Power Up With Power Apps – Content Approvals and Versioning in SharePoint Part 1
SharePoint Integration: Part 1
Over the past decade, Microsoft has continued to make strides in creating a more user-friendly and integrated workspace for its users. Power Apps was developed as a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platforms, to enable an application development environment for businesses to create customized apps to meet their business needs.
Since the release of Power Apps, Microsoft has expanded its capabilities with the integration of SharePoint. In this article, we will cover how to do Content Approvals & Versioning within the SharePoint integration in Power Apps.
Enable Content Approval & Versioning
Document that contains sensitive information often require approvals. This can be easily done in SharePoint Document libraries by enabling the out-of-the-box Content Approval Feature.
This enables documents in a specific document library to have a simple approval process. Using this process documents pending approval will not be visible to users until they are approved.
To enable content approval for a document library:
- Go to the Document Library > Settings > Library Settings.
- Click on Versioning Settings
- Set Content Approval to Yes
- Set Document Version History to Create Major Versions
Major versions refer to document version number 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc. You can keep the default number of major versions (500) or change it to your requirements. This means that when the versions have reached the limit set, the first version created will be deleted to makes space for the new version (FIFO). SharePoint will only store the number of version set.
- Set Draft Item Security to Only users who can approve items (and the author of the item). This means documents in Pending or Rejected state will only be visible to the author and approvers.
- Set Require Check Out to No. Keep this off if you would like users to be able to collaborate on documents at the same time.
- Click OK to save the settings.
Once Content Approval has been enabled, two views are automatically created:
- My Submissions
- Approve/reject items
Two columns are also created and added to views:
- Approval Status
- Approver Comments
Assign User Permissions
Approvers must be assigned elevated permissions to approve documents.
Create a SharePoint group called Approvers, add managers/approvers to the group and assign the Permission level Design to them. This will give them Approval capabilities. To do this:
- Go to settings > Site Permissions > Advanced Permissions Settings
- Select Create Group
- Name the Group Approvers
- Set Give Group Permission to this Site to Design – can view, add, update, delete, approve, and customize.
- Select Create to create the Approvers Group with elevated permissions.
Note: If your site has Publishing features enabled, you should have special Approvers group created for you which has Approval capabilities. Make sure to add this group to your site and add approvers into the group.
How Content Approval Works
When a document is created or uploaded to the Document Library, with Major versions are enabled, it defaults to the Approval Status to Pending. At this moment only the creator and the approver can see the document.
The approvers can go and Approve or Reject the document.
- Go to the Document Library > Select the document > Click on the 3 dots > Select Approve/Reject
Note: this option is only available for Approvers.
- Select Approve and add comments (optional).
- Click OK to save.
Once approved the document is now visible to all users and its Approval Status has been changed to Approved.
Every time the user makes additional changes to the document, the Approval Status changes back to Pending and this new version of the document is submitted for approval.
If the approver Rejects the document, the document is only visible to the author and Approver, the Approval status changes to Rejected.
Other users will continue to see the Approved version of the document until the new version of the document is Approved.
You can check the version history of the document by > Selecting the document > Clicking on the 3 dots > Selecting Version History.
Major V. Minor Versions
Creating Major and Minor versions of documents helps create a great publishing experience. This becomes useful especially when it comes to making changes to a document.
Every time a user edits the document, SharePoint sets the Approval Status back to Pending. Enabling minor versions gives users the option to select when they would like to submit the document for approval instead of SharePoint doing it for them by default.
To enable minor versioning:
- Go back to Library Settings > Versioning Settings
- Set Document version history to Create major and minor (draft) versions.
- Minor versions refer to document version number 0.1, 0.2, 1.0, etc.
- Click on the check box to keep drafts for the number of major version if you would like to save draft versions.
- Click OK to save the settings.
- Now when a document is created or uploaded to the Document Library, with Major versions and minor versions enabled, it defaults to the Approval Status to Draft. Draft means it is not published yet. At this moment only the creator and the approver can see the document. However, the document cannot be approved or rejected because it is still in Draft status.
- When the user is ready to submit the document for approval, they can publish it by selecting the document > Clicking on the 3 dots > Selecting More > Selecting Publish then OK.
- Once published, the Approval Status changes to Pending and the Approver can Approve or Reject the document now.
- You can check the version history of the document to see draft versions by Selecting the document > Clicking on the 3 dots > Selecting Version History.
When the approval process has been set up; you can set up alerts to send emails when new items are uploaded for approval. Managers can set up alerts for themselves to receive notifications when new items are created or modified in that document library, or the site collection administrator can set up alerts for users.
To set up alerts for users:
- Go back to Library Settings > Click on the 3 dots and select Alert Me
- Add users to the Send Alert to box.
- Leave the delivery method to E-mail.
- Set change type to New items are added.
- Set alerts for these changes to Anything changes.
- When to send alerts Send notification immediately.
- Click OK to save the alert.
Another good way to manage alerts using out-of-the-box SharePoint and Power Automate features is to create a custom Date column for Libraries that have Content Approval enabled in them.
When documents are sent for Approval, a date could also be added in the Custom Date column, this way Approvers can quickly create the “Set a Reminder” email alert flow to remind them of items they need to action before a pre-set number of days before its Due Date.
Want to discover more about Power Apps? Read more here
Learn more concepts like Content Approval & Versioning, through our Power Up with Power Apps Series.
Contact us to get started or learn how you can implement and use the SharePoint Integration in Power Apps for maximum collaboration and productivity.
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