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Mr. WMr. W 

Approval Process - Interesting Requirement

I have to do some brainstorming regarding an Approval Process solution, and would love any suggestions you have.  Here's the requirement.  


Two step approval process.  


  • First Step:  Approved by one of the  Assitant Managers.  (30 different Assistant Managers that manage unique areas) 
  • Second Step: Approved by Senior Manager


Challenge:  The submanagers are not salesforce users in Salesforce.  I know that approvers have to be users in SalesForce, however these managers will never be.  


I have to think outside the box, even if i totally remove the first step of the approval process and replace it with a field update, apex coding, or have to do some programming in microsoft Outlook.


 Thanks for your strategy thoguhts!  




Here is my Suggestion....


As you Mentioned the assistant managers are not the salesforce users.

Approval Process have a Feature Email approvals--A User Can approve or Reject the approval request by replying to the mail.


Now ,you have users in your Organization rite, Change that users mail Ids with the mail Ids of the People to whom you want to send the Approval Request.


When they reply through Email your approval request get approved or rejected.





Mr. WMr. W

This is actually a great suggestion, however the team of people that will be submitting for approval outnumbers the number of approvers.  


For example.  There are five people on the team that will click "Submit for Approval" and 30 different people who may recieve the request.


Also, if we went this route it would lead to confusion further down the line, when there are password resets and email notifications going to the wrong people.  


Do you agree?


Thanks for you initial feedback, got any other suggestions? 

A few other options that might work include:
1. create a "internal" Partner account, contact/user and/or a Site Guest user (I think we have one on our production instance that we can use at no additional charge) ---> with the intent that this account is obviously not going to be used for a guest or real partner account, but as a workaround to enable you to include whichever one you choose in your approval process(es). I just looked and am able to choose either in our production instance.

2. You could also purchase one user account and/or chatter plus account and dedicate this email address to be used for the approval process pertaining to the 30 non-user managers. Create a field that references the requestor's manager (which can be done plenty of different ways relatively easily) and include this field (the manager's name or ID or some unique identifier) in the email which would be sent out. Next, create some mail filtering/forwarding rules on your Exchange server for this mailbox such that if the email originates from whatever address is associated with the user type chosen in the first part, and it also contains the unique identifier referencing a specific manager, forward the email to that manager.

There are other workarounds, but I'd explore these first.

What about setting up one email address in Exchange that you could map to
Mr. WMr. W



This is a great suggestion!  Thanks, I think either of these strategies would be able to get the approval alert to the specific manager.  That's half the battle.  


What about getting the approval request BACK INTO salesforce from the original (group) approval email with the manager's response to trigger the next step in the approval process?  Would we have to make a rule on the exchange server as well to send back the ORIGINAL email into salesforce, updated with the manager's response?


As you know, approval by email functionality allows you to respond to an approval request by email by writing "Approve" or "Reject" in the first line of your response and include any comments in a paragraph below.  


How would we crack this second part and get the response back into salesforce?  I don't believe it could be as simple as a forwarding rule here, as that would contain a time stamp, not the criteria approval by email needs to fire.