Creating an Approval Process

If you are looking to combine an Approval Process with Formstack's Salesforce App, the following guide describes how you can create an Approval functionality within the app.

An approval process is commonly implemented by adding a checkbox/dropdown field to the primary salesforce object on the form. The checkbox can denote the state as “Approved (True/False)”. It is also possible to instead use a pick list (“In Review”, “Approved”, “Not Approved”). In addition, it is a good idea to create an “Approved Stage Last Modified” date field to record when the approval was processed.  

From here, there are several options from based on how you would want the approval process to look.

The approval process has the following stages:

Step 1: Submission

End-user submits a record and gets notified through email that their submission is pending approval. This email can be sent through a Formstack Email Alert. It’s also possible to bypass Formstack and use Salesforce Alerts or another system like Pardot which trigger based on underlying record being created.

Step 2: Approval

  1. Create a "step 2" form for the approver to review submission, add or modify data/notes, and approve or deny. This form has auto-generated prefill links enabled. This form can be avoided if the approver will be reviewing the submission directly in Salesforce. Our users typically use a second form for review purposes if the Submission form contains multiple objects or has a complex layout so the context is not lost when looking at individual Salesforce records.

  2. Create a process using Process Builder that triggers on Primary object record creation and sends out an email to the approver or the approver group/queue. If using form, then embed the prefill link field in the email.

  3. The approver gets the email, clicks the link to form or the SF record, clicks checkbox to approve/deny.

    Note: If the Submission form contains multiple objects, it is possible that in failure cases, only some of the records are submitted and hence the submission is incomplete. If this is something you will run into, then it is important to validate that all required related records are linked to the primary object record and to validate their state. This can be done in the process builder you set up.

Step 3: Result Notification

Create a "step 3" form to retrieve the approval state of the submission. The form can contain all data from end-user submission as well as other reviewer data added if needed. At a minimum, it must contain the "approved" checkbox or state field as a hidden field. Conditional logic can trigger other general fields to dynamically show a nice approved/not approved message.


Note: Step 1 and Step 3 can be combined and built using 1 form and fields can be hidden or shown using conditional logic.


The key to building approval processes using Formstack Salesforce App is to:

  1. Add an "approved/rejected" checkbox or picklist to the primary Salesforce object used on your form to capture the approval state.
  2. Use prefill, email alerts and process builder to automate the flow.

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