Get Manager approval in SharePoint Designer 2010 - Step by Step

Posted by Unknown on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A fundamental condition that you always encountered when gathering workflow requirement is to get the user's manager approval, a tedious amount of coding to connect to active directory retrieve user profile information, get his manager login name, pass it as a parameter to the workflow, create a custom task for the manager with a notification. 
SharePoint 2010 Designer to the rescue, you can do all the above in 15 clicks, with ZERO code involved. Just by doing the following:

  1. Open SharePoint Designer 2010 and connect to your SharePoint site.
  1. Click Workflows and select the workflow type you need, for this presentation I'll use reusable workflow with All content types as my scope. But this doesn't affect the following logic, the same steps applies for the List and Site workflows.
  1. From the Workflow ribbon select Actions > Collect Data from User, you can also select assign a to-do task but collect action from user allows you to create a custom task for the manager
  1. This will show you the Action in the workflow editor.
  1. The action is constructed from three parts:
    1. The data, which is the custom task that will be collected
    2. This user, which in our case the manager
    3. Output to variable: collect. Collect is  the task ID which you can change it, use it to refer to the task when you need to pass a variable through this task.
  1. Clicking on data will allow you to create the custom task by starting the task wizard, open the wizard and click Next.
  2. You will need to specify a Task name, and you can also specify a description. For now lets call the task "Review Task". And click Next
  1. Now you can Specify the Task custom field by clicking Add and select the field type, I will specify two field:
    1. Approved as a choice with Yes/No.
    1. Comment as a text area.

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