Integration with Microsoft Outlook
For organizations that have deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later, and use Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 or later as their standard e-mail client, Active Roles provides an approvals management facility integrated in Outlook. This enables Microsoft Office end-users to manage approvals in Active Roles through the e-mail application they use on a day-to-day basis.
The Add-in for Outlook component that is included with Active Roles offers the basic functionality for processing and submitting approvals. Active Roles Add-in for Outlook allows Microsoft Outlook users to approve or reject requests that are sent to them for approval. Requests are delivered through notification e-mail messages, and can be approved or rejected directly from the notification e-mail message, without having to use Active Roles’ Web Interface pages. In every e-mail message from Active Roles that notifies of an approval request, Active Roles Add-in for Outlook adds the Approve and Reject buttons along with Approve and Reject menu commands allowing the approver to respond by selecting the appropriate button or command.
Software and configuration requirements
Integration with Microsoft Office Outlook has the following software and configuration prerequisites:
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later Integration with Outlook requires at least one server running Exchange 2007 or later that holds the Client Access server role and Mailbox server role, to be deployed in your Exchange organization.
- Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 or later The approvers use Outlook 2010 or later as their e-mail client application.
- Active Roles Add-in for Outlook The Add-in for Outlook component of Active Roles is installed on the computer running Microsoft Office Outlook. The software requirements specific to Active Roles Add-in for Outlook are listed in the Quick Start Guide for Active Roles, “System requirements” section.
- Approvers’ mailboxes The mailboxes where approval and rejection takes place are on a Mailbox server running Exchange 2010 or later. Although not mandatory, this condition is highly advisable.
- Active Roles’ mailbox A mailbox reserved for the exclusive use of Active Roles. This mailbox should be on a Mailbox server running Exchange 2010 or later.
- Exchange Web Services The approval workflow has the approval rule notification settings configured so that Active Roles uses Exchange Web Services to communicate with Exchange. These settings include the address (URL) of the Exchange Web Services endpoint on an Exchange server that holds the Client Access server role, along with the credentials that identify Active Roles’ mailbox.
Integration with non-Outlook e-mail clients
For organizations that have deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later, but use an e-mail client application other than Outlook 2010 or later, Active Roles offers the ability to approve or reject change requests by simply replying to notification messages that inform approvers of approval tasks. In this case, the notification message contains selectable options that, when clicked or tapped, cause the e-mail application to create a new message in reply to the notification message. The reply message contains indication of the approval decision (approve or reject) and prompts the approver to supply a comment on the approval decision (approval or rejection reason). Then, the approver sends the reply message, thereby completing the approval task.
Software and configuration requirements
The ability to manage approvals from non-Outlook e-mail clients calls for the same software and configuration prerequisites as Outlook integration (see Integration with Microsoft Outlook), with the following exceptions and additions:
- The e-mail client applications that can be used to manage approvals are not restricted to Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 or later. It is possible to use, for instance, earlier Outlook versions or e-mail applications on mobile devices.
- Active Roles Add-in for Outlook does not need to be installed on the computer running the e-mail client application.
- The approval rule notification settings are configured so that the notification messages originated by Active Roles have integration with the Web Interface turned off. Ensure that the Send approval response by e-mail option is selected in the properties of the e-mail configuration that is used by the approval rule (this is the default setting).