Workflow.

We need to change the condition on the second line of the Workflow steps from Pending = 0 to Always and delete the line with the condition of Pending >0.

  • The Pending = 0 line is the line that releases the PO after all the approvers have approved the request in our prior example and by setting this to Always it will release the PO if any of the approvers approve the request.
  • The Pending > 0 line was used to hold the release until all approvers have approved the request in the first two examples.

Purchase Order

Additional Notes: Request to Approve Page vs Notification (Best Practice)

When Workflows are used and a large number of approval requests are generated to e-mail or to the internal BC/NAV notification process, this may become overwhelming. I recommend using the Requests to Approve page. The page puts all the controls you need in one place. You can accept, reject, delegate, add comments, and open the document directly from this page. It only shows your required approvals.

Requests to Approve

I hope this article has demonstrated the advantages of Workflow User Groups and of each of the three process types.

About Innovia Consulting

Innovia Consulting is an award-winning Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partner dedicated to adding value to your business and delivering exceptional Customer Service. Innovia differs from most Microsoft value-added resellers because we focus exclusively on Business Central, lending your team unparalleled product expertise and support. We also continue to help companies that are using Business Central’s predecessors: Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Navision.

Visit Innovia Website


Kevin Fons

Written by Kevin Fons

Terms of Use: Dynamic Communities does not take responsibility for any incorrect or outdated information and looks to the author as the expert to provide accurate content.

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