Configuring Approvals

This article will describe how to configure approvals setting, what each of those settings do, and things to be aware of when modifying these settings.  

By default, Approvals settings are set to Auto-Approve for all assets.  This means is that users of the platform will not be aware of approvals gating, and publication of assets with public visibility will not be inhibited by the Approvals workflows.  The Approvals configuration gives administrators granular control over Approvals workflows.  The Approvals configurations page has 3 sections, Official Asset settings, Community Asset settings, and

Official Assets

Official assets are items on the Socrata platform created by users within the organization with a role on the platform.  You can learn more about Official vs. Community assets here. For official assets, administrators have 2 options for their Approvals workflow: Be automatically approved and Require manual approval

Be automatically approved

When this setting is selected, any assets created by an official, or roled, user will be automatically approved for public audience when published to public visibility.  This allows users, who have permissions to publish assets and to manage visibility, to immediately set the audience of assets to “Public” without being moderated by an admin.  When a user publishes a new public asset, or a draft update to an already published public asset, the asset will immediately be publicly accessible via URL, programmatically via API, and discoverable in the public catalog and throughout the platform.  In addition, when an asset is set to “Public” visibility in the Manage Viewers options, it will also become publicly accessible.

Require manual approval

Sets the workflow so that any assets created by an official user will require an administrator to review and approve that asset before it can be publicly accessible.  When an asset is set to “Public”, that asset will be put into a pending state and enter the Approvals queue.  When an asset is pending, it is not accessible to the public and is only available to the owner, administrators, and collaborators on that asset.  It is effectively private until approved by an administrator.  If the administrator rejects the asset it will remain private and inaccessible to anyone outside of the domain. If the asset is approved, it will be publicly accessible.

Community Assets

Community assets are items on the Socrata platform created by users outside of the organization without an official role provisioned to them on the platform.  This includes public Socrata users of the platform that have created assets derived from datasets on the domain. For community assets, administrators have 3 options for their Approvals workflow: Be automatically approved, Require manual approval, and Be automatically rejected.

Be automatically approved

With this setting, any assets created by a community user will be automatically approved for public audience when published.  When a user publishes a new asset, or a draft update to an already published public asset, the asset will be publicly accessible, and if allowed by catalog settings it will be discoverable in the public data catalog.  This setting allows visualizations, filtered views, maps, and any other derived assets to become public without an administrator needing to manually moderate and approve those assets. 

Require manual approval

When manual approval is selected, any assets created by a community user will require an administrator to review and approve that asset before it can become public.  When a community user publishes an asset, it will become pending and enter the Approvals queue.  When an asset is pending, it is not accessible to the public and can only be accessed by the owner, administrators, and collaborators.  It is effectively a private asset until approved by an administrator.  If the administrator rejects the asset, it will remain a private asset, and inaccessible to anyone outside of the domain. If the asset is approved, it the asset will be publicly accessible and it will be discoverable in the public catalog, depending on the catalog settings.

Be automatically rejected

Similar to Auto-Approve, the setting that allows assets created by a community user to be created and published without requiring moderation by an administrator.  Auto-Reject, means that any community asset created will automatically become Rejected, meaning that the rejected asset is effectively private, and inaccessible to anyone but the owner, administrators, and collaborators.  With this setting there is no way for a community created asset to become public and visible in the public catalog. 

Asset Updates

This setting allows administrators to select whether updates to assets are made pending in the approval queue before being applied to the published copy of the public asset.  If Manual Approval is set for either Official or Community assets, and this box is selected, any draft update to an asset that is already published with Public visibility will appear in the approval queue and won’t be applied until it is approved by an administrator.  If a draft is rejected in the approval queue, it will remain as an un-published draft of that asset.

Note: Automations using the import tool’s associated API will create an approval request every time an automation sends an update to an asset.  It is not advised to use this setting for high frequency updates to assets through automation, as the updates will be queued up until they are approved by an administrator.

Pending Assets in Approvals when changing configuration

It is generally a good idea to moderate any pending assets in the approval queue before modifying any approvals settings.  This will ensure that pending assets are handled appropriately for each asset in the queue. 

Unselecting Manually approve asset updates

If there are pending draft updates to published assets in the approval queue when unchecking this setting they will be automatically be approved and applied to the published copy of the asset.  This action will apply to ALL pending draft updates to public assets, and after applied will appear on the public published asset.  This action cannot be undone.

Changing from Manual Approval to Auto-Approval

If Official settings are set to Manual Approval and there are pending assets in the Approval queue, when this change is made all of the Official assets pending in the approval queue will automatically become public and any draft updates will be applied to the published copies of the published public asset.  This action cannot be undone. 

If Community settings are set to Manual Approval and there are pending assets in the Approval queue, when this change is made all of the Community assets pending in the approval queue will automatically become public and any draft updates will be applied to the published copies of the published public asset.  This action cannot be undone. 

Changing from Manual Approval to Auto-Rejected

If Community settings are set to Manual Approval and there are pending assets in the Approval queue, when this change is made all of the Community assets pending in the approval queue will automatically become rejected and private, and any draft updates will remain as private drafts of the asset.  This action cannot be undone.

Too Many Pending Assets

If there are too many Official assets pending in the approval queue when changing from Manual Approval to Automatic Approval the approvals configuration page will not save the changes in settings.  Similarly, if there are too many Community assets pending in the approval queue when changing from Manual Approval to Auto-Approve or Auto-Reject the approvals configuration page will not save the changes in settings.

This can be resolved by moderating the pending items in the queue.  If the number of pending assets in the queue is too large to reasonably moderate, please contact support for assistance in bulk moderating these assets.

Changing Approvals Settings

  1. Navigate to the Approvals queue by going to Administration -> Approvals
  2. In the upper right corner of the Approvals queue, select “Configure” to navigate to the Approvals configuration page
  3. Once on the Approvals configuration page, select “edit” in the upper right corner of the page
  4. Make the desired changes to approvals settings
  5. Select “Save” in the upper right corner of the page to apply the newly changed settings
  6. To Cancel and discard any changes, select “Cancel” in the upper right corner of the page

 

 

 

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