From Akihiro Iwaya: Adding Approval Functionality to Orchestrator

Akihiro-san has done some of the most in-depth early consumption of Orchestrator. Here he demonstrates a number of techniques for lighting up approval processes.

Orchestrator goes GA in Spring ‘22 with new enhancements!!

  • Assignment to Queues and Groups
  • Reassignment of Work Items
  • Cancel a running orchestration
  • API access to trigger Orchestrations

I have been exploring the use of Orchestrator for approvals use cases. Previously I concluded that  “I have confidence in replacing the approval process with Flow Orchestrator because I believe that new functionalities related to the approval process will be available at GA. My implementation of the approval process is a little bit complicated because of lacking standard functions such as supporting Autolaunched Flow, recall approval process (back to previous stage), standard actions (lock & unlock record, get queue member) but I am very excited to continue to watch new features.

In this post I’ll look more deepily at approvals use cases using the GA Orchestrator feature set. I will show three approval process examples using a simplified Employee Time Off Application with minimum automated actions. 


Automatically assign an approver using the manager field in User.

The second example is using the new enhancement of “Assignment to Queues and Groups”. Submitter and the first approver can choose either a user or a queue. 

  • Example 3: User Can Dynamically Choose Next Approvers: 

The final example makes use of the new enhancement of “API access to trigger Orchestrations”.  Submitters can select one of the orchestrators to initiate new orchestration on Screen flow calling Apex action. This is a great enhancement because the user dynamically chooses any orchestrator on the fly. At this Example, the submitter selects a route table record containing three approvers and serial or parallel orchestrator during submit for approval. Again you can add functionalities that are implemented at case1 and case2.

Example 1: Simple Approval Process1 using the Manager Field

The first example is very simple and familiar with the legacy approval process. Automatically assign an approver using a manager field in the user table. There are only two approval steps but you can add more steps.


  • Assign an approver using a manager field
  • Return approval request to previous approver after final approval
  • Track and view approval history
  • Custom ‘Lock Record Behavior
  • Custom notification
  • Eemail notification


Creating Custom ‘Lock Record’ Behavior using Record Type

When the user clicks on this custom Submit for Approval button, the record type of the underlying record is changed. There are two record types, new and read-only with corresponding page layout

. This allows for these behaviors:

  • The Submit for Approval button vanishes. This is enabled in part by the recently introduced Dynamic Actions, a feature that allows admins to choose which actions need to appear in the Highlights Panel on the object’s record page
    • The new record type is linked to a read-only page layout, creating the effect of a Lock Record process.
  • Additional Notes:
    • There is one concern that required fields can not be Read-Only in the layout. Since those fields are always editable, I decided that no fields are required at this object.
    • Replace “New” button : There are two reasons for replacement of New button. Users can not skip record type selection page for default new button and after hitting new button, screenflow shows record creation form with validation of required fields. 

Custom Notification

The Messaging Notification(?) action is used to generate custom notifications:

Work Guide Usage

Approval is done in the Work Guide, where conditional field visibility shows only the necessary fields:

Approval History

Approval History items are logged to enable the full history to be easily views:



Example 2 Approval Process Using Queues/Groups

The second example highlights the abillity of Spring ‘22 Orchestrator to “Assignm to Queues and Groups”. This example doesn’t provide a way to  return the approval request to other approvers but you can easily add that as was shown in  Example1.


  • choose a user or a queue 
  • approval history
  • lock / unlock record
  • custom notification
  • email notification

Choosing a Queue with a Custom ‘Submit for Approval’ Flow



Example 3 :User Can Dynamically Choose The Next Approvers

The final example demonstrates the power of the new feature  “API access to trigger Orchestrations”.  Submitters can select one of the orchestrators to initiate new orchestration on Screen flow calling Apex action. This is a great enhancement because the user dynamically chooses any orchestrator on the fly. 

To enable this, I created a custom object called  a route table where I can configure different combinations of approvers:  


  • route table (custom object) containing three approvers
  • choose either parallel or serial orchestrator
  • return the approval process to other approvers at serial mode
  • approval history
  • lock / unlock record
    • Change record owner to System User so that submitter and approvers can not edit
  • custom notification
  • email notification

When the record is submitted, this version of the orchestration let’s them choose between Serial and Parallel, and lets them choose one of the predefined routes:

Serial mode

Parallel mode



Serial mode

Parallel mode

Legacy Approval Process Features

There are legacy approval process features and corresponding implementation ideas on Orchestration. 

Create an Approval Process with the Standard Wizard

There are three ways to implement “No one can edit a record after submit for approval except admin” functionalities in my examples. The legacy approval process allows administrators to edit or the both administrators and the assigned approver to do. In case you need that the assigned approver also edit a record, “Changing record owner” may be one you take. Before assigning a work item to an approver, the record owner is updated to the approver in flow.

  • Example1 : Dynamic action,record types, replace new button
  • Example2 : Apex Approval Class
  • Example3 : Change record owner
  • Design the Approval Request Page
    • You can design whatever you like on Screen flow  for the approval request
  • Specify Who Can Submit Records to an Approval Process
    • Record-Trigger Orchestration can not set an entry condition with a hierarchy field. So you need to go a long way around to achieve it. 
      • flow action
        • Dynamic action can control who can submit records to an approval process
      • screen flow
        • Update records element update field value
        • Updating field value kicks your Record-Trigger Orchestration
  • Dynamic action can control action buttons on your record pages. You can set action visibility in order to hide/show your action button that executes your Autolaunched Orchestration 

Add an Approval Step to an Approval Process

Automated Actions to an Approval Process

Prepare Your Org for Approvals

Approval History Reports

Manage Multiple Approval Requests

Approval Requests for Users


Orchestrator CAN be a replacement of the legacy Approval Process and implemented with a more complicated scenario. But in case the legacy approval process supports your requirement, then implement it by legacy one. Otherwise you develop your own approval process on Orchestrator. Before Approval Process Flow Templates will be officially distributed, we utilize a hybrid of the legacy and orchestrator for the approval process.