Content approvals (Beta)
This feature is released as a Beta feature, which means that it is under development.
Content approvals is a way to make sure that content is reviewed and approved before it is published. When an editor has finished working on a content item, the item is set to Ready for Review. One or more appointed reviewers must then approve the content item before it can be published. The reviewers are defined by an administrator in an approval sequence.
Content approvals do not apply to blocks at this stage. This means that content in a block can be published immediately even if it belongs to a page that has to be approved.
Sequences and approvers
An approval sequence can be set up with any number of approval steps and any number of approvers in each step. The sequence is set up by an administrator; as described in Managing content approval sequences (Beta).
The approval sequence administrator also defines, for each step individually, who can approve a content item. It is possible to have only one person as approver in a step, but it is recommended to have at least two (per language) in case one of them is unavailable.
As soon as one of the approvers in a step approves the content, that step is considered completed and the item moves to the next step in the approval sequence. (Coming feature: When a content item enters an approval step, the approvers in that step are notified by email and in the user interface that they have an item to approve. The editor who started the approval sequence is notified when the last approver approves the content item and it is set as Ready to Publish, or if an approver rejects the content item.) When the content has been approved in all steps, it is automatically set as Ready to Publish, and anyone with publishing rights can publish it.
The approval sequence overview is opened from the context menu in the page tree:
Editors can normally view an approval sequence but not change it. If an administrator has set an approval sequence on a node in the page tree, editors without administrator rights cannot by-pass the approval sequence. The Publish button is replaced by a Ready for Review button, and setting a content item to Ready for review starts the approval sequence.
If you have content in more than one language, each language must have at least one approver. The administrator decides whether an approver can approve content for all languages or for specific languages. Therefore, it is possible to have different approvers for different languages.
Each language version can be set as Ready for Review and approved separately from the other language version. This means that if your master language is English and you set an item as Ready for Review, the German version of the item can be approved in three approval steps and published before the French version has even passed approval step 1. See Translating content for more information on working with different languages.
Example: Content approval sequence with multi-languages
In this example, there are three approvers in step 1, one for each of language (this is for simplicity only, in reality you should have at least two approvers per language). In step 2, there are two approvers, who have access rights to approve all languages. If one of the approvers rejects the content, that language version is set as a Draft again.
If an approver does not approve a page and rejects it, the page returns to being an editable draft. The responsible editor must update the page and set it to Ready for Review again. The approval sequence then starts over, and the approver of the first step in the approval sequence must approve it again, even if that reviewer had approved the first draft and it was an approver in a later step who rejected the page.
What happens if an approver is away and cannot approve?
To avoid content getting stuck in an approval step if an approver is unable to approve, it is recommended that you have at least two approvers (per language) in a step.
An administrator can always publish a page, even though it is in an approval step.
Administrators and the editor who started the approval sequence can cancel the approval sequence at any step.
Example: Content approval sequence in two steps
Web editor Tina works in the Marketing department and has prepared a new product launch. An approval sequence has been set up for the Marketing pages, and when Tina is done, she does not have the Publish option. Instead, she must set the new product page to Ready for Review. The page is now locked for further editing and according to the predefined approval sequence, one of the company's chief editors Alicia and Carlos, must review and approve the page. [Coming feature: Alicia and Carlos are notified with an email and also when they log in to Episerver CMS that they have a page to approve.]
When either one of Alicia and Carlos has reviewed the page, they approve it.
The approval sequence now states that Steve or David needs to approve the page. [Coming feature: They are both notified by email and in the user interface.] As soon as one of them has approved the page, it is set to Ready to publish. The approval sequence is now done and any editor (or administrator) with publishing rights to the content can publish it. [Coming feature: Tina, who started the approval sequence, is notified.]
If Steve or David declines the approval, the content is set as Draft and Tina must update it and set it to Ready for Review again. Alicia or Carlos will then have to approve the second draft as well.
Working with approval sequences
Starting an approval sequence
If an approval sequence is defined for the content you are working on, you cannot publish directly. Instead, you have to start the approval sequence by clicking Publish? > Ready for Review.
When a content item is in review, its status changes to In review in the Versions gadget. Until it has been approved in all steps of the approval sequence, it is locked for editing. (Coming feature: When it has been approved in all steps, it is set as Ready to Publish, and you are notified of this both in the user interface and by email.)
Approving an approval step
(Coming feature: If you have been set as approver for a content item, you are notified in the user interface and by email when this content item is ready for review.) When you have reviewed the content item, click Approve? > Approve changes. The content item now moves to the next step in the approval sequence, or if you were the last approver in the sequence, it is set as Ready to Publish.
Declining an approval step
(Coming feature: If you have been set as approver for a content item, you are notified in the user interface and by email when this content item is ready for review.) When you have reviewed the content item, and do not want to approve it, click Approve? > Don't approve changes. You may then have to give a reason for not approving the content item in a dialog box. The content item is set as Draft again and the editor needs to update the content and set it to Ready for Review again.
Cancelling an approval sequence
You can always cancel an approval sequence that you have started regardless of which step the content item is in. Click Options > Cancel Review and Edit. You can now edit the content again. When done, you have to set it as Ready for Review and the approval sequence starts over from step 1.