Create your own Press Release approval system

21 January 2010 by Bob North

Last time I looked at a simple approval system for a blog comment – basically adding a checkbox that only the admin can see.

Today I’ll look at a more complex scenario, more suitable for a Press Release. In this scenario we want the Press Release to be approved by three people: one checking grammar, another the technical content, and, once approved on those aspects, a final approval by the CEO.

For this we’ll use three checkboxes, named: Grammar, Technical, and CEO.

To underpin this, the site needs to have four usergroups (in addition to the built-in Visitor usergroup): These we’ll name: Editor, Grammar-Editor, Technical-Editor, and CEO

For each usergroup we create a Data Entry Form, which shows the text of the press release, and, for Grammar-Editor, Technical-Editor and CEO, shows their respective checkboxes.

When the Editor has submitted the Press Release, the system sends an email to all members of the Grammar-Editor and Technical-Editor usergroups. No need to bother the busy CEO at this stage.

When either the Grammar-Editor or the Technical-Editor save the record, the system checks to see if they have both approved it yet, and only if they have both approved it, an email is sent to the CEO asking for final approval.

Once the CEO has approved it, the Press Release can be published. This is achieved by simply adding the criteria to the Query embedded on the page, to see if the CEO checkbox is checked.

Note that it probably isn’t sensible to add criteria here to ensure that the Technical-Editor and Grammar-Editor have approved it. This should have happened anyway as part of the workflow before it reached the CEO, but even if it hadn’t you probably want to allow a side-flow so that if the CEO wants to approve something and get it released, then it happens, no matter what anyone else thinks!

For those of you familiar with the free neatComponents system, it goes without saying that all this configuration is done without writing a single line of code, without any Linux haikus, and without breaking a sweat. If you’re new to the system see  









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