Microsoft Dynamics GP has a fantastic workflow process that allows the user to set up detailed and customized workflows (including approvals) at various stages. However, it is limited to certain modules, processes or document types that come with Microsoft Dynamics GP, such as Purchase Orders, Timesheets and Payables.
What if you need a straightforward approval process for something that Dynamics GP does not support out of the box?
With Microsoft Flow, we can create a streamlined approvals processes that will send an email to one or more approvers who can either approve or reject the request. The email can be sent when a user takes an action in Dynamics GP, such as clicking a button on a custom window.
What is Microsoft Flow?
With Microsoft Flow, we create ‘flows’ which are automated workflows between multiple apps and services. Simply put, a flow is a series of ‘if-then’ statements. For example, “If an <event> occurs, then take an <action>.”
Here are two examples of this statement in practice:
- If a user clicks a button on a custom window in GP (the <event>), then send an email asking for approval (the <action>.)
- If the approver clicks “Approve” in that email (the <event>,) then send an email back to the requestor letting them know that the request has been approved (the <action>).
To set up a flow, you simply sign into your Flow account and the website will guide you through the creation process. (Note: You may already have an account through your Office365 subscription.) Most flows require little to no programming, coding or technical knowledge.
Tying together Flow Approvals with custom Dynamics GP windows
Let’s say we have a custom window in Dynamics GP, or a module or process that is not supported by GP’s workflow process. All we want is to be able to click a button on the window that will send off an email (probably to a manager) requesting approval (Figure 1).
Once we click “Send,” our custom window starts a flow, which looks something like the below (Figure 2).
The flow is triggered when our custom window sends it a request. It then:
- Creates a new entry in a SharePoint list to keep a history of approval requests (this step is optional);
- Starts a new approval; and
- Sends an email to the approver (Figure 3).
Once the approver either approves or rejects the request, an email is sent back to the requestor along with any comments.
Dynamics GP has a ton of functionality out of the box, however, when it doesn’t completely meet your needs, there are several options available that provide quick and simple solutions. With minimal setup, we can use Microsoft Flow to augment GP’s approvals functionality to provide a straightforward approvals process that is integrated into GP.