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Requiring approvals prior to publishing Action Flows

Many of our larger teams choose to enable our Approvals feature, which prevents Action Flows from being published until internal approvals have been recorded in the Workbench.


Approvals is an optional feature that you need to activate and configure for your environment before use. Our customer success team can help you set this up quickly, or you can follow the configuring approvals article.

How Approvals work

A new step in your publishing workflow

When enabled, Atomic displays a new mandatory step in the publishing workflow for your environment. In the Action Flow dashboard you'll see new information about the approval status of each Action Flow, and within the Action Flow editor, an Approve tab will be visible which displays which approvals are required before the current draft can be published, and allows approvers to record their approval.

An 'approval' is simply where a workbench member who belongs to a relevant permissions group, has checked a box indicating that they, on behalf of the permission group they are in, approve the current Action Flow draft. If an approval is required from more than one group, the draft action flow cannot be published until all approvals are received.

When configuring approvals, you'll decide how many groups should be required to give approval and configure which workbench members belong in each of those groups.

One approval is required, per approval group

It's common for teams to require approvals from more than one group in their business (e.g. one from legal, one from the data team, one from marketing etc). Atomic lets you configure approvals to require any number of approvals, and to configure the approval groups however you need. Once set up, at least one approver from each approval group must approve every Action Flow before it can be published.

Overriding approvals in case of emergency

We provide the option for you to give certain workbench members special permissions that allow them to step in and provide approvals for approval groups they don't belong to. We still record who gave this overriding approval for our audit trail. Setting up team members with approval-override permissions is an important business continuity consideration, to allow Action Flows to be published when for some (exceptional) reason you don't have time to wait for the usual approvers.

Submitting an Action Flow for approval

The time to submit your Action Flow to approval is after you have created and tested it. Team members with edit access will see an option in the Action Flow editor to submit the Action Flow draft for approval. When submitted, the Action Flow will enter a read-only state, so no further changes can be made.

The editor who submitted the Action Flow for approval, should then let the approvers know there is a new configuration awaiting approval, if they have not already seen this from the Action Flows dashboard.

How approvers record approval

When approvers open the Action Flow in the workbench, they will be able to review the read-only Action Flow, and send tests. When ready, they can navigate to the Approve tab and provide their approval. Only one approver from each approval group is required to provide approval.

Canceling an approval request

At any time, an editor can cancel an in-progress approval, for example if they need to make further changes to the draft. When ready, they can submit it again, and the approval process will start again.

Publishing an approved Action Flow

Once all required approvals have been recorded, a workbench member with publishing permissions, will no longer be blocked from publishing the approved draft. When they return to the editor, it will be clearly shown that the Action Flow has been approved and can now be published.

Want a demo of Approvals?

Let us know if you'd like to see approvals in action, or need a hand configuring them in your environment. They're quick and easy to set up, and can provide a strong control against unapproved publishing, without adding significant friction to your teams workflow