New option to require All approvers to sign off, and more connector actions

Everyone must approve Approval type

Back in April we introduced modern approvals. With the built-in Approvals feature, you can send authenticated approval requests anyone in your organization. These approval requests support multiple people at once - but until now, the first response to the approval request "wins". This means that if the first person to responds with Approved, the flow will continue and use that Approved value, irrespective of the opinions of the other approvers.

However, there are some cases where you want all of the people who received the request to indicate their approval. To enable this, we have added a Approval type menu with two options:

  • Anyone from the assigned list - This is the way approvals have worked in the past, with the first responder's response taking precedence
  • Everyone from the assign list -  This is how you can indicate that you want all of the responders to mark the request as Approved

When you select Everyone from the assigned list - the the action will wait for all responses. This means that if any person does not respond, then the action will "timeout". You can configure a timeout from the "..." menu -- by default it is 30 days, and then you will need to add an action that explictly handles that time out by using the Configure run after option in the "..." menu on that additional action. Note that if any person rejects, the approval is immedately considered Rejected and will continue on to the next step. 

This new approval type has additional outputs -- for example, you can see the comments and responses of all of the approvers. One easy way to show these is using the Create HTML Table action that can send a summary of the responses in an email:

We hope that you find this new approval type useful. If there is another type of approvals you'de be interested in, please suggest them on our ideas forum.

New actions in connectors

One of the most requested is the ability to generate PDF documents. If you store a file in OneDrive for Business - you can use the new Convert file action. Just pass the ID or the Path of the file that you want to convert and you'll get back PDF content that you can include in an Email attachment or just save back to your OneDrive.

Other new actions in OneDrive for Business are:

  • Upload a file from a URL
  • Search for files in a folder
  • Move or Rename files
  • Create share links (as announced previously)

Second, there is a new Apache Impala connector. Apache Impala (incubating) is the open source, native analytic database for Apache Hadoop. Connect to your Impala database to read data from tables. Go here to see the documentation on this connector.

Third, there is a new action in the Office 365 users connector to Get relevant people. This returns back a list of the people that a given person works closely with.

Add a description to your flows

Finally, you can now give your flows descriptions, which is useful if you are sharing them inside of your organization and you want your co-workers to get a few more details about the flow before they run or edit it.

To add a descirption to a flow just select Add a description when you're looking at the Flow details. You can enter whatever details you would like in the side pane and select Save. Now, whenever anyone else in your organization runs or edits the flow they can see those details.